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25 June 2014

taste of london with electrolux

if you've been reading this nonsense for sometime, you may remember that last christmas i was very lucky to have been invited along to taste of christmas over at the tobacco docks. we went along very open minded and not knowing what to expect of the taste experience, but wholly enjoyed ourselves and especially loved getting involved with the chef's secrets event and cooking up a storm with chef tom kitchen - not many people can say they get that sort of opportunity. besides the delicious freebies and exotic christmas foods we were privy to, the event was very well hosted, and we had a great time.

so, when those same lovely folks behind the scenes at electrolux got in touch a few weeks back asking if i'd be into coming along to the summer taste of london event - i couldn't have jumped at the chance more! not only that, but this time i would have mum in tow, and this sort of event is right up her alley - she loves a good food market that one! so, the event launched last wednesday in regent's park, and we were there at 6 on the dot to get in as much quality grazing time as humanly possible.

we did our research before hand and sussed out the big name pop-ups that were going to be on show, and bought ourselves enough taste crowns (event currency!) to ensure we ate our fill. foolishly though, we headed straight for our mains before wandering the stalls (saaah hungry!), and then realised we could have totally eaten for free if we'd wanted to! there were soooo many delicious things being offered to taste this time around, it was almost like every stall holder was cooking up a storm and really wanted you to try their food. i wasn't complaining, but the meatliquor cheeseburger i spent four crowns on was totally an unnecessary buy - albeit flippen delicious, and something i've wanted to try for ages anyway. i ain't mad at £4 for a meatliquor burger though.

mum ordered some lush lamb lollypops from tamarind of mayfair that looked sensational, and were suuuper spicy in the wine hole. thank god for the tons of aloe water floating around, it cooled the gums instantly! at the moevenpick stall we were also able to cool the taste buds with a little random concoction of strawberry ice-cream, meringue, jam, balsamic (?) oil (yes) and pink pepper (wut)... don't even ask me how that combination worked, it just did. it just. did.

once we were done scarfing all of the food in sight we moseyed on over to one of the many pop-up kitchens, for our 7pm appointment at electrolux secret ingredient with maserchef 2011 winner tim anderson. there, with the help of the new sous vide combisteam contraption, chef anderson demonstrated how to use the vacuum steamer to lock in the taste and nutrients in certain ingredients while maintaining their natural texture.

it was properly weird to watch a piece of watermelon get vacuum locked in a bag then put into a steaming bin and still come out cold. and tasty! we stood back and watched tim demonstrate the new piece of tech for the kitchen - obviously really enjoying the tool himself too! he was so excited about all the things he's been able to do in the sous vide. i had to laugh out loud once during his demo as he was talking about how to pickle things that can't be pickled - it reminded me of this ep of portlandia that... probably isn't funny in hindsight, but i'd only watched it that day. ahhhh, timing. (watch it!)

we drank sake (yucky more like it) and nibbled on the many courses he'd prepared for us to taste while he chatted. we had the chilli basil watermelon which was deeeelish, the chili basil was so unexpected, but the combination of the two flavours was really refreshing! there was also a cooked sashimi dish with nuts and seeds and bits of fruits and stuff... again, bloody delicious. the finale was a pork loin cooked in front of us in the sous vide steamer, charred off on the grill, then served up with lotus flower crisps and a small amount of fennel. i hate eating pork; i'm never sure it's done properly. we're told the revolutionary thing about the new oven is that you can cook at exact temperatures. no more guess work. so, you can cook longer at a lower heat, meaning the meat stays moist and cooks from the inside out. well, i'd never had such tender but perfectly cooked pork. it was divine.

after all the excitement of the sous vide, we took a quick break while the sun started to set around us, and used the last of our crowns to relax in style with blackberry and elderflower pimms. my summer favourite. mum prefers her pimms with fruit and dry ginger ale, and while i can agree on the fruit, i do love the berries and elderflower remix. om nom nom...

batteries recharged we headed off for some dessert for the mum - i had zero room in me for more courses, but the delicious dish over at sushisamba was almost enough to change my mind. some sort of dark chocolate ganache, coffee mousse and tonka bean ice cream concoction... it was really rather something to look at. sadly, she ate it before i could preserve the memory of it to film (digital, whatever).

it was time to go. we'd be in there since it opened at 6 and it was nearing 9 - all after a full day of work, and the last few hours just spent eating and shuffling around regent's park. not that i'm complaining. i wish most days ended that way. on the way out of the grounds we passed through the taste of thailand exhibition and saw a man carving the most beautiful things out of raw veg. i mean, it's not news to me that this is a thing - most asian restaurants these days will have some sort of pretty decoration adorning your plate, but to stand and watch a middle-aged man delicately carve raw vegetables... mesmerising. check out the results above!

did you make it down to taste this year? which was your favourite stall?
next up: big feastival (i hope!).

Add your comment

  1. Any event involving food sounds great to me. You get invited to all the coolest stuff!

  2. Ahh I really wanted to go to this! My manager at work had been raving about it. Apparently her husband used to help organise it. Looks like it was a great event. Mucho jealous! xx

  3. This looks grand...I need some food now!! xx


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