A truly spectacular experience! TV chefs, two professional demonstration theatres, a Pimms Garden and a host of impressive food exhibitors in The Taste Village – also featuring our splendid cookware client ProCook® – was the tantalising experience I had this weekend.
I’m a fan of Taste of London and the option to experience something similar so close to home, Billericay Essex, was a great attraction, so without hesitation I booked the tickets.
It was a shame the sun wasn’t shining, but I was determined this wouldn’t spoil my day. Kitted out in boots and an emergency poncho, I headed straight to the water zorbing area, which was great fun, although a strange sensation to say the least. Boots back on, I rushed straight over to the rowing competition where people were being challenged to row the furthest in one minute, limbering up, I jumped on and furiously rowed back and forth.
I realised it was a bad decision after 20 seconds when my head started to circle with a number of options, fake a hamstring injury, blackout, fall off, anything to avoid drawing attention to my poor state of fitness. Disappointed and exhausted, I did manage to pick myself up after spotting the cake stall just a metre away and spent what seemed to be a couple of hours there!
Other spectacular things to see were new and classic cars, the most enormous Hot Air Balloons I had ever seen, impressive kite shows and a fusion of cuisines that teased the senses. The facilities for the kids were second to none and I know my little girl can’t wait for next year.
Louise Sansom August 2011
Earlier this month The Davidstow team organised a cheese and drink matching evening in London for food and drink media at The Rotunda Bar & Restaurant. Lending their hosting skills to the occasion were 2 Michelin-starred Chef Nathan Outlaw, food and wine matching guru Fiona Beckett and self-confessed ‘cheese-a-holic’, Davidstow cheese grader Mark Pitts-Tucker.
It was a beautiful sunny evening, so we started on the terrace with a glass of Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut and enjoyed a selection of Nathan’s new recipes served as canapés.
Mark began the evening by telling the guests just how much love, time and dedication goes into creating Davidstow’s Classic, Classic Lighter and Crackler Cheddars. Following Mark’s tasting of each, Fiona went on to show off the perfect wine partner (as well as a top Cornish beer and cyder or two … Doom Bar and Healey’s Cornish Cyder were mentioned several times!). Each of the cheddars were then used in one of Nathan’s recipes created for the guests to enjoy, including the Smoked Mackeral, Saffron and Crackler Quiche which was a favourite for all.
To end the evening, and to give the guests an extra special treat, Davidstow provided a taster of the non-commercial Cheddars. Mark bought out a special 3 year old for everyone to taste. Not content to share only the 3 year old, Mark went ‘top shelf’ and produced a small batch of 4 and 5 year old cheddars. The textures of the cheeses were very flinty. As Mark said, “after cutting, they are like shrapnel shards sprawled across a cheese board”, owing to the age of the cheese as the moisture reduces over the years. His audience was in awe, relishing such a strong, rich cheddar that was not too overpowering in the mouth.
After plenty of cheese tasting, delicious dishes and a wonderful selection of drink partners, our guests left with a Davidstow goody bag including a special block of the 3 year old, to the delight of many!
Holly Axelrad June 2011
The satisfying ‘pop’ of a champagne cork, a heavenly sip of Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut perfectly accompanied by a deliciously rich chard of crisp Parmesan wrapped in Prosciutto ham – with your eyes closed, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in the South of France, had it not been for the heavy and constant rain pattering on the marquee roof.
We were in fact situated in a Laurent-Perrier masterclass at Taste of London, accompanied by five high profile journalists. Our compere was taking us through the fascinating history of the Laurent-Perrier house, one of the longest standing champagne houses, due to celebrate its bicentenary next year.
Next up was a glass of Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2002, the latest vintage released by the house. Whilst staying true to the house style of purity and elegance, the vintage, we were told, also aims to show the quintessential character of the individual year. The blend is made from the most prestigious growths in Champagne and is bottle aged in the cellars for a minimum of 7 years. To accompany this vintage, we had seabass carpaccio with red endive, avocado purée and spring onion. The slightly bitter endive and fresh fish complimented the rich, rounded and silky champagne beautifully.
Finally, we were treated to a glass of the iconic Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé with a marinated prawn tandoori served on a semolina crisp with sweetened yoghurt and tamarind chutney. This was undoubtedly my favourite course. The Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, which is made by using the highest quality Pinot Noir grapes, is interestingly one of the few rosé champagnes that is made by drawing the juice from black grapes in the vat, instead of simply blending red and white wines. This gives it the highly expressive bouquet, extraordinary depth and freshness and delicious red berry flavours that cut through seafood and Asian flavours so well, thus the prawn tandoori with a glass of this was a match made in heaven.
A clap of thunder burst the bubble, and I was back from the vineyards in Tours-sur-Marne and on my way outside to face the elements.
Jessica Filbey May 2011