I can only apologise for not having written much recently, but things have been manic!
I’ve managed to catch my breath for all of two minutes and have started feeling rather melancholy over the fact that the Foodies Festival season is over. Not only are they the most amazing fun (although incredibly hard work) but they are an opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and hang out with your mates.
I started thinking this morning how much my life has changed in such a short space of time. If I think about it too much I start feeling overwhelmed and my anxiety kicks in, but if I step back and look at it without any sort of agenda, I can’t believe how much I have achieved.
I set up my business earlier this year. Having baked for a lot of my life, gluten free baking came much later and as we learn more about gluten free flours etc., the more I am learning about baking with them. I’ve had some brilliant commissions from people and have more in the pipeline, have repeat customers and have been given the opportunity to demonstrate and write about what I love. It’s frustrating not being able to eat ‘normally’ and cake is something that everybody should be able to enjoy and that was why I wanted to create The Pin Up Pantry.
I have to thank Charlotte White - (restorationcake.com) who is truly one of my best friends - for taking a chance on basically a rank amateur when it came to demonstrating. Despite being a seasoned performer, baking live on stage is quite unusual and certainly not something I ever thought I would get the opportunity to do.
If you’ve never been to a Foodies Festival, you must take the time to visit next year when the season starts again. For what is essentially a very small fee, you get to watch some of your favourite chefs and bakers up close and personal, creating delicious dishes in front of your very eyes (which you can sample in the cakes and desserts theatre). There is live music, a drinks theatre where you can learn all about beer and wine, a healthy living area, a kids theatre and an inordinate amount of food and drink stalls where you can try and buy to your hearts content (or until your wallet starts sweating).
I've been so lucky to meet some amazing people through being a part of Foodies Festival, including Candice Brown, Saira Hamilton, Michael Bremner, Adam Simmonds, John Holland, Suzy Pelta, Katy Beskow, Juanita Hennessey, Mark Tilling, Brodie Williams, Lorna Robertson and so many more. Many of whom I can now consider friends. I've learned so much and hopefully I will be invited back next year, but if not, I will always look back on this year fondly and know I did myself proud.
Thanks again to Charlotte and Foodies Festival for taking a chance on me - I hope I did you guys proud too!
Photo credits go to Helen from Leewood Roots
Stay Hep, Cats
Two weekends ago saw Foodies Festival in Blackheath. This was a Foodies I was really looking forward to as it is my local festival - I live no more than 20 minutes walk from the site, I had friends and family galore attending and my boy was hosting the chef's theatre.
As ever, I made my gluten free Victoria Sponge for my demonstrations which seems to be a hit with everyone who tries it. If you haven't tried it yet, you can find the recipe here. I've also posted a tutorial on how you can make the crystallised rose petals which I find are a simple but gorgeous and elegant way to finish a cake (find that here).
It was so nice to meet so many people who were not only interested in what I'm doing with Pin-Up Pantry, but who were so complimentary about my hosting and demonstrating skills. It is always a relief to know you're fulfilling the brief! I also had quite a lot of people asking about my outfits over the weekend and I have to say these are some of my favourite dresses so I'm thrilled you loved them as much as I do. I am also hyper aware I have stolen Imelda May's hairstyle, but she isn't using it anymore so I didn't think she would mind!
On top of all the fun, our friends B & Liam made the most phenomenal vlog about their day at Foodies, please follow them here - they are both incredibly talented people and I felt really privileged they came to watch my demos.
You can catch Tony compering at Foodies Festival in Edinburgh on August 4th, 5th and 6th and you'll be able to catch up with the both of us at Alexandra Palace on 28th August and in Oxford on 2nd September. Tickets for all the events are available here
Stay Hep, Cats