My mum and I have an annual tradition: we go to the Good Food Show in Glasgow together. We usually take in a celebrity chef demo, browse round the stalls, taste lots of free booze and buy ourselves little items here and there. This year we pushed the boat out and saw two celebs, and I handed out a few business cards and took some photos – I’m getting more confident in introducing myself as a blogger, and having my mum there cheerleading me on gave me a big boost. We had a great day, and came home with lots of swag, most of which my mum insisted on buying for me and for which I would like to say THANK YOU! again.
We started our day with a bit of James Martin. I think it’s fair to say my mum came over somewhat giggly when he came on stage – he’s certainly a bit of a charmer in the flesh. He made a few dishes and gave us all a bit of reassuringly Yorkshire chat as he added butter and double cream to things. Here are a few photos of him in action:
We left the theatre to grab a quick beverage and then came back in good time to check out the Hairy Bikers. This was a revelation for me – I was creased with laughter the whole time, these two are so fun, so natural with each other and so genuine that it was impossible not to have a good time. I particularly liked the point in the demo where one was holding a pot while the other stirred; seeing chefs work together so closely and so amicably is really inspiring. I love a good bromance, me.
I suspect my overwhelming mirth to be the reason behind these blurry photos…
Celebrity spotting done, we proceeded into the show itself, where untold delights and some more stars awaited us. Our first stop was Cullisse Rapeseed Oil, where Robert MacKenzie was patiently talking all us interested customers through the cold-pressing process that he uses for his Highland rapeseed oil. I discovered this oil at the last Good Food Show (and promptly made the most amazing roast potatoes ever with it) and have been a convert ever since. I can’t tell you how good this oil is. The flavour is rich without being heavy, it’s fruitier and sweeter than extra virgin olive oil and, best of all, it comes from right here in Scotland. It is perfect for roast spuds, and I swear by it when I’m making a Sunday dinner. It’s award winning, and quite rightly so. It was brilliant to see Robert out and about, spreading the word, and making good sales at the show.
Next, we stopped by the Edinburgh Gin stand. This was a new product to me, and again by the time we came round trade had been good – so good that we didn’t get the chance to try their raspberry gin, curses. What we did get to try, and promptly bought, was their elderflower gin. Scotland is such a great place for boutique gins, and this is no exception. There is no hint of that offputting heavy smell or oily taste that you get with some gins (I decided not to use the word ‘inferior’ here… until now…) – this elderflower gin is gorgeously sweet and floral, and absolutely good enough to drink on its own with not a mixer in sight. I plan on having some poured over my elderflower and melon sorbet, if I can keep my hands off the bottle long enough for that.
Find them on Facebook here.
We travelled onwards, just a little merrier, to visit Condessa Liqueurs and the Celtic Spirit Co. This gent has been representing Condessa with great flair and not a little banter for at least the last year or two that we’ve been visiting, and kindly provided us with a couple of samples. We already knew that we wanted to buy some of their liqueurs but, you know, it would have been rude to say no…
The Celtic Spirit Co and Condessa are based in Anglesey – Celtic Sprit Co is the oldest spirit company in Wales. They sell a variety of gorgeous liqueurs and spirits, and I went home with a little bottle each of black cherry liqueur and sloe gin. They also sell some very stylish looking whisky and brandy liqueurs, plus a unique option of poteen – it’s wonderful to see a traditional spirit like this on the market.
Find the Celtic Spirit Co on Facebook.
By this time we had to stop for some lunch. Luckily, Scotland’s Gourmet Kitchen were on hand to provide us with some fuel. This isn’t your average burger van, not a bit of it – check out the menu:
I ordered a Bannockburn, which is a venison burger with a slice of black pudding and cranberry relish. It was incredibly good, especially when you consider the high volume of burgers and the vast range of their menu. The quality was top notch, from moist burger that had obviously been made with real ingredients, to soft, flavourful black pudding and finishing with a sweet-savoury cranberry and onion relish. This did me the world of good.
Our next stop, spurred on by the venison burger, was Seriously Good Venison. SGV are another Scottish company, based in Auchtermuchty which is, of course, home town of those princes of pop, the Proclaimers. Don’t pretend you don’t love the Proclaimers, everyone loves them. I limited myself to buying a little pot of rowan jelly, but you can buy great, high quality, free range venison from these chaps year round.
Our next photo opportunity came with Holly Cupcakes, who is basically the sweetest woman you could ever hope to meet. Holly had come from London to sell us lucky lot various cupcake and other baking accessories. I bought a few things from her last year, including some awesome pirate muffin cases, a few colours of glitter and some ginger extract, that went into my triple ginger Herman cake. This year, I bought a tub of black cupcake glitter – I’d opted for some more traditionally pretty colours in my purchases last year, but regretted not buying the black one. I can’t wait to use it, probably on some pirate cupcakes, really soon. You can purchase to your heart’s content on her online shop. It’s so inspiring to see someone take hobby baking to the next level, and ‘live the dream’, as it were.
The final stop on our Good Food Show tour was with Deanston Whisky. Deanston is a Highland Single Malt, and my mum stopped in to have a chat with this helpful and hugely knowledgeable gent. She bought my dad some miniatures as a wee treat – perhaps he will leave us a comment and let us know how he enjoyed it. I was asked to present this photo in black and white buuuuuuut I think it looks good as it is!
Visit their website to find out more about distillery tours where you can see the magic happen. As you can see, they also sell gift vouchers – it’s getting to be that time of year. Find them on Facebook here.
Well, that was a bit of a whirlwind tour around the Good Food Show – it took us a lot longer than that to make our way round all the stalls and soak everything in. I didn’t get photos of everything – I couldn’t have – but these were our highlights from this year. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who posed for photos and took time out to chat to me, I really appreciate it and I hope I can send some other customers your way!
A final note, if you are still hanging on in there – I’m still on the lookout for guest bloggers, so please don’t be shy. If you’d consider writing something for Rock Salt, I’d consider it an honour and be delighted to hear from you. I’ve sorted out my social media buttons to the right there, so click away and let’s talk.