Monday, 23 June 2014

Good Food Summer Show - 12th - 15th June 2014

If you are looking for a delicious foodie day out the Good Food Show is the show for you!

I love going to food and drinks festivals so I was excited for my first Good Food experience. It was everything that I expected and much more.

The show was spread across two halls at the NEC in Birmingham. It was jam packed with artisan food, drinks, cooking equipment, specialised foods, live cooking stages, books, you name it, they had it!

My first foodie experience was taking part in the fantastic Artisan Bread Masterclass run by Robert Swift, Master Baker at Swift and Co.

With Robert Swift
This year was the first time that the Good Food Show have held an artisan bread masterclass and if they do one next year I thoroughly recommend taking part. I was a privilege watching him do what he does best, up close with personal guidance. There was only about 12 people taking part, as it was a small group everybody had chance to chat with Robert and ask any questions that they may have. After Robert had given us a bit of background information he went on to demonstrate three techniques of shaping artisan bread.

Robert showed us how to create these artisan bread delights!

After we had watched him create them it was our turn to have a go!

We all got a piece of dough, chose the style of bread that we wanted to make and got to work. I decided to make the filled, seeded bread that was baked in a ceramic plant pot. After I had successfully filled and shaped my dough it was placed in the fridge to collect before leaving at the end of the day.

My finished bread

The masterclass lasted 45 minutes and the time flew! I left the class feeling inspired to bake more that the regular breads and am looking forward to putting my ideas into practise. You can find more information about Robert Swift and baking courses that he runs at Bread 2 Bake. If I am ever in the area I would love to take part to gain more professional advice and guidance. Before I left I bought Roberts book Born and Bread which is full of information about baking bread, the processes, different ingredients and recipes from the basic white loaves through to flavoured artisan breads. If you enjoy baking bread this book is a great one to add to your collection.

After my 45 minutes dedicated to bread it was time to discover what other culinary delights the Good Food Show had to offer.

As you walk into the exhibition halls you are greeted with row upon row of stalls selling food varying from breads to cakes, from black truffles to Italian cheeses, from vodka to prosecco, from oils to olives. There were many well know brands there but I was pleased to see that there were even more that were unknown to myself.

I discovered a few new brands to add to my favourites list!

Due to the massive scale of the event and the many different stalls you really do need to walk through in an organised fashion otherwise you will miss so much! I would recommend that if you are planning a visit preview the show guide that the Good Food website has to download and highlight any stalls that you know you particularly want to visit.

Organic fruit and vegetable box company Abel and Cole had a lovely stand and were handing out refreshing juice to sample and information on their organic boxes. Unfortunately they don't deliver in my area yet but hope they do in the future as we are huge fans of fresh produce!

There were a few stalls selling lovely fresh olives. We did buy a box of olives and they were divine, however be warned they weigh more than you think as the whole olives still have their stones!
Italian Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

I was delighted to see that the fantastic Lakeland were not only sponsoring the Summer Kitchen Stage but also had a shop running at the show. If you area regular reader you will know I love Lakeland's products. I left the show with a lovely big bag of birthday treats thanks to the hubby!

With all of the shopping that we did we were relieved to find that the Good Food Show were running a free Shop and Drop service. This service that was supported by Guide Dogs for the Blind. This convenient service made the day so much more enjoyable as we knew that we could buy what we wanted without the worry of carrying it around for the day.

As I am subscriber to the Good Food Magazine we had access to their subscribers lounge. This really was a luxury! As you can imagine at an event that is as busy as the Good Food Show getting a seat can be hard work. However as we could use the subscribers lounge we immediately got a table to sit at as well as some free goodies to try!

Outside the exhibition centre among the Gardeners World Live stalls was the amazing MasterChef Street Food bus. Inside MasterChef's Mat Follas (2009 Champion) and Jackie Kearney (2011 finalist) were cooking an array of street foods to buy. The downstairs of the bus was a fully functional kitchen whilst the upstairs hosted a seating area. The bus had a raised roof so diners could enjoy their food whilst watching the hustle and bustle of the show going on.

As well as the the varied food, drink, cooking equipment and accessory stalls were the fantastic live cooking stages. There was the renown Supertheatre which hosted live talks and demonstrations from some of the best cooks and bakers in the industry, such as, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin and Tom Kerridge to name a few.

There were also the smaller, more personal live stages. The Summer Kitchen sponsored by Lakeland which featured chefs including Lisa Faulkner, John Whaite, Annabel Karmel and Gregg Wallace. There was also the Belling Live Cook Stage which featured chefs including Brian Turner, Frances Quinn and Phil Vickery.

John Whaite and Lisa Faulkner on the Summer Kitchen Stage
sponsored by Lakeland
The Supertheatre sponsored by Braun
Paul Hollywood in the Supertheatre

WHSmiths had a stall containing cookery and gardening books from many of the chefs and gardeners involved in the shows. It was also here that you could meet the chefs and gardeners and get a book signed. I decided to treat myself to a lovely book by James Martin and was delighted to meet him and get my book signed!

Overall the Good Food Show is a fantastic day out. There is so much to see and do. The Gardeners World Live show is also there and the entry allows you to visit both shows. If you are intending to visit both of them I would definitely recommend visiting over two days. We have already pencilled in the dates for next year and plan to have two days there so that we do not miss a thing!

For more information on the show visit BBC Good Food Show Summer

You can read about our visit to the RHS Floral Marquee at the Gardeners World Live here

Disclosure: I was given media passes and entry to the masterclass for the purpose of this post. No payment was received. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.


  1. Looks amazing! I'm not surprised you plan on doing it over two days next year. What a clever idea to have a 'shop and drop' area.

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