Finally, the weekend I’ve been waiting for all year – ‘The big feastival’ every foodies dream! I love Jamie Oliver’s idea of promoting the importance of food education through this event; if we are more knowledgeable of where our food comes from and how to cook it, we will improve our health and well being overall. I completely share his ethos and believe maintaining a healthy lifestyle without commercialised fast food, we need to go back to our foots and re-discover where our food comes from.
Stepping into the field, I was instantly drawn to the healthy living zone and became immersed in natural juices, raw food and tasty treats! My complete heaven, it was refreshing to walk around, eat food and not have to worry about my intolerances as everything was so clearly marked and there was so many choices. The highlight being a mint, cashew milkshake with cacao nibs from sweetly simple.
I’m completely stocked up on new cook books, cooking ideas and inspiration to take my food and blog further. I met Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley who are big inspirations of mine as I love that their style of cooking excludes grains, gluten and sugar but still focuses on maximising flavour. They are really lovely women to talk to, they took the time to speak with everyone and sign my book. I also met Gennaro Contaldo, another one of my favourite chefs. Being Italian myself, I love his rustic style of cooking, using simple flavours and ingredients to create a flavoursome dish which all the family can enjoy.
The weekend was full of amazing cooking demonstrations, a huge range of different food and also some amazing music, the highlights being Example, Paloma Faith and Dizzie Rascal. The range of ages was great to see, it just proves that food really does bring everyone together.
My highlight of this weekend was watching a live demonstration by the legendary Raymond Blanc. For a chef who has been doing this for many years to still be enthusiatic about food and produce is so inspiring. He talked about seasonality, how we need to celebrate our local produce as it is fresh, the colour is more vibrant and it maintains the majority of it’s nutrients. Listening to how passionate he was about local food was so inspirational, as a society we have developed a negative approach to food – food is now seen as a guilty pleasure when it shouldn’t be. The UK has great produce and we need to celebrate it more!
I would recommend this weekend for anyone who loves food and learning about food. Thank you Jamie Oliver and Alex James for an amazing weekend and I hope you have raised enough money for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.