Malton Food Lovers Festival
I realise that I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks. Slap on the wrist for me! But I’ve been super busy at work and I’m currently in the midst of three weeks of hell. No exaggeration. We have weddings, horse trials, and agricultural shows coming out of our ears; that’s many a mouth to feed, many a tart, canape and creme brulee that needs to be made. But today is my one year anniversary. Twelve months ago I set up my travel blog Thaimtoteach, a tale of my (mis)adventures working as a teaching assistant in Bangkok, Thailand. I was warmly welcomed into the blogging world, and I haven’t looked back since! WordPress and I have spent a wonderful year together, and there will no doubt be many more exciting years to come, especially here at The Art of Gluttony. So when I saw the congratulatory notification I knew I needed to write a post to celebrate this very special day. And I have something rather special to share with you.
Last weekend I spent some long and rather exhausting hours working at the Malton Food Lovers Festival. Gilly Robinson, head tutor at Malton Cookery School, kindly invited me to help out, and I had such an amazing time. For those of you who don’t know it, Malton is a quaint, little country town in Yorkshire, which has over the years become rather foodie famous. The kitchen at The Talbot Hotel in Malton was launched by James Martin in 2012 and has since then received an abundance of praise, establishing it as one of the foremost hotels in Yorkshire. In fact, this very year, The Talbot won the ‘Small Hotel of the Year Award’ at the 2014 White Rose Awards. However, after three years at the hotel, James Martin has stepped down as the executive chef, leaving a rather large shoe for somebody to fill. Not forgetting, of course, another of Malton’s foodie treasures, the wonderful Cookery School; renowned for its specialised courses on Game, Seafood and Baking, and set in a wonderfully stylish yet relaxed kitchen.
Once a year, this cobbled little town is brought to a stand still as the streets are overwhelmed by food stalls. From Yorkshire’s finest rapeseed oils, to artisan bread makers, patissiers, and butchers; all of the finest food producers gather in one spot to show off the abundance which Yorkshire has to offer. I couldn’t have felt prouder! This year was my first year at the festival, and I couldn’t get over the scale of it. When I arrived in Malton on the Friday morning, it didn’t seem that dissimilar to the sleepy cobbled town which I am from; but within 24 hours it came to life. There was such a buzz in the air throughout the entire weekend; the sun had its hat on, the streets were crowded with busy little bodies, and the live bands tinkered there pretty tunes as the hours passed.
I spent the majority of the weekend in the Milton Rooms coordinating the cooking demonstrations, which meant I got pretty up close and personal with some amazing chefs. On the Friday I spent the day at Malton Cookery School where a team of us prepared all the ingredients for the chef demonstrations and classes. On Saturday we welcomed the celebrity Chefs; Prue Leith and Steph Moon, Valentine Warner and Levi Roots. As well as the likes of Sue Nelson of Yorkshire Food Finder, Simon Crannage from Swinton Park and the iconic Betty’s. On the Sunday we hosted the more serious of chefs; Peter Sidwell from the Rheged Centre in Penrith, Michelin star chef James Mackenzie from The Pipe and Glass, and Andrew Pern from the Michelin starred Star in the City at Harome. As well as Arun Kapil owner of the spice company Green Saffron, and lastly Jonothan Batchelor from Ramus Seafood Imporium in Harrogate and Ilkley.
As you can imagine I was pretty exhausted by the end of it; but what an absolute pleasure to be there, to oversee the demonstrations, and to just be a part of it all! If Gilly will have me again I will certainly be back next year, and I recommend it for you all too; its a perfect day out for the family with lots of kid friendly activities, lots of street food stalls to please even the fussiest of eaters, and I can guarantee you’ll return home with bags of exciting foods to try.
Now if you keep an eye out, I will be featuring a recipe from the festival over the next couple of days. As I previously mentioned, on the Friday we were responsible for the preparation for each of the demos, and I had the task of making Peter Sidwell’s utterly delicious, overwhelmingly moreish Nutella Cookies. I accidentally cut 11 cookies rather than 10, so of course I had to dispose of one… They are literally the best cookies ever!!! And I need to share the recipe, because everyone should know of their greatness.
So don’t forget to pop back for a visit and to check it out. I promise they’ll be the best things you eat all week…