Reviews, recipes, ramblings and other gourmet bites. A food blog of indulgence...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Spectacular spectacular ...

Margarine antelope from food sculptor Simon Smith

Today has been one of those days where living in London is brilliant. It started to feel like autumn is properly here (i.e crisp, blue sky, cold winds and turning leaves, rather than grey, grey, rain, rain, grey, rain, grey etc etc), the tubes weren't too crowded (unheard of on a Saturday) and we went to a fantastic foodie spectacular hosted by the Experimental Food Society.

I read about the event in the Guardian earlier this week. As, it appears, did most of the rest of London. It was absolutely packed - which is fantastic for all the exhibitors who undoubtedly deserve every bit of recognition they get, but slightly irritating nonetheless as you could barely move without getting elbowed or poked.

The Experiemental Food Society is a collective of outrageous foodies, chefs and creatives who strive to break food out of the confines of the kitchen and bring it into the spotlight in the world of art, science and performance.

Having battled our way through the crowds, there were some pretty jawdropping things to be seen and tasted. Including ...

  • Bizarre but delicious ice cream cones from Ginger's Comfort Emporium. Marmalade on toast flavour anyone? How about a Durian Fruit Choc Ice? We went for a 'Monkey's Gone to Heaven' - roasted banana, salted peanut, caramel and bitter chocolate, and a 'Dark and Stormy' - dark rum, lime and ginger. Yum!
  • Incredible edible sculptures, from cake to chocolate, to ... erm... margarine. Michelle Wibowo's glazed suckling pig cake, with ridiculously detailed sugar-craft lettuce, potatoes, apples and tomatoes surrounding it was a particular highlight.
  • The Marie Antoinette of macaroons, sporting a stunning dress studded, nay, BEJEWELLED, with tasty treats.
  • The wonderfully wacky Bompas and Parr, the undisputed kings of the jelly world. We were lucky enough to sample one of their wobbly delights (ooh er) at the Courvoisier History of Food earlier this year, where they made a huge 'dessert dome', including victorian ornament sugar sculptures in lurid colours, a jelly flavoured with orange and iris, served with an ambergris posset. Yes. That's whale vomit. Tasty stuff! Today, they were showcasing the world's first ether jellies, which glowed an eerie pale green.
All in all, a great day out. I love that food is blurring its cultural boundaries and messing with people's senses. We'll certainly be on the lookout for more events like this - they're as eye opening and impressive as a day at an art gallery, and you leave with a much fuller stomach.

AND...exciting news: We have now got our sticky little paws on Bompas and Parr's recipe book, which is full of quite frankly mental things to do with jelly. It might possibly be genius. Our first gelatinous attempts will appear here shortly. You have been warned.

Jen xx

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