BBC Good Food Show Winter – shop local

The Producers’ Village is my favourite part of the BBC Good Food Show Winter and it is great to catch up with familiar faces and say hello to new exhibitors. Each year more independent producers and retailers are taking part and if you want to #shoplocal here is where to find some great regional  foodies.

The Baking Housewife

Back for a second time The Baking Housewife from Birmingham is giving a taste of the Caribbean on stand D42 with her rum cake and sorrel cordial, which from the New Year you can also buy online.

Angelina's Cupcakes

Northampton’s Angelina Cupcakes is pretty in pink at the Bakes & Cakes village with confections that include pecan and pumpkin.

Arden's biscuits

The drunken panattone or giant tubes of ameretti biscuits from Arden’s Fine Foods on E132 will make great stocking fillers.

Pips Hot Sauces gift bags

Making her debut as a BBC Good Food Show Winter is Producers’ Bursary Award winner Pip’s Hot Sauces from Moseley. Look out for her fiery (and festive) red stand in the Producers Village G102.

Farrington's gift bag

Farringtons cold pressed rapeseed oil is on the mellow yellow stand F60 with new gift boxes for Christmas featuring rapeseed oil, chilli oil and a mustard dressing.

Tan Rosie

Spice up your life with the Caribbean food on J101 from Birmingham’s Tan Rosie

Purity gift box

Warwickshire’s Purity Ales have stocked up on Christmas gift packs at B102.

BBC Good Food Show Winter – Beer tasting

For this year’s show I wanted to try something different, so I took a seat at the CAMRA Great British Beer Experience and  settled down to a lively 45 minute discussion and tutored beer tasting.

CAMRA THe Great British Beer Experience

The Great British Beer Experience does exactly what it says on the tin and showcases the diversity of UK ales. In the opening session beer experts and authors Roger Protz and Adrian Tierney Jones took us on a historical, geographical and sensory tour based on their book Britain’s Beer Revolution.

We were given five different beers to try. Starting with a Beowulf, Dark Raven this traditional mild is a combination of malts and Fuggle hops. Next up was an English style IPA Fullers, Bengal Lancer with a refreshing citrus note. I was really enjoying Adrian and Roger’s anecdotes, even if I couldn’t find the “aroma of a Summer’s day” in the St Austell’s Proper Job! For the names alone it is worth exploring the different breweries and the aptly named Titanic Stout was a dark, strongly flavoured ale. We finished the tasting with an 8.5% Bodger’s Barley Wine, which was created in the 18th century to deter drinkers from French wines.

If you are visiting the show over the weekend, you can catch the following sessions:

  • Cheese and Beer with Christine Cryne on Friday – CAMRA’s National Director will infuse you with a selection of beer styles matching them to a range of cheeses. From a blue to a soft cheese, this tasting offers lots of flavour.
  • Winter Warmers with Annabel Smith on Saturday – sample a selection of winter warmers ready for the festive season and gain tips on which beers to serve with your Christmas dinner.
  • Meet a Local Brewery on Sunday – sample a selection of brews from Warwickshire’s Church End brewery. Brewery Manager Karl Graves will talk you through the art of brewing, giving visitors the chance to see inside a brewery grist and taste the raw ingredients.

Slots are 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 4.45pm during the show, tickets cost £6-£7 and can be bought from either the BBC Good Food Show website or CAMRA stand D130.

Although I am not yet a fully fledged convert to beer its bottoms up to the British heritage of pubs and real ale!

Shopping bags at the ready

In two weeks time the BBC Good Food Show Winter will be back at the NEC.

Christmas cookies BBC Good Food

Whether you are going for the first time or are a seasoned visitor, here are my top tips for making the most of the show

Download the iPhone app

BBC Good Food Show app

The BBC Good Food Show app helps you to plan your day, with the latest theatre timetables, the show floorplan and current exhibitor list, ticket offers plus tips on accommodation and where to eat.

Talk to the producers

Pip's Hot Sauces Birmingham Mail

They all have great stories to tell and one of the main reasons for them being at the show is to elicit customer feedback. Many producers launch new products at the show, so you can be among the first to try something different. Look out for Pip’s Hot Sauces, made in Moseley. Pip has won a BBC Good Food Show Bursary to appear at the show.

Watch a demonstration

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2014 supertheatre

The atmosphere in the theatres is buzzing and you get to see TV chefs in action. This is the biggest consumer food show in the country, where 41 chefs and food personalities appear on seven different stages.


If you’d like the chance to win a pair of tickets, just answer this question – Which producer from Moseley has won a BBC Good Food Show bursary to appear at the show?

Send your answers to by Sunday 16 November. Winners announced on Monday 17 November.


  • Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to the show valid on Thursday 27 or Friday 28 or Sunday 30 November.
  • The tickets do not include a super theatre seat.
  • Tickets will be posted to the winners by a third party acting on the behalf of the GFS.
  • Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.

BBC Good Food Show Midlands Deli of the Year

With less than two months to go until the BBC Good Food Show Winter, the shortlist for Midlands Best Deli has been revealed. Out of the ten nominations I know (and can heartily recommend) four of them.

Anderson & Hill

Anderson & Hill, Birmingham

Cheese, charcuterie, pasta, sauces and if you’re quick enough at lunchtime freshly made sandwiches from this bijoux little shop in Great Western Arcade. Independent Birmingham cardholders benefit from 10% off.

Oakes Farm Shop cake

Oakes Farm Shop, Coventry

Farmers for ninety years, the Oakes family has an extensive deli, butcher and bakery onsite in one of the largest farm shops in the area, that also serves breakfasts and lunches in a café seating 50 people.

 Onley Grounds Farm Shop meat

Onley Grounds Farm Shop and Butchery, Rugby

Currently only open at the weekends, this is the place to go to for meat lovers – the grain fed beef from the farm, steaks, sausages and pies are highly recommended.

St Giles Cheese

St Giles Cheese, Northampton

On a quiet street in the city centre, this Aladdins Cave of edibles stocks more than the famous local cheese Cobblers Nibble. Steve and Caroline Ward will guide you through their olive oils, Belgian chocolates, cider, pies and pasta.


Meet the producers

The BBC Good Food Show Winter is in full swing at the NEC and if you’re about to visit I’d like to introduce you to three artisan producers, Warner Edwards, Ross and Ross Food and Just Oil.

Warner Edwards gin distillery was set up in 2012 by best friends Tom Warner and Sion Edwards, in a 200 year old converted barn in Northamptonshire.  To create their award-winning spirit, they source and use the local natural spring water and do everything themselves by hand, from making their gin to the bottling and unique wax seal.

This will be the first time they have exhibited at BBC Good Food Show, at stand E30, and they are very excited as you can see from this photo taken by blogger Dine Birmingham!

Tom from Warner Edwards at BBC Good Food Show Winter Dine Birmingham

Tom Warner said: “We are going to the show because it is a great platform for us to introduce our gin to the general public. They can hear first-hand our passion about the product and sample how nice it is before buying a bottle. We are looking forward to the WOW reaction the most, this is when people realise we make it and say WOW and then they try the gin and say WOW. It really makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

To celebrate their first anniversary Warner Edwards will be launching their latest gin creation, a Sloe gin, created with the help of their “berry brigade” of fruit pickers who hand-picked sloes to donate in the  Warner Edwards Great British Sloe Swap. This is a twist on bartering where people swapped their sloes for personalised bottles of the new gin.

To soak up the sloe gin head over to stand E93 in The Producers Village where you will find winners of the BBC Good Food Show Bursary Scheme, Ross and Ross Food. The duo are launching their new Man Food gift boxes at the show, packed with their award winning patés and terrines made in the Cotswolds.

Ross and Ross Food

It has already been quite a year for the former chefs Ross Bearman and Ross Whitmill.  They have become BBC Good Food Show Midland Street Food winners and finalists in the Cotswold Life Best Local Producer. They currently supply their award winning potted meats, cutting terrines and street food to a number of local retailers along with Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Ross & Ross Foods The XL Man Box

Another tasty treat worth trying are Just Crisps. The potatoes are grown on a farm in Staffordshire and the starch is washed off for that softer bite before they are cooked in Just Cold pressed rapeseed oil. Their mature cheddar and red onion, sea salt and apple Balsamic vinegar and jalapeno flavours join the sea salt and black pepper that have scooped awards from both the Heart of England Fine Foods and Guild of Fine Food. They are teasing their Facebook fans and Twitter followers about a new product launch, so check out F84 to see what it is.

Just Crisps

Whoever you meet and whatever you taste and buy, I hope that you have a great time exploring the BBC Good Food Show Winter.

Have your cake and eat it!

The Great British Bake Off Village is an exciting new addition for this year’s BBC Good Food Show Winter. An area devoted to all things baking. Learn new techniques, watch demonstrations by Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and the GBBO contestants, plus you can buy everything you need to bake like the experts.

Great British Bake Off contestants 2013 Daily Mirror

Somebody who will be on the front row of the Great British Bake Off Stage is Ali Imdad. The 25 year old charity worker from Birmingham had only been baking for four years before appearing on the TV show. He will be at the NEC this week to support fellow contestants and he gave me an update on what he has been up to since GBBO.

Ali Imdad

What are your favourite things to bake?

It has to be tarts, especially my white chocolate crème brulee tart.

What have you been doing since appearing on Great British Bake Off?

After appearing on GBBO there has been a lot happening! I’ve done almost 20 demos up and down the country in different food festivals, universities, restaurants, and charity events. I’ve demoed alongside the likes of Rachel Allen and Jean-Christophe Novelli which has been incredible! Other than that I’ve done a number of baking classes, as well as writing recipes for national magazines. Can’t complain about that! In the longer term, I’d love to have a cook-book based on ethnic spices, but in the mean-time it’s all about building the Ali-brand!

What are you most looking forward to about BBC Good Food Show Winter?

Undoubtedly it is seeing my fellow bakers doing their demos. Howard, Ruby, Glenn, Kim, Becca, and our lovely winner Frances. They will all be doing a demo each so I’m going to be there to support them all. Other than that, ALL the bakers from ALL the series of GBBO are being invited back on the Saturday for a reunion in the shape of an afternoon tea, which I think that’ll be a real special treat for those attending on the Saturday.

Midlands Gourmet Girl readers and followers receive a 15% discount off tickets! Use the MG15 code at the checkout.


BBC Good Food Show Winter tickets competition

BBC Good Food Show NEC

Every day this week I will be giving away a pair of tickets for the BBC Good Food Show Winter, that are worth £46.50. For your chance of winning, all you have to do is like this post to enter.

Great British Bake Off

The show features over 50 chefs and experts from across the country on seven different stages. The nation’s favourite TV programmes will be brought to life with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry in The Great British Bake Off and James Martin in Saturday Kitchen.

Becketts Farm Shop Visit Birmingham

The Producers’ Village will be packed with some of the best artisan producers in the country,  perfect for picking up gifts and special ingredients for the festive season. I’d make a beeline for Midlands Best Deli winner Beckett’s Farm Shop, from Wythall, just outside Birmingham.

Barney Desmazery, BBC Good Food Magazine Food Editor says, “There was a really impressive range of nominations this year, from all over the Midlands.  Beckett’s Farm Shop really stood out from the competition with plenty of nominations from loyal customers, fantastic facilities that include a cookery school and an obvious passion to delight their customers. It’s great to see quality local produce being sold at affordable prices too. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they will bring to the show.”

As a Midlands Gourmet Girl competition winner, you can enjoy a day at the show on any of the following dates – Wednesday 27, Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Sunday 1 December. Please note that these complimentary tickets do not include entrance to the Supertheatre.

If you’re not a winner you can still get 15%  off the ticket price by using my special code MGG15.

November events

November events start with a bang at Coombe Abbey’s Gunpowder Gala.

In Birmingham you could be quaffing wine with Olly Smith at the Hotel du Vin or port at Opus restaurant.

Leamington Wine Company

The Leamington Wine Company will be getting into the festive spirit with their Christmas tasting of over 100 wines while at Hill Top Farm the party continues for their 10th anniversary.

Pika Pika burger

For a pop-up with a difference there are Japanese burgers in Kings Heath and an Italian deli in Moseley.  The last event for the month is the UK’s biggest food show from BBC Good Food Show Winter at the NEC.  More details on the Events page.

BBC Good Food Show Winter

BBC Good Food Show Winter






It is hard to believe that the BBC Good Food Show is now in its 22nd year. On Wednesday I braved the crowds at the NEC (with their shopping trollies) to see how the show could still attracted thousands of consumers and hundreds of food producers.

Spread over four halls there are five demonstration theatres – Saturday Kitchen Live, M&S Christmas theatre, Masterchef Experience, the Great British Bake Off stage and 2,000 seater Super Theatre, where the BBC Food & Farming Awards were announced.

The World Cheese Awards were being judged and for a £5 taster ticket you could sample some of the 3,000 varieties for the coveted awards.







When I arrived I had just missed Glynn Purnell on the Saturday Kitchen stage, but his recipe for roast brill with scorched lettuce and fondue of onion features in the show guide.

Glynn Purnell recipe









My first stop was the Producers’ Village. I’d read about Frost & Snow cupcake bakery in Birmingham, who in association with Midland Heart, provide training and jobs for homeless people as a social enterprise. Their stand had a beautiful selection of cakes that you can have delivered as part of their Cupcake Friday.

Frost and Snow cupcakes






I stopped to say hi to Paul Whitehead on The Mini Jar Company stand, who told me that he had just taken delivery of some seeds from the US that were the world’s hottest chillies. He plans to unleash these fiery beasts on the contestants in the 2013 Chilli Festival in Brindleyplace 19 – 21 July. You have been warned!

The Mini Jar Company







Ardens from Stratford upon Avon had an attractive stand with lots of wrapped gifts, that the shoppers found very appealing.



There was a queue of hungry diners at the Napton Water Buffalo stand, patiently waiting for a  sizzling burger straight from the grill.

Napton Water Buffalo









It is difficult to stand out amonst the other exhibitors without a great stand design or creative marketing, so I particularly liked the branding on the Mrs Crimble’s stand. Their efforts paid off as people were stopping to look at the Morris Minor and enter their Facebok competition.

Mrs Crimble's


In need of a break I headed over to the Super Theatre for the BBC Food & Farming Awards. From bakers to dinner ladies, cider makers to cheesemakers, the finalists and winners are truly inspirational in their desire to make and sell good food for everyone.

BBC Food and Farming Awards









The winners are:

Best Food Market – Sutton Bonnington

Set up by students at the University of Nottingham, the market sells produce ranging from bison burgers to local cheeses and is wowing both students and residents alike with the quality of locally produced food.

Best Food Producer – joint winners Westcombe Dairy and Pump House Bakery

With a record number of entries for this category there were five finalists and still the judges couldn’t decide on one outright winner! Westcombe Dairy has been producing cheese since 1890 and the latest generation of the family has brought the business bang up to date. The Pump House Bakery in Suffolk extends its customer base by takes its bread to villages and food festivals.

Best Big Food Idea – Growing Communities

Basde in Hackney, this local food co-operative makes up 1,100 bags of food each week for 750 local households. As well as helping to feed people, the scheme pays fair prices to farmers and has created 25 part-time jobs.

Best Public Caterer – Lyndsey Anderson

Lyndsey and her team serve breakfast and lunch to 1,000 kids at the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle. Unable to accept the award in person due to cancelled trains from the floods, Lyndsey will soon by visited by Jamie Oliver who announced the winner by video link.

Best Drinks Producer – Once Upon A Tree

Don’t you just love this compnay name! A collaboration between the Dragon Orchard in Ledbury and this cider maker, Once Upon A Tree’s owner is a former wine maker who wants the public to re-connect cider with food.

Derek Cooper Award – Mike Duckett

At the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital Mike Duckett has proved that you can provide good, healthy food that patients like within the restraints of a hospital kitchen. (Food blogger Martha Payne of food blog Never Seconds was a finalist in this category for changing our relationship with food).

Best Local Food Retailer – Eurospar Wales

Stocking only local products, this is the second time that this retailer in Wales has scooped a BBC Food & Farming Award. Owner of The People’s Supermarket and chef Arthur Potts Dawson presented this award in his apron, as he was cooking lunch for the winners using their ingredients.

Best Street Food / Takeaway – The Morrocan Soup Stand

For twelve hours a day for more than a decade, this street food stand has been serving hearty soups and stews in Goldborne Road, London, which impressed judges Valentine Warner and Charles Campion.

Farmer of the Year – Guy Watson

Proving that there is a demand for organic produce, Guy Watson is meeting the challenges of growing organic produce from his Riverford Organic Farm in Devon.



November Food Events





Dates for your diary include Harborne Farmers Market, a Game and Wine night at The Rose and Crown in Warwick, a talk on tea at The Arden Hotel, Christmas Food Fayre at Hatton Shopping Village, a Vin Neuf Wine Tasting and BBC Good Food Show Winter. Full details on the Events page.