Monday, 21 April 2014

A few questions with Andy Bates.

I was very fortunate to not only attend the Cake and Bake Show in Manchester recently but also had the opportunity to not only meet celebrity chefs but to interview one, how cool is that? I managed to catch up and ask a few questions with Andy Bates who stars in his own series on Food Network entitled Street Feasts, Street Feasts America and Street Feasts Brazil and also has a cook book Modern Twists on Classic Dishes. Andy showed the hungry crowds at the Cake and Bake show how to make a chicken and ham pie and made a twist on this classic by removing the top of the pie and topping with fresh berries. As I'm a savoury girl at heart and love to reminisce of my days in Rio, I asked a couple of questions to the pie man himself.

You have visited various countries such as Brazil and America and around the UK, whats your favourite country that you have visited and why?

It's hard to say, I'm still looking, it's a tough one, so much depends on the mood you are in. I still cant decide as I love a variety of foods.

How did you find Brazil?
Brazil, I found fantastic, my favourite place Bahia Salvador for the African influences. I went to Sao Paulo with an open mind diverse and found it to be diverse, there were lots of Italian and Japanese influences. The Amazon was very indigenous. I loved Bahia.

Did you try fejoada?
Yes, I tried  fejoada with tripe and all sorts in it.  I loved the social aspect of fejoada, I love the history of fejoada a bunch of ladies come together and spending 5 days cooking it, the dish brings the community together.

Your known as the pie man, whats your tip on making a hot water crust pastry for novices?
Take your time, don't get stressed out, relax,  have a glass of wine, have a cup of tea, put some music, go in with an open mind,  don't think you are going to conquer it first time, read the instructions/recipe. Youtube have some good step-by-step instructions and there are so many tips on hand. If you look back 15 years ago there wasn't as many instructions so it is easier to make with all the guidance.

As we are at the Cake and Bake show, what's your favourite cake?
Like with food, it's all about the mood, I never had red velvet cake before until 4-5 months ago. My favourite cake changes all the time.  I do like a Victorian sponge, a fresh Victorian sponge, something simple and something fresh would be my favourite cake. 

You have had a whirlwind experience over the last few years, what's next for you?
Who knows, I'm really grateful for the last few years. I really enjoy what I am doing and would love to continue doing this. 

Plans on a second book?
In the pipeline, lots of things in the pipeline. 

Thank you to NudgePr for arranging this interview.



Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Cake and Bake Show Manchester 2014

The Cake and Bake Show returned to Manchester for the second year and was held at Manchester Exhibition Centre. I did not visit Cake and Bake last year but after reading last years reviews on various blogs and seeing the numerous cake pictures, I was determined to go this year. I walked into Manchester Exhibition centre to large crowds of men, women and children holding onto goodie bags and promptly made my way into the arena to visit the variety of stalls. I was pleasantly pleased that the stalls included a variety of not only sweet treats but also there were several bread and stalls selling savoury goodies - there was a balance between sweet and savoury.
There were 3 demonstration theatres which were free to watch, the first being The Competition Theatre where on Saturday featured baking challenges from Mich Turner and Peter Sidwell, alongside this years Great British Bake Off contestants and during each show 2 members of the audience were chosen to bake alongside these baking experts, no pressure there then!
The second theatre, the Cake Theatre featured demonstrations from headlining chefs making  sweet treats including John Waite, Eric Lanlard and Rosemary Shrager. I watched the key lime pie demonstration by Eric Lanlard and he made this sweet pie look super simple to make and it looked so luxurious with all the condensed cream.
The third theatre The Baking Theatre shared chefs who have a great knowledge of bread making and savoury baking. I watched Andy Bates demonstration of chicken and pie which would make a lovely weekend evening meal.
I also bumped into a couple of the celebrity chefs who were very friendly.

There was such a large variety of stalls and one of the stalls to really catch my eye, was known other than the Primrose Bakery stall where the co-owner of this famous shop, Martha Stewart was there and was happy to sign copies of her popular baking books. I tried one of her chocolate cupcakes which was simply divine, I must pop into one of their branches when I'm next in London.

I was delighted with the large variety of bread stalls, as I'm more of a savoury person and can gorge on bread all day long, the selection of bread was amazing. I discovered a stall that sold beautiful, large loaves with some unique flavour combinations such as chilli, lime and coriander and garlic and herb stromboli.

I watched the first of two demonstrations, the first being from Andy Bates who is known for his Street Feasts series on Food Network. He showed the audience to make chicken and ham pie, using chicken thighs for extra flavour and he decorated the top of the pie with berries (once removing the top part), a unique twist to a British Classic. I interviewed Andy after the demo and will share this in a later blog post.

As it is a cake and bake show, there was the opportunity to enter into a cake competitions and there certainly are some very talented bakers, sculptors and decoraters.

A stall that really caught my eye was Cameo Cakes who offered a large range of blingtastic cake accessories, decorations and even none cakey stuff like key rings (which my cousin brought).

As a big fan of chocolates I was blown away with the posh and decadent chocolates from master chocolatier Anneesh Popat, how stunning are his chocolates?

To another master chocolatier Paul Young had a very decadent stall, features beautiful flavours of chocolates I was looking forward to (hopefully) bumping into Paul even brought my book for him to sign but must of just missed him. These chocolates were so tempting, it was difficult to resist.

Elise's May brownies had some sweet treats, I didn't buy anything this year, but hopefully she will return next year so I can sample some of her goodies.

Perhaps my favourite stall was Teahive  who have their own shop in Chorlton. The salted caramel chocolate cake was AMAZING!!! I've never tried anything so rich and addictive in all of my baking years. I loved this cake so much and when I'm next in Manchester will have to visit this tea room.

Solreno were selling chocolate based liquiors which my cousin (as I was driving) stated tasted lovely and sweet.

If you love fudge, Toms fudge would be the stall for you, carefully handcrafted fudge with sublime flavours are perfect for all the fudgeaholics out there.

Last but not least, I purchased a selection of donuts, Belgian buns and cakes from Sprinkle king.

Disclaimer: I attended the Cake and Bake show on a Press Pass, although all thoughts and opinions were my own.

© Charlene Flash | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig