With a VIP pass hung round my neck I walked into the buzzing tobacco dock. This was the opening night for Taste of Winter. We had arrived later than anticipated as we had walked from Westminster and as we approached to cross Tower Bridge it opened for an illuminous gummie bear to pass under?! I know, Random!!!!
Tower Bridge opening
Turns out it was Nicole Scherzinger promoting Candy Crush
Anyway, we headed straight for the Electrolux chefs secrets theatre hoping to get a place on the cook along and luckily there were a few spaces left! The chef hosting the cook along was Rakesh Ravindran Nair from the cinnamon club.
Me & Rakesh Ravindran Nair
We made lamb kebabs with mint and cucumber yoghurt. This is something I often make at home so it was good to be instructed by a professional and to get some tips. This was really good fun, my husband and I were quite competitive, even though we were cooking together, we both think we’re head chefs! Haha!
The host was John Quilter, The Food Busker and he was really fun and a great motivator as he walked round poking fun at everyone’s efforts.
Chef with Food Busker John Quilter
Our efforts were judged and the winner was rewarded a bottle of Vodka, it wasn’t us, but we were all winners as we got to eat our delicious kebabs.
Next stop was the VIP lounge to collect our complimentary glass of champagne and a copy of The Incredible Spice Men cookery book. The Assado stand was directly outside the lounge so we got our books signed by Cyrus Todiwala, who was a pleasure to meet.
Me & Cyrus Todiwala
Belly of Pork
We ordered the Belly of Pork Assado on Shredded Red Chilli Risotto and Ostrich Bhuna. The chef even came over while we were eating to see if we were enjoying our dishes, which we thoroughly were.
Whilst walking about we saw DJ BBQ, who I recognised from Food Junkies and Alex James, one of my husbands idols, more photo opportunities!
Alex James with Hubby
Me & DJ BBQ
My husband went to the Hixter stand and ordered Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers.
Yorkshire pud & whipped chicken livers
Next stop was Club Gascon one of our favourites! We ordered the Duck & Dog and the Squirrel Terrine. Chef Pascal Aussignac served the dishes, and posed for a pic. The duck and dog was my favourite dish of the night, this restaurant frequently win best in taste award at these events, this was my winner.
My Husband with Chef Aussignac
Duck & Dog
We took our dishes into the Electrolux Taste Theatre to watch a demonstration by Atul Kochhar of Benares Restaurant. He was cooking with Brussel sprouts.
To be honest we left early as time was running out and we had loads of crowns to spend!
Kurobuta was the next stand we visited, this was the most popular stand, but they had a very organised system. So after a short wait I received my BBQ pork belly in steam buns with spicy peanut sauce and Miso Grilled Hot Wings, the food was definitely worth the wait.
Pork Belly Bun
We made a return visit to Club Gascon for the Gascon Mess, Chef Pascal was in a playful mood and greeted me through the ‘O’ hanging from his stand.
We were both absolutely stuffed now, so we frantically went round trying to use up the crowns on our cards but unfortunately the stalls we has visited did not have the terminal for the taste club cards. Some were only accepting cash too. Fortunately now you can apply online for a refund for any unused crowns, which was not possible with the paper crowns. The card is a much better way to pay and it made the transaction quicker, rather than having to stand counting out the paper crowns.
So the time had slipped away, the session had flown by, tobacco dock is a great location although it did take a while to get to know the layout it was very cosy and really suited the winter theme. There is so much to do and get involved in, so many food outlets and stalls to browse. There are lots of free samples too, so it can be as expensive or as cheap as you want, it’s great for foodies or just a great night/day out. Its a great way to meet and interact with the chefs. Taste of London and taste of winter, as a foodie, are by far my favourite food festivals. So I look forward again to the summer and Taste of London in Regents Park.