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Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival

Posted on 8th July 2011 in Events, Industry News
Written by: Alex Gore

Working in foodservice PR, dodging news of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, his charitable projects and his endless success in the hospitality industry is almost unavoidable. As a charitable foodie myself I have always been a fan so on Saturday 2nd July I ventured all the way to Clapham Common to check out what Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival had in store.

The boutique, family friendly festival was a treat, bringing together music from artists such as Athlete, fashion stalls, artisan food markets and pop up kitchens from leading bars and restaurants. Despite being a slightly expensive day out, all the money raised was kindly given to The Prince’s Trust and The Jamie Oliver Foundation to help disadvantaged young people.

Surrounded by almost every food imaginable I was in my element and coming from a leading foodservice agency I used my hunger for foodservice knowledge as an excuse to devour as much as possible. The fact that all the proceeds would be donated to charity was just the icing on the cake.

Browsing along the rows of pop up kitchens it was easy to judge how popular each dish was by the size of the queue. One of the longest was for the award winning mexican market, Wahaca which was one of my favourites, satiating my hunger with a delicious feta and salsa fajita style dish. Although there were dishes inspired by destinations from across the globe I was happy to see I could also still enjoy a traditional portion of fish and chips. There were also some impressive homemade goodies on offer such as giant chocolate brownies and huge original oreos from La Fromagerie which were highly recommendable.

Jamie Oliver himself was even on hand revealing cooking secrets and providing a practical demonstration with his ‘student’ guest Johnny Vaughan, who added a comical element to the entertaining cook off. The lesson included instruction on how to smoke fish in a biscuit tin which looked pretty intruiging and a salad dish which was handed out to the audience to be tried and tested, whilst the Oliver family looked on from the sidelines.

The celebrity chef’s tongue in cheek, shameless promotion of his own cooking products and website just made the demonstration more enjoyable, even tempting me to rush online afterwards and check out the star’s own range.