Petersfield Food Festival 2012 and my second Cookery Demo

 Petersfield is not too far from me and I went to their food festival last year. It boasted a marvellous selection and variety of stalls. I happily ate my way around last year and was looking forward to going again this year. The only difference was that this year I was to be part of the festival and do a cookery demonstration.
petersfield food festival 2012

The sky looked as though it wasn’t going to be on our side but the sun was shining away by the afternoon. Before and after the demo I had a good look around at the stands and producers, there were some great stalls and I sampled an awful lot of lovely food. Below is a small selection of producers who I was able to have a nice long chat to. 

petersfield food festival 2012 - stalls
It’s not food but I thought these little wooden ducks were very sweet. There were quite a few craft stalls dotted within the food stands which made it more varied. Last year there were lots of cake and cupcake stands but this year there were more cheese stands than any other. A few even sold out of cheese before the festival was over.
petersfield food festival 2012 - local juices

The first stall I found was The Bloomberry Juice Co who make brilliant juice drinks, each one with a berry and a bloom inside. My favourite was Apple, Blueberry and Lavender. They also do an Orange, Honey and Elderflower which is just my cup of tea! I liked these because they weren’t too sweet and had honest, natural flavours. 

petersfield food festival 2012 - wild foods stall

One stall that was of particular interest was the Wild Foragers. They had mushrooms I had only ever dreamed about; hedgehog mushroom, blewitt and horn of plenty. They also had samphire, sea purslane and wild garlic. The samphire and sea purslane were wonderfully salty, the samphire being really juicy too.

petersfield food festival 2012 - wild mushrooms

There was also a puffball the size of a watermelon (next to ‘Chicken of the Woods’ mushroom in picture) which my Dad admitted he had enjoyed kicking very much when he was younger. Apparently they explode into millions of pieces with enough force. 

petersfield food festival 2012 - chutney stall

The Hampshire Chutney Co were there too. I have spoken to Shelly on Twitter a few times so it was nice to put a face to a tweet! Her chutneys were lovely particularly the Caramelised Carrot Chutney. I liked the way the products were put out to sample in teacups; right up my street!  

petersfield food festival 2012 - getting ready for demo
This cookery demonstration was my second ever. It was a bit of a step up from the last one I did; there was a headset and television screens above the worktop. It was all very professional and as the day progressed I got more and more nervous.
petersfield food festival 2012 - ingredients

There were also many, many people sat outside enjoying the sunshine and eating some of the great food on offer; ice cream, pizza, curry, burgers, you name it. The time came for me to get up on stage and cook my socks off. I was keeping my fingers crossed that I didn’t fall over.

petersfield food festival 2012 - on stage

If you’ve met me you’ll know I’m not the tallest person. I was concerned that only my head would be seen above the worktop but a little rearranging of some carefully placed boxes gave me an extra foot or so of which I was very grateful. My hands were a bit shaky when I started which isn’t ideal when using sharp knives.

petersfield food festival 2012 - caroline

All of a sudden I was off and blabbering on. I’ve no idea what I said or didn’t say; do, didn’t do or did wrong and as soon as it started it was over. Bill, one of the organisers of the festival, was up on stage with me to keep me company while I was cooking away.

petersfield food festival 2012 - caroline

I made Beetroot, Walnut and Goat’s Cheese Pasta ‘Salad’ with Dill Dressing. I was hoping to win around some beetroot haters and please the beetroot lovers. Little did I know that as I was cooking away there was a little trickle of beetroot juice running down the front of the stage. I think everyone liked what I made as there wasn’t too much leftover. 

petersfield food festival 2012 - serving up food from demo

I really enjoyed both the demo and the festival. It is always nice to meet the people behind the food and talk to people who are passionate about what they do. Let’s hope next year it’s even bigger!


  1. says

    How very cool!!! You look like a natural up on the stage 🙂 I have a feeling you’ll be back next year! Your beet salad sounds fantastic~

  2. says

    I love this! Love going on an outing with you and seeing your work on stage! Like you I would have been mad for the wild foraged table. Purslane really grows as a week here but since I’ve discovered it’s culinary aspects I treat it with a bit more respect! Very fun post my friend.

  3. says

    What a nice post. I read and enjoyed it. It must be exciting to talk about food to so many people and you look quite young… I love your way to write posts. I noticed that even before discovering all the amazing recipes posted on your website.

  4. says

    How wonderful to be able to share your love for cooking at the festival… I would like to try some beet root recipes for sure… Perhaps a red velvet cake with beet root instead of red colouring would be a good start?

  5. says

    how i love going to a food festival! regret to say that i hv not really been to one..maybe once but such a mini one. You look great up there, the demo must have been good and i’m sure everyone loves your beetroot pasta salad!

  6. says

    I really enjoyed touring the Petersfield food festival via your post. Looks like it was loads of fun. Congrats on the cooking demo…you look like a real pro!

  7. says

    I admire you for being able to stand and cooking in front of lots of people. It builds confidence doing things like this. Well done you!

  8. says

    Anyone who doesn’t get nervous before speaking publicly isn’t normal. ; )

    I’ve never been around Petersfield at the time of their festival. Of course, living in Ludlow I’ve got the granddaddy of food festivals on my doorstep so I don’t hunt around much for others. Should do.

    I’d love to find a football-sized puffball. Golf ball is my biggest ever.

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