- Food & Drink
Hawksmoor opened their doors, apparently without fear, and welcomed in a bunch of food bloggers so they could cook and serve a feast of entirely blagged food to raise money for Action Against Hunger. Madness on their part, cheerful hyperbole on ours. Could a bunch of bloggers really dish up a five-course meal for 50 people? Of course we could; we’re brilliant.
We kicked the evening off with pretty canapés and Chapel Down sparkling wine. The best canapé was obviously the nibble that a very unusual chinaman and I made: Peter’s Yard crispbreads topped with a dollop of Brock Hall Farm fresh goats’ cheese, pomegranate seeds, a sprinkling of Halen Môn vanilla salt and some chives. These were genius. From the reaction of the crowd you would think that the Cheddar and herb gougères were the most popular canapé – they barely touched the platters before being hoovered up. But looking into the guests’ eyes, I knew that what their souls truly loved was the fruity goaty things.
In the kitchen Scandilicious, eatmynels and the war on cookbooks were showing food the meaning of being cooked. Or, in the case of the starter, the meaning of being marinated. Fish For Thought had driven a monkfish tail up from Cornwall (and donated a voucher to the auction) and it had been turned into a super fresh monkfish and beetroot tartare with added tomato salsa.
For the main course there was beef stew and lamb hotpot, courtesy of Donald Russell, and beautiful Laverstoke Park Farm buffalo steaks. I had swapped my prep hat for a waitress t-shirt and being a completely professional waitress, I went and stood by the table fellow-choppers-turned-guests Hollowlegs and a very unusual chinaman were sat at, opened my mouth and waited for them to stuff food in. They kindly obliged. I also generously agreed to drink a martini.
Scandilicious had made the dessert the day before: chocolate fondant with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a dusting of edible gold and silver. I helped apply the gold and silver, which meant the pudding was lightly glazed and the kitchen team were completely gilded. Bompass and Parr also supplied some humorous boob shaped jellies with gilded nipples – how we laughed and threw jelly about. To follow that, Msmarmitelover and Scandilicious plated up great big wodges of cheese from Pong, Trethowan’s Dairy and Brock Hall Farm. Fruit from Abel and Cole (Riverford supplied all the vegetables) and more Peter’s Yard crispbreads completed the platters.
The night was a roaring success, helped along by the bar team, who mixed up mean martinis and cocktails and poured out wine and beer to match the courses. The final auction was led by Tim Hayward and some great lots were won, including St John cookbooks signed by Fergus Henderson, a cookery lesson at Konstam and a holiday to Barcelona.
If you’re thinking: ‘How I wish I could have been there,’ I don’t blame you. But there is a way you can join the party, even at this late stage. First you’ll need a martini. Then you’ll need your computer, and possibly a second martini. There is going to be an online auction of blagged goodies that will totally take care of all your Christmas shopping and raise money for Action Against Hunger at the same time. Keep your eye on this ebay link and when the lots go up, you go into a bidding frenzy.
I have barely mentioned a quarter of the people and companies who donated time and goods to the Blaggers’ Banquet. For a significantly more thorough write-up of the evening, click here and for photos of the event, click here. And keep an eye on our Head Blaggerteer eatlikeagirl’s blog for more write-ups and links of the evenings.