Last week I was invited along to experience Taste of London in Regents Park, on a beautiful midweek sunny evening.
Taste of London, if you’ve not heard of it before is the world’s greatest restaurant festival. It’s the definitive guide to London’s best restaurants, top chefs and the most sublime food and drink. All in a festival style in the most glorious setting. Of course it helps if the sun shines too.
Many of London’s greatest restaurants serve miniature portions of their signature dishes, and lots offer the opportunity to both sample and buy their goods. Masterclasses are happening all through the timetable and world-class chefs give live cooking demonstrations. With over 55,000 people in attendance, it really is a monster of a show.
I was invited along by AEG, a key event sponsor; a brand with which I’m thrilled to say I’ve been working with in the last few months. You may remember I went along to Grand Designs to experience their new mastery range of ovens, and Taste was another chance for me to try food cooked and steamed with this new technology.
Well, it really wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It was vast. From fun foodie stalls, to drinking tents, to VIP Champagne areas, the festival truly has it all. Even a Pimms bus.
The atmosphere was electric. Groups of friends were gathered after work ready to taste some of the best food London has to offer, and share a glass of cider or cocktail in the sunshine. After a cheeky glass of champagne in the VIP tent, I was off for my masterclass.
AEG were sponsoring the School of Wok Masterclass sessions in the Take Taste Further tent, and I was invited to go along and try my hand at making my own dish, Pork Bau with Hong Kong Iced Milk Tea. I love to cook and was looking forward to trying to make something with 40 other people following instructions from the AEG and School of Wok team.
We made our own little dumplings which were taken off and steamed in the bank of AEG ovens (I’m pretty sure I got my own back!) and had fun using the AEG hobs in combination with a School of Wok, wok. There’s nothing quite like trying to cook for yourself whilst following the instructions in real time. You can watch it on tv all you like, but there’s nothing like following a live cookathon.
The pork used in the dish has been sous vide in the AEG ovens – a technique where the food is slow cooked on a low temperature whilst vacuum sealed – and once stir fried in the mixture of sauces, we piled it high in our dumplings and our dish was done. The iced tea drink, with lashings of condensed milk was a great accompaniment, and the pork was just sublime.
In due course I’m going to be putting one of these stylish AEG ovens into my own kitchen and I’m looking forward to putting this technology to the test.
Before I left the festival I wanted to grab a few more shots to use on social media and the blog. I was on my own. Many people were in groups, having a great time, but everyone was friendly. I had 30 minutes to get to my train home, but people kept stopping me to take their photos. And many offered to take mine too. I obliged of course, and got caught up in the atmosphere. It was fun and friendly, such a lovely way to end the evening in the sun. Goodbye Taste – I’ll be back.
I was given a VIP pass to Taste courtesy of AEG. It was the first time I’d experienced the event and all opinions and comments are genuine and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the blog possible.