Review: The BIG Food Show

As a self-professed foodie, you can imagine my utter joy when the fabulous Razz team offered up press passes to The BIG Food Show last weekend. The first of its kind to come to Devon, the BIG Food Show was a glorious celebration of all things food; a three day festival of foodie-heaven offering guests a variety of culinary activities: from watching professional chefs at action, to lusting after extravagant kitchen equipment, to perusing stalls selling delicious local produce. All in all, a wonderful weekend of food-filled fun!

On Sunday morning, a very lucky friend and I took a break from the tedium of third-year life, ordinarily plagued with dissertation stresses, essay deadlines and tear-inducing reading lists, to embark on a magical culinary adventure. Arriving just in time for lunch, we were amazed by the sheer array of food available, and, by extension, the number of free samples we were able to snarfle (we put our expert student scrounging skills to good use!) Cakes, flapjacks, brownies, ice cream, cheeses, salami, chutneys, jams, presses and fudge (so much fudge!), this fair had every type of food you could possibly dream of and, mooching around the stalls nibbling on our free fudge/cake/brownie, etc. was, quite frankly, a dream come true.

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Photo credit: The Big Food Show

After much deliberation (and free sampling), we decided to buy our lunch from Good Game, a pop-up kiosk selling lovingly barbecued gourmet burgers made from locally sourced Devon meat. Just in case you were wondering, our burgers – steak, cheese and bacon, and venison respectively- were utterly delicious! We followed this yumminess up with a pot of Bailey’s ice cream, courtesy of Otter Valley dairy (because what respectable student could refuse the celestial union of alcohol and ice cream?!) and a scrumptious slice of chocolate and raspberry cake from the folks at Let Them Eat Cake, a bakery that has mastered the art of selling cakes that are actually good for you!

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Photo credit: The Big Food Show

Had funds, and stomach space, permitted we would have happily eaten our way through all the food at the show, however, the fun was far from over as we settled down to watch the live demonstrations while nursing our severely stuffed stomachs. There were different chefs lined up for demonstrations each day of the show and, going on Sunday, we were lucky enough to see Shropshire-based chef Marcus Bean and the ebullient celebrity double-act, The Hairy Bikers. Bean’s presentation was interesting, informative and mouth-watering, despite the ridiculous quantities of food we’d already consumed by this point! The Hairy Bikers produced an equally delicious looking meal, however, their demonstration was less about the food than the comedy. They were, quite simply, hilarious, thoroughly entertaining the crowd with their comical banter, witty anecdotes and ironic quips, although witnessing the “flirtation” between one of the pair and an unfortunate woman in the front-row was rather cringe-worthy at times!

All in all the day was absolutely fabulous, undoubtedly one of the most fun outings I’ve had this year at uni. The festival will return to Exeter next year and the company will be hosting other food events as the year goes so, fellow foodies, keep your ears open and make sure you get yourselves down to the BIG Food Festival next year as it is definitely not to be missed!

Rebecca Shepard

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