Public Service Announcement: Best Before does not mean throw away immediatly!

We’ve all had this conversation right?

“Ooh its on its best before, we should just throw out this whole bag of perfectly good carrots?”

NO!

I’m not ranting too much dont worry, but i do feel that we have lost our common sense when it comes to food packaging (dont get me started on that) and dates.

So what’s the difference?

It’s pretty simple;

BEST BEFORE is pretty much what it says on the tin, usually seen on fruit and veg.. It means that it is best to eat it before the date shown, however it will not kill you to eat it after that date. It’s more of a guideline.

USE BY: eat it by the date given, usually seen on meat and dairy and other food which are likely to make you ill if you eat them afterwards.

Obviously i stick to the USE BY dates on things, but BEST BEFORE definitely leaves you with some room to use your brain..
This is key to reducing food waste! This country throws away around 13 billion worth of food every year!! That is ridiculous and i can’t help but think that some of that is purely best before food in perfectly good condition.

My mum is a prime example of the kind of person who just throws stuff away because it in on its BEST BEFORE date..

“Jade we need more carrots, these ones are off” erm no.. they look great..

I usually have to ‘forget’ accidentally on purpose to buy new carrots so that we have to use them.

Now i’m not blaming people who do this, but i am trying to inform you that BEST BEFORE is not gospel, please ignore the date and look at the food, if it’s a big soft try doing something different with it.. A nice veg soup? Juice it up? Roast it?
Just because it has a mark or a bruise does not make it imperfect! Let’s start getting thrifty with our BEST BEFORE food!

Let’s change the conversation. #wantnotwaste
Let’s make some amazing food with ingredients that are past their BEST BEFORE!

If you have any good recipes, send them in and pictures! I love pictures!

Big Love, Jade x
Blogger, Lover of food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline
Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

Advice, thoughts and opinions!

Hello!

Yes, its me, not dead.. just absolutely awful at self motivation and channelling everyday inspiration into my writing.

Incase you hadnt noticed, i suck at actively writing on here. I find it so difficult to come up with enough interesting content that doesnt include me ranting and swearing!

I want to change this. I want to write something new for anyone that is reading this, because believe it or not, i am a VERY interesting person and very passionate about food and all things foodie related.. hence the blog being started in the first place.. the problem is, i dont know what kind of content you, as an audience actually want from me.

so i would like you to get in touch and tell me what you wanna read!

Help a sister out here.

Big Love, Jade x

Blogger, Lover of food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline

Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

It’s OK to not be OK.

Morning lovely people.

As you may or may not be aware, it is mental health awareness week and I felt a very strong urge to write a little bit about my mental health. Sometimes it’s not OK. Sometimes it’s a bloody mess and guess what.. That’s OK.

A smile can hide a thousand thoughts and life gets in the way of happiness or stability sometimes.

Work stress, family stress anything can throw a spanner in your mental health and sometimes you don’t need anything at all to set it off, you just wake up one day and feel like that’s it!

I struggled in kitchens with these feelings because unfortunately I feel that (like many other industries) there is this toxic masculine approach to feelings. It’s not OK to show your stressed or upset. If you cry your done! Have you ever seen a man cry in a professional kitchen? I bet not and if you have I bet no one talked about it again. Have you ever seen a women cry? Was she called a emotional girl? I bet.. I’ve seen it and I’ve had it said to me. The fact of the matter is that.. That is bullshit!

Life is messy. High end, stressful, long hour jobs like being a chef.. Are messy. You are doing amazing.

It’s OK to be OK.

Take some time, breathe some fresh air, talk to people about how you feel, no matter how embarrassed or wierd you think it is and if you have no one to talk to you can send me a message and I will listen!!

Take this opportunity to change an industry with openness and love and compassion.

Take this opportunity to change the way we look at mental health. We wouldn’t expect people to run around with broken legs so why expect it from someone with damaged mental health.

Love to everyone inside the hospitality industry suffering in silence and big love to everyone outside of it feeling the same.

Never suffer alone. Its OK to not be OK.

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline

Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from everyone here at Food For Thought HQ! Which is mostly me and a 6 year old and a sleeping person.. But still, it sounds cool and professional right? 😂

I’m currently chained to the stove, cooking my amazing (if I say so myself) roast leg of lamb with white wine, mint, rosemary, anchovy, lemon and lots of seasoning! It will be in there for about 4 hours gently marinating and turning into delicious fall off the bone goodness!

We are doing quite a small, very springy roast today with carrots and asparagus and all that lovely veg that comes with April seasonal change.. Although, it is not actually that nice outside so we are still gonna have roasties and loads of gravy and.. Yorkshire puddings! Controversial I know, I’ve had this conversation a million times.. But I have them with any and every roast! Don’t agree.. Let me know! Do agree.. Let me know!

Also, big shout out to everyone working in the industry today! Making sure everyone has some lovely foodie times with family and friends.. You guys and girls are awesome and we love you!! 😘👊

Anyway, have a wonderful day and feel free to send me your pictures of food. I love them! 🐑🐇🐣

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline

Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

Have you heard of Penrose Kitchen?!

It’s a bit like the child’s story.. Down the dark dark village there is a dark dark road and in the dark dark road there is a car park and by the dark dark carpet there is Penrose kitchen. Blink at night and you’ll miss it. Luckily for us, we made the right turning and found our way inside. The building was warm and relaxed with a sense of style.. 100% an extension of the owners Samantha and Ben.

Can I firstly, make a point of saying that it has been a really long time since I have received such brilliant service. Genuine conversation and interest in our opinions and lives. Very refreshing. This followed by beautiful food from Ben meant that we were really in for a treat.

We started with gin. As always. Followed by some truly excellent starters, I had the Mushroom Orzo (do you know what that is? I didn’t!) then the main of Seabass with PSB and black pudding and potatoes. It was delicious and everything you can expect from someone as experienced as Ben.. Seriously impressive CV!

We decided to share a couple of puds. I was full already for the flavours out of the kitchen had impressed us so much that we went for it anyway. Chocolate brownie and panacotta to share.

Overall the dining experience was excellent and the service was also great. I was however disappointed that there were not more people to enjoy it.

I haven’t really been writing review on this blog page because it doesn’t come naturally to me, however I felt it really important to try and get word out for the guys at Penrose. They are following their own ideas and dreams and all though the road has been bumpy they have chosen to go ahead anyway, not changing for anyone and honestly I see absolutely no reason why they should!! The place is lovely , the food is perfect (nice to have some fine dining style in Truro) and they have something really genuine about them. It was almost like having dinner with friends! I can not wait to go back and try the lunch menu!

Thanks for a wonderful evening

Check them out here: http://www.penrosekitchen.co.uk

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline

Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

Why are chefs such rockstars?

I always found it so fascinating before going into hospitality, how people looked up to TV chefs as celebrities.. Paying money to go to festivals and demos, taking selfies with chefs and buying every book or watching every show they made. Chefs are cool and sexy right? They are dangerous, they play with fire and they can create stuff. People worship the likes of Jamie Oliver, Delia and Anthony Bourdain.

I think it all started with the likes of Marco pierre White.. Giving us this in depth look into the mystery of the hidden kitchen. A place we’re a very specific person worked. People who drink and smoke and swear, work with knives and have no families or friends outside of their world. Chefs were like criminals who could make art with food. Suddenly that was cool. Chefs were brought more into the limelight and glamourized. The title of chef gained instant respect and interest.

When I told people I was a chef, I was met with expressions of astonishment sometimes.. “wow, a chef that’s amazing”. People wanting to know what started you off and why you do it and wanting to know about hours and stress and schedules.. How the other half live. The ones who refuse to do a 9-5 but instead go down a different and more difficult path to express their passions and creativity. Sometimes you could drop it into conversation and gain the attention of a whole crowd. It was crazy.

The truth is… Chefs are rockstars in a way. They are creative and driven and they work really hard. They sacrifice a awful lot in the name of providing a nice experience for others. They are in control of stressful situations. TV chefs make it look easy but it’s not… However, the look on people’s faces, is rewarding. The respect is rewarding. The instant gratification of knowing that somebody is impressed with your job is nice.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it all sometimes, including those reactions.. But, that’s not the way the world always works. So for now, I shall keep doing this, in the hope that somebody is reading it somewhere and cares, even slightly about my opinions.. That would make me feel like a rock star.

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

Join me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/foodforthoughtonline

Instagram me :https://www.instagram.com/foodforthoughtonlineblog

What it’s like to be the person with the noisy kid at a restaurant!

Hello.
Yes i’m the person you roll your eyes at when you are in a restaurant or pub. The person who you judged the minute i walked into the room with a child.

Great. Another romantic meal ruined? shouldn’t kids just be banned from these places? urgh.

The thing is.. there is absolutely no reason why i should get this reaction. I have every right to take my brother (who is 5.. and loud) wherever i go.. unless you have excessive booze or sex on your menu. obviously.  But hear me out. life doesn’t stop when the kids are around and so it shouldn’t.

In Europe and many countries abroad, kids are welcomed in to the night life, the restaurants and the culture and why the hell not? why do you have to grow up before you can sit and chat and laugh with your friends and family. Why do you have to sit down and shut up, don’t look at anyone else or make any kind of scene. We went out for a family meal this week. 3 Adults and 2 children at 6.30pm on a Friday night, they dressed nice and we enjoyed a family meal. Yes, we had the kids that jumped around (he was excited, we dont get to go out as a family often) , climbed under the table and didn’t want to eat the dinner he ended up with. We had the child who isnt very good at sitting down and shutting up.  Yes, we got the looks. quickly handed some colouring in the hope that he would calm down. Judged from other tables. Yes, it bothered me, put me on edge and made me feel like i had done something wrong or spoken some unspoken rule.

If we had been loud enough to disturb other tables, i would have understood. But we weren’t. People just assumed that we would because it was evening and there were children… How is it that i dont have to apologise for a loud adult friend drinking and laughing or a group of adults eating and celebrating who as a collective are louder than normal but i constantly have to apologise for a child, who is being completely harmless and being exactly what they are meant to be, a child?! The fact of the matter is that we paid just as much money if not more than some of those people and we have the right to take children to a restaurant to enjoy good food and good company.. so why, in this day and age, should children been seen and not heard when out at dinner?

Kids lives should be broadened and enriched with all sorts of experiences, including going to dinner and trying new places and new foods. I am very unhappy to admit that i select places to eat based on how child friendly they are. It sucks.

Step Up UK. I wanna take children to dinner and it not be an issue!! who’s with me??

Jade
Blogger, Lover of Food.

Let’s talk about sex..ism, baby!

Successful, female chef.

It’s not dirty talk. It’s real talk coming up right now.

I spent my three or four years or however long it was in kitchens being called things like darling, love, dear, babe and even sugar tits.

Being called naggy or bossy if I had an opinion on something. Working doubly hard for half the amount of respect..

I’m not a raging feminist I don’t understand why feminists need men to burn for what they’ve done, that’s kinda crazy. I just want people to be seen as equal, I don’t think it’s fair that because women are seen as more likely to have family or develop other distractions that get in the way of work. But it’s true.. I support my family, as you all may know and i would opt to do fewer, longer days to accommodate for that. I would work 3/4 14 hour days – that’s up to 59 hours! In three days! But I was looked at as a part timer, a little girl who couldn’t hack doing “real chef hours”

When I first started training, I met and fell for a chef in a higher position than me. If I had known that it is acceptable for people to make the ludicrous comments they made about me in that time.. I would never have done it! I was a younger less experienced chef, dating an more experience higher positioned chef. I was also being recognised for my abilities at the same time. Unconnected. No one else saw it that way.. “extra practise at home? Did (no name) Teach you how to handle meat” “we all know what you did for that mark”

Guess who was called a slut. Not him. Me. I was 20..and it knocked my confidence, it made me doubt myself and my ability as a chef, it haltered my progression!

I look around my profession and there is a very small amount of women. That’s no shock.. I see female head chefs and I wonder how much they had to sacrifice to get there… How much extra they gave, how hard they had to work to get to where they are now! I have known women who have had to move all around the country, working harder to get more information to be taught things that people don’t want to teach anymore. (but that’s a point for another day)

The first time I moved up in a kitchen, some one made a joke about who I had given a blowjob to, to get this step up.

Now don’t get me wrong, not all male chefs are like that.. Some of the men I have worked with have been inspirational. Some have them have helped me grow and learn and progress without prejudice.

I guess the moral of this story is to be more like them. Be a good guy! If your in a kitchen with a woman, be the guy who jokes with her not at her expense.

If a woman’s place is in the kitchen.. Than let us be in the kitchen!!

Hey if you have any kitchen related stories, get in touch! I’d love to hear them!

 Jade 
Blogger, Lover of Food.

A Shucking Good Time!

Last weekend I spent some time down in Falmouth watching chef demo’s and tasting fantastic street food! I also did some sample tasting and spoke to some of the local suppliers who had gathered to the tent situated in event square.

Demo’s included Arty William’s from The cove and Michelin star chef Chris Eden from Driftwood.

Granted.. I was only there on the Sunday (damn responsibilities) but I had a great time. St Michael’s Hotel and Spa were definitely the starts of the show, with there Oyster Bar, Champagne Bar and Fresh Seafood Kitchen in the corner of the main marquee area.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was one down side for me though.. I hate Oysters!

cof
Oysters.. ew. – But beautifully prepared and served by the St Michael’s Staff.

So lunch for me was a wild Cornish venison tartiflette – potato, venison, and cheese.  (find out more about the Cornish Venison Co. and follow them on twitter here) Honestly what more could you need!

IMG_20171015_134615_839
Venison Tartiflette and Apple Slayer cider. YUM.

Music was provided by Suzi Mac (wow what a voice!) and fun was had by all!!

Another great year for the  Falmouth Oyster Festival – Check them out for next year!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date on all my latest foodie Posts.

Taste Of The West Awards

Its that time of the year again. Best of the west –  a time when hundreds of southwest based companies compete to receive gold, silver and highly commended. 100 hundred judges and voters filtered their way through 1000’s of products. Below are the winners. a couple of personal favorites to note are Cornish Duck Co. LTD Cornwall – I visited their farm when i was part of Fifteen Cornwall and they really do love and care for their animals. They look after every process from looking after eggs, to rearing the ducks, to on site slaughter and processing. – Their ethos is great and their quality shows in the products.

Another noted winner was the Cornish Edible Insects company – I saw these guys at the Cornwall food and Drink Festival in Truro last year (here’s a link– check it out, a foodie must in Cornwall) Such a brave and great set of products from the brain of Fred McVittie! I tried meal worms for the first time! surprisingly lovely.

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck to everyone for next year!

The winnersImage result for taste of the west

CHAMPION BACON Roam & Relish Organic Honey Smoked Streaky Bacon, Eversfield Organic, Devon

CHAMPION BEER Kingsdown, Arkell’s Brewery, Wiltshire

CHAMPION BURGERS, FAGGOTS & MEATBALLS Gluten Free Cornish Duck Burger, Cornish Duck Co. Ltd, Cornwall

CHAMPION CHEESE Sharpham Cremet, Sharpham Partnership, Devon

CHAMPION CHOCOLATE Champagne Truffle, Lick the Spoon, Wiltshire

CHAMPION CIDER Red Hen, Worley’s Cider, Somerset

CHAMPION CONFECTIONERY Salted Maple & Pecan Fudge, Roly’s Fudge, Devon

CHAMPION CURED MEAT Smoked Mutton Capreolus, Fine Foods, Dorset

CHAMPION DAIRY PRODUCT Happy Butter Turmeric Ghee ‘Golden Ghee’, Happy Butter, Devon

CHAMPION DESSERT Devon Bakewell Tart, Just Like Mumma’s Ltd, Devon

CHAMPION FISH IOS ‘Tegen Mor’ Crab Cakes, Tanglewood Kitchen Company, Isles of Scilly

CHAMPION ICE CREAM Mango Yogurt Gelato, Taste of Sidmouth Ltd, Devon

CHAMPION MEAT & POULTRY Organic Rib Eye Steak, Coombe Farm Organic, Somerset

CHAMPION NON-ALCOHOLIC COLD DRINK Rhubarb & Apple Cordial, Cornish Country Cordials, Cornwall

CHAMPION NON-ALCOHOLIC HOT DRINK Chaider’ (Chai-Spiced Apple Juice), Herby4, Somerset

CHAMPION READY MEALS, SOUPS & LIGHT EATS Classic Chicken Curry Bini, Fine Foods Ltd, Somerset

CHAMPION SAUCES & ACCOMPANIMENTS Pickled Lemon Spread, Yossi Foods Ltd, Bristol

CHAMPION SAUSAGE Traditional Pork Sausages, Sausage Shed, Somerset

CHAMPION SAVOURY BAKERY Chicken & Mushroom Sausage Roll, Little Jack Horner’s Ltd, Somerset

CHAMPION SAVOURY PRESERVE Caramelised Fig Chutney, Hillside Foods, Devon

CHAMPION SWEET BAKERY Lemon Drizzle Cake, Angel Cake Company, Dorset

CHAMPION SWEET PRESERVE Blaisdon Red Plum Jam, Artisan Kitchen, Gloucestershire

CHAMPION WINES, SPIRITS & LIQUEURS Sharpham Barrel Fermented 2014, Sharpham Partnership, Devon

BEST SOUTH WEST BUTCHER Greendale Butchers, Exeter

BEST SOUTH WEST FARM SHOP Greendale Farm Shop, Exeter

BEST SOUTH WEST FARMERS’ MARKET St Ives Farmers’ Market, Cornwall

BEST SOUTH WEST ONLINE RETAILER Riverford Organic Farmers Ltd, Devon

BEST SOUTH WEST SPECIALIST RETAILER/DELICATESSEN The Cheese Press, Torquay

BEST SOUTH WEST BED & BREAKFAST (joint winner) Dorset House, Lyme Regis

BEST SOUTH WEST BED & BREAKFAST (joint winner) Swan Hill House, Colyford, Devon

BEST SOUTH WEST CAFÉ/TEA ROOM Tea & Tittle Tattle, Budleigh Salterton

BEST SOUTH WEST CASUAL DINER Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh

BEST SOUTH WEST DINING PUB Victoria Inn, Salcombe

BEST SOUTH WEST HOTEL Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, Clearwell, Royal Forest of Dean

BEST SOUTH WEST LOCAL FOOD TO GO Titley Green, Colaton Raleigh, Devon

BEST SOUTH WEST RESTAURANT Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow, Cornwall

SOUTH WEST FOOD & DRINK INNOVATION AWARD Cornish Edible Insects, Cornwall

BEST NEWCOMER AWARD Happy Butter Turmeric Ghee ‘Golden Ghee’, Happy Butter

SOUTH WEST PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, Somerset

NO 1 PLACE TO GO 2017 Victoria Inn, Salcombe

SUPREME CHAMPION PRODUCT 2017 Sharpham Cremet, Sharpham Partnership, Devon