‘Tis the season to support local businesses! 🎄

Evening,

I’m writing this very brief piece to remind you that the Christmas month countdown is here. The season on spending is upon us!

I spent yesterday morning doing a mad dash around town, which always sucks and is super stressful! But, I stopped for a coffee in a small local coffee shop and it instantly relieved me of what was about to be a break down!

Ive said it before and I will say it again, probably next Christmas, because I think it is so bloody important!

No. ESSENTIAL.

Go and buy from local businesses, small businesses!

Stop for coffee and food in local places.. Make a difference! Be a shopping superhero!

Also, I feel like Christmas is the time for markets, farmers markets and local Christmas markets.. Seeing stalls and stands make me happy and buying from them is even better!

Anyway, let me know who and where your going this Christmas (especially if your in Cornwall)

Big Love, Jade x
Blogger, Lover of food.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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

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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!

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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

 

Tips and Tricks of ‘Instagramming’ Dinner!

We live in an age where everyone wants to share everything! who they are, what they are doing, who they are doing it with, what they think of something, and most importantly WHAT THEY ARE EATING!

you know the type, you go out for some food and it arrives looking great, and out comes the phone! “oooh hang on, let me take a picture!” “I’ve got to Instagram this!” “that looks awesome, i’m gonna take a picture! Don’t eat it yet!!”  I know this type all too well, because I am this person. Much to the embarrassment of all my friends and family, it there is food, I will probably take a picture of it!!

Of course, now I have this blog, I can justify it in the name of research… kinda.

So I am going to write you a little ‘How To’ Guide to Instagramming (or just generally taking pictures) of your true love.. FOOD!

Tip #1 – Get The right angle

I like a close up, especially if you can get some little detail in there. Birdseye view is always good when you have more than one of something to show off like with this Sushi or a slightly “angled to the side – view”. I’m not sure what the technical term is but it looks great! eg – Gooey Brie Drool..

 

Tip #2 – Background is everything

This is important and may take some time to get used to, but background is everything! try not to take pictures of some amazing food with dirty dishes in the background or someone picking their nose!! NO ONE WANTS THAT!

wood is always lovely to use as a background, or classic white to make colors pop!

I also enjoy the odd clip of a person sharing the experience with you, I HAVE FRIENDS YA KNOW!

Tip #3 Lighting

One way to make your pictures look more professional is to make sure you have good lighting, just like anything, light makes a photo look crisp and clear. Your photos will stand out from a cloud of muggy, filtered, dull photos. It can be the difference between eye grabbing and not!

 

Tip #4 Editing and filters

If you must do it, do it well. i use editing apps on my phone and tablet to make food stand out and the enhance elements of the photo. For me, an app can bring all of the above to a photo after it has been taken, which is great if like me you take pictures of everything even if you are in a rush! I use FOTOR, NOCROP and FACETUNE for my after snap editing but there are loads of great apps and online tools. Of course, there is Photoshop.. I’m just rubbish with that!

 

Anyway, they are my first few tips for photographing your food. Have fun with it, be imaginative and send me your finished pics! The only thing i love more than taking pictures of food is looking at pictures of food!

I’m Hungry now. 

Jx

Sam’s Eid al -Fitr Food Thoughts Takeover!

The day of Eid ul-fitr has come after Muslims, who are of suitable health and age, have been fasting from sunrise to sunset every day for the entire month of Ramadan,  safe to say, we’re hungry… So let’s talk about what Muslims get up to on Eid day and finish with a few of my Eid favourites from our community here in Cornwall.

First thing to note is that there are around 50 Muslim majority countries in the world. From Indonesia to Morocco and a whole bunch in between from Albania to Kazakhstan. The food on Eid day is as diverse as the people who cook it. Most of what unites the Muslims on Eid day is actually ‘how’ we eat rather than ‘what’.

Whilst we are a diverse bunch, there are some foodie practices which are religious in their essence and we all share them regardless of culture.

The first key food is dates. We know that our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would always break his fast with dates and in his desert environment were a valuable source of “fibre-ey goodness” . Likewise, honey and black seed oil are ingredients which are directly from the religion. Whilst that is pretty much all we have in common in terms of actual foods, and are therefore the only things which could be called Muslim foods, we all do share a community and family approach to Eid day which is understood in every language. picture one

Here in Cornwall, our Muslim community is made up of Bangladeshis, local Cornish converts, Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Sudanese, Pakistanis, Indians and Malaysians. My wife and I usually spend the day hoping in and out of homes visiting and bringing presents for our friends. Throughout the day, we will usually eat a bite or two from around 5 different cuisines in the one day when visiting friends and sharing one of my wife’s specials from her home country. So let’s have a look at some of my Eid day delights! In fact, these are the very dishes which we enjoyed today!

pakastani

malasian

 

We sampled food such as; Biriani, Chicken Curry on the bone, Mini Yoghart, Sticky Rice cubes, Beef Curries, White rice egg curry, Veg and coconut green curry and a number of ‘rice pudding line’ sweets!

 


sam
Thanks for having our fun food day of Eid
on the
Blog, Jade!
Sam Burr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can follow Sam and learn more about Islam, Arabic and Somalia on the below links!

Thanks for the insight!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1TlFeBT5McJx4VUPp1y7Dg

https://www.facebook.com/SamOfSomalia/

https://www.instagram.com/samofsomalia/