Had the luxury of some time off on Fri to check out EAST 2008 – festival celebrating the beauty of East London. The 6-day festival showcases a variety of offerings ranging from music, film, art, food etc……but since I’m forever the foodie fan, decided to immerse myself amongst the multitude of food stalls and cooking demonstrations at Spitalfields Market.
My eating adventure started with a Hot Chocolate Float from ChocStar, UK’s famous mobile chocolate van (http://www.chocstar.co.uk). Awesome velvety hot chocolate topped with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. What else can a girl want? Obviously so good that I didn’t get a chance to take a pic of it.
My journey continues deeper into the heart of Spitalfields Market where my senses were bombarded by the array of products on offer. Visually there were various stalls selling all sorts of objects for personal beautification ranging from clothing to jewellery. I was drawn more towards all the little stalls selling food and great ingredients.
Some of my favorite food stalls include:
– Rivington Grill with their table display of fresh seafood, rabbits & game birds. The restaurant was highlighting various British food ingredients.
– Sporeboys for their Wild Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil. Delicious!! (http://www.sporeboys.com)
(Part of the wild mushrooms being showcased)
(Wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil)
– incredible selection of sweet offering from Nutmeg Frog. Shame my stomach can only take so much sugar for a day and just settled for a sinful cheesecake with brownie base (http://www.nutmegfrog.co.uk)
Other than sampling all the great food, there was also several presentations on the mainstage. The first activity was the art of butchery by Sillfield Farm. A whole young lamb from Cumbria was skillfully carved onstage and the various cuts were auctioned off to the public. I was one of the lucky few who managed to purchase some of the prime cuts – bought 2 pieces of thick lamb chops for $5. Small price to pay for great tender meat which has not been frozen and shipped across the ocean.
Next up were 3 different cooking demonstrations; Head Chef of Rivington cooking up a platter of British seafood, Adwoa from Jollof Pot dishing up Ghanaian fish cake and spiced beans with plantain (bananas used for cooking) and chef from Scarlet for fusion Indian food. The best part of all these cooking demonstrations was the opportunity to see the chefs working up close and sample their wonderful dishes. Thank god I came to check the food festival at Spitalfields on a Friday, can’t imagine how ugly the crowd may get for free food the next day.
(Simon Wadham – head chef of Rivington)
(Adwoa from Jollof Pot demonstrating Ghanaian cuisine)
The final presentation of the day was in the form of dance-acrobatics from Mimbre (http://www.mimbre.co.uk). Group consists of only 3 young ladies who managed to enthrall me & rest of the crowd with their blend of dance & acrobatics. Definitely a modern twist to acrobatics compared to the jaw-dropping contortions from the typical Asian acrobats.
Definitely am looking forward to the summer and more offerings in terms of festivals and markets. Meanwhile, I seriously need to work out more to burn away all these great food I have been partaking since CNY!