The following post is written by Naomi who attended this event for EatCookExplore. She is a British food blogger; of Chinese and Vietnamese heritage; sharing (mostly) gluten-free Asian recipes.
Recently I was asked to go along to an event in Old St, London organised by Haywards. The email said that we would be shown 6 different dishes to make. I was so tempted to email them back to ask what were the names of the dishes. Anyone that knows me knows that I hate the unexpected.
I headed towards the station and hop on the tube to Old Street. I know Old Street fairly well as it’s quite near my favourite Vietnamese eateries. Unfortunately, the event was being held in the opposite direction to the eateries so there was no time to pop in for a quick bowl of my favourite beef pho. Maybe next time!
I finally arrived at my destination and was greeted by Michele, one of the organiser. She then asked me to help myself to the refreshments that were on offer.
After 15 minutes of munching on Doritos and mingling with other food bloggers such as stressedmum.co.uk and Chris from tikichris.com. We were given an introduction about Haywards and what they were trying to achieve. They wanted to change people’s perception of eating pickles as a side dish and wanted to show us that pickles can be used to create delicious meals and wholesome salads.
We were then introduced to Denise, a freelance chef and food stylist. Who told us that we were going to prepare six different dishes using six different products from Haywards and that there was one recipe per a workstation. She asked us to position ourselves at any of the recipes that we liked the most. I quickly positioned myself against the Brazilian seafood salad. Who can resist seafood? Not me – I’m Asian!
After positioning ourselves next to our chosen recipes. Denise began to demonstrate how to make 3 out of the 6 recipes. Which were piccalilli turkey curry, goat’s cheese and carmelised onion tart and barbeque steak and slaw. Wow! The aroma of the piccalilli turkey curry quickly filled the room. I thought I couldn’t wait to try this dish as it smelt so good!
Once the demo was finished we all started working on our chosen recipes. I decided to team up with Chris to make the seafood salad. Most of the ingredients were right in front of us.
Although they weren’t the exact ingredients that we were told to used. For instance, we were supposed to use the hot and spicy pickled onions but instead had to use the medium and tangy pickled onions because the spicy one was not available. I think we both did a marvelous job. The salad only took around 15 minutes to make and it looked very tasty. The skill required was chopping up the herbs and the picked onions. Nothing major!
Chris offered to carry our plates of food to the other room and he laid it down on a large white dinning table with the rest of the other dishes. I quickly queued up and grabbed a plate and fork. Every single dish looked fantastic so I decided to take a small portion of each dish and put on my plate. I sat down at the nearest table and started nibbling away.
Out of all the dishes, I would have to say that the piccalilli turkey curry was my favourite. Although, I did thoroughly enjoy the salad that Chris and I made. I just felt that it would have tasted the same with or without the pickles. The recipe only required us to use 2 pickled onions, which didn’t really make a difference when you had large quantities of the other ingredients such as the kidney beans, mangos, salad and seafood.
Overall, I had a lovely evening spent eating food that I probably would never think about making at home. I did manage to take a jar of the piccalilli to see if I can come up with a recipe of my own.
Here is the link to the Brazilian Seafood Salad recipe that we had to make that day.
Enjoy and happy cooking! ☺
EatCookExplore was a guest of Haywards Pickles for this cooking class.