Pastabites on tv
This week I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest audience at a filming of Market Kitchen, the food show on the Good Food Channel We do not have it on freeview, so I was not entirely sure what to expect, but I still applied to be part of after seeing a tweet about it. If it’s food, then I am up for it.
I am pretty sure that the only reason why they called me is that in the application form, I wrote my opening line as ‘I am the proud sister of an italian food writer’. It seems that having a sister in ‘the business’ does open a few doors, including those of a TV studio.
She would be so proud of me. Or maybe not! In any case, I was called back and after a chat with a friendly Richard from Optomen, I was invited to one of the sessions.
I have not been on TV as a ‘talking’ guest before and I was, understandably, fairly nervous. And because of this, I made the first mistake of the night, a rookie blogger mistake. I forgot to keep my iPhone with me to take pictures! Not ideal for audience retention…
After arriving at the studio late thanks to the Northern Line (reminding me why I never take the tube), I was ushered to the make up room and a lovely lady did my hair in a ‘fish plate’ (how appropriate for me) and did my make up, attempting to cover not only my ‘sun damaged skin’ but also my one recurring spot which, after gracing my face at Christmas last time, it had now come back for my first ever TV appearance. She managed to hide all pretty well and so I was ready to go to the studio!
Penny Smith, the presenter, introduced herself – she was actually lovely and super friendly and even better, pronounced my challenging name and surnames beautifully. The other guests on the show were great too. Carolyn (@agaqueen) and Chris (@chrispople) are Twitter foodies and bloggers who are, in my eyes, celebrities, with huge numbers of followers and plenty of media appearances under their belts. I felt humbled.
There was also a food critic and author (Toby Young) and Carrie, a chocolate maker from Shropshire. Of course, we then had the two chefs, Matt Tebbutt (the resident chef) and Tristan Welch (Head Chef at Launceston Place, guest chef).
Myself, Chris and Carrie were sitting by Matt and it was hilarious. He was clearly tired, and was just laughing all the time while cooking – which made the whole experience more relaxed and fun. Basically, we were there to taste the food, chat to the chefs and give our expert opinion on the food we were tasting.
Matt’s first dish was a pretty basic one, potato croquettes, or as I’d call them, ‘crocche’ di patate’. Tristan’s creation was totally different, being a rib of a special beef, reared outdoor and fed purely on grass in Shropshire (I did not catch the proper name unfortunately but it sounded like ‘fogged’). Tristan’s stew was the best dish, light but with a full flavour, with meat perfectly cooked falling off the bone, complemented by some sightly roasted tomatoes with a mustard vinaigrette.
We moved on to the next slot in the programme, tasting the home made truffles.
Here I made the second mistake of the night.
Carrie pointed towards a truffle saying it was a rum truffle. I expected the drippy liquor to come out of it, so I made one mouth-full. Damn. It was massive. And there was no liquor, just creamy truffle. Oh well, that will teach me next time I am being filmed trying to munch on a humongous chocolate. We sipped our espressos and we were onto the next tranche of the show.
It was all about the smoking! Matt prepared a risotto with smoked milk (yes…), haddock and chive. It was just pure fun seeing him preparing in in front of us – and calling it rice pudding! It looked messy, but in the end it wasn’t that bad. On the other side of the kitchen Tristan made a smoked chocolate hot pot. After trying the pieces of dark chocolate, we were not expecting much. But actually, it was delicious – as the smokiness of the chocolate had subsided to a subtle aroma and the cake was absolutely yummi.
So this was it. I had managed to mention my sister’s magazine (oh they will be pleased), I had managed to mention my ‘British husband‘ and I had pronounced Risotto like an italian should. It had been a lot of fun.