A few months ago, a twitter chum of mine, Mel, who runs the fantastic food blog Edible Things, tweeted me a link to a request from Andy Lynes (food writer & journalist) for Sussex food writers & bloggers to get in touch about an exiting initiative. I was intrigued. Shortly after contacting Andy, I received an email inviting me to an informal kick-off meeting in a Hove pub.
The initiative turned out to be the formation of the Brighton Food Society (founded by Andy Lynes and Patrick McGuigan), a new not-for-profit affiliation of Brighton-based food and drink writers and broadcasters getting together to promote the enjoyment of local food and drink.
Over a few drinks (the drinks may have been a key factor in our enthusiastic planning!), we planned our first event 'Sussex Rocks' for the 5th May: we'd cook a meal for 35 invited guests in celebration of Sussex food and drink. Although I really enjoy cooking, I’m not going to kid myself that I’m confident enough to cook for 35 paying guests, and as several of the group are former chefs, I thought it best if I left the serious cooking to the professionals. I opted instead to prepare the petit fours, help with front of house, and to decorate the room.
We were all bowled over by the generosity of the local food & drink businesses who kindly donated some of their fine produce for our guests to enjoy. Beer, coffee, potatoes, plates, vinegars and the chocolate for my petit fours, which was kindly donated by Sussex Chocolatiers, Cocoa Loco.
I think we all underestimated quite how much work would be involved in putting on the event, but I hope our guests would agree that the night itself was a triumph and well worth the ticket price each guest paid – canapés, starter, main, cheese, dessert, coffee & petit fours and a goodie bag full of Sussex produce – all for just £15 each!
My only regret was that in between waiting and clearing tables and helping to assemble dishes, I didn’t manage to get any photos of my petit fours - you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that they were delicious!
Would I do it all again? You betcha!
You can find out more about the Brighton Food Society, see the full menu from Saturday, and find out about future events here. Scroll down to see pictures from the event.
|Andy Lynes preparing lamb shanks from Standean Butchers|
|Patrick McGuigan chopping up rhubarb for his dessert|
|Joe shelling a batch of Sussex duck eggs for the starter|
|Locally-made Medlar vinegar was drizzled over the asparagus and duck egg starter|
|Samantha Bilton (www.comfortablyhungry.com) preparing the asparagus|
|Joe, Sam, Andy and Patrick|
|Left: Patrick (The Cheese Chap) was rather proud of his cheese selection|
Right: The goodies our guests received in their 'party bags'
|I don't think Joe left the kitchen all day!|
|Becky did a fab job managing Front of House|
|Rhubarb Tart production line|