The Experimental Food Society held a ‘Spectacular’ last weekend, which both Jane and I went to not JUST to eat cake, although we did a lot of that, but also to see what some of the foodie nerds were up to. Sugar skin anyone? (it’s the strange sculpture-y-thing in the glass jar below). After all that Great British Bake off cooking, it was great to get down among the baking and food community.
My favourite stall was the lovely Lily Vanilli (tag line ‘Ice Ice Baby.’…), who produced a trip through historic East London with different cakes and bread, from the Plague shortbread featuring some of the botanics used to treat it, to the Palaeolithic flint axe chocolates (below left) to represent the fact that some of the first known settlers in the UK were found in Hackney. Lily loves to research the food history around any project she undertakes from her bakery shop in Columbia Road.
We also saw amazing sugar flower work from Rosalind Miller (below) and the most gorgeous celebration cakes from Annabel at The Cake Conjurer, she did the spooky Ouija board table cake that I want for my next birthday and a brilliant leather suitcase cake that is fast becoming her signature. The chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory was giving away samples of his chocolate, which he sells in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, so we found ourselves popping back there a lot. He did the chocolate carving, below.
The charming food designer chaps at Blanch & Shock were busy constructing a Cornelia Parker inspired food sculpture, a suspended exploding cake…they were working hard (lovely website too).
After all that cake and chocolate, a coffee was needed, but obviously it was no ordinary coffee, instead we got a science lesson from the stylishly nerdy Prufrock Coffee team who were brewing coffee over a halogen lamp (for pure extraction) and cold water brewing for a drink that tasted more like Christmas than coffee. Fab. Prufrock Coffee also do barista training, so that’s middleagedad’s Christmas present sorted.
The most beautiful cake we saw was from Michelle Wibowo, who made this amazingly detailed dodo, which had exquisite sculpted feathers hand carved by the brilliant Michelle, clever lass, her website is here.
There were macarons from Bougie (below left) which had fine apples sliced up in the middle and tiny cake-pops-stuffed-into-quails-eggs and gorgeous decorative cakes from Pomp de Franc, (below right) who’ve made cakes for some very glamorous people, check out the website.
For more on the Experimental Food Society, here’s the website.