You can't turn on the TV without chefs, cooks and wannabees flambéing a dead rabbit in sherry vinegar or blitzing a cucumber to within an inch of its pith. It's all good though, but how would you like to witness some of them doing it all for real? Well, tuck your napkin in and feast your eyes on this lot.
The Hairy Bikers (or Bakers, Buggers or whatever they are currently called) have put the fun back into fondue and the smile into piling it high, bless their leathery hides. They start their next UK tour in Basingstoke (land of 'doughnuts', seems fitting) on 30th Apr before revving off to loads of places around the country, far (Darlington on the 18th May) and wide (Llandudno on 25th June) until 27th June when they tuck into some Brighton hospitality. Tickets are around £21.50 plus fees.
Two chaps who have been instrumental in convincing the nation that pretty-boys can serve up a tasty platter just as well as the grafters, are James Martin and Gino D'acampo. Martin has hosted BBC's Saturday Kitchen for some years now keeping butter-churners in business anyway. D'acampo is a hit with the ladies and has transformed our attitudes to Italian cooking. Both men are performing their art at the 'Love Cooking' event at Edinburgh's Playhouse on Tuesday 12th Oct, alongside the king of the 80s chefs Gary Rhodes, Ireland's Queen of home-cooking Rachel Allen and old spice maniac Ainsley Harriott. £28.50 gets you a 90-minute performance by each chef.
Real Food Festival 2010
Earl's Court is hosting the annual Real Food Festival in May for three days, running from 7th - 10th. For just £7.50 a day, you can witness demonstrations from famous faces from the world's kitchens, as well as an insight into how your food reached your mouth in the first place. Enlightening stuff. Exhibitors will be displaying their lovingly-created wares, Riverford Farm will provide no-nonsense nosh in their restaurant and none other than Raymond Blanc, Oli Rowe and Giorgio Locatelli will demo their skills. I'm getting hungry just writing this. Please note that the 10th May is reserved for 'trade' customers only.
Travelling around the country this year is the Foodies Festival (With Top Chefs, it says on the posters). Five locations will soon be filled with the waft of food and the rumbling of stomachs, including Hampton Court in May (29th - 31st), Leeds Roundhay in July (2nd - 4th), Glasgow George Square also in July (30th - 1st Aug), Edinburgh Holyrood in August (13th - 15th) and finally Oxford South Parks from 28th - 30th August. For Hampton Court there will be a rotation of some huge names demonstrating their culinary prowess, including Maze's Jason Atherton, Pearl's Jun Tunaka (this bloke's top dollar), The Victoria's foodie theorist and chef Paul Merrett, Morston Hall's passionate Galton Blackiston from Norfolk, Benares' spice-lord Atul Kochhar and TV personality and total foodie, who is always game for a cook-off (easy now), Nadia Sawalha. All tickets are £5. That's £5.
Time for dinner!