The Autumn Farmers’ Market 2011
What a day! And what a scorcher!
The 1st October was the hottest October day in over 100 years; it was also the Fifteen Cornwall Autumn Farmers’ Market 2011. Now into our 5th year of holding spring and autumn farmers’ markets Fifteen Cornwall promised the best selection of producers, suppliers and demonstrators to date, and we certainly delivered!
The day started early for our stall holders, most of which are good friends as they have been supplying the restaurant with their fine local produce for many years. Designed as a celebration of autumnal Cornish food, the Fifteen Cornwall Farmers’ Market had a variety of suppliers ranging from Cornish Charcuterie from Deli Farm, duck from Cornish Duck Company, fine steaks from Angus Trotters, to ice-cream from Daisy’s, fresh fish from Matthew Stevens & Son and cream from Roddas (who else!).
As well as all the yummy produce on sale a big part of the Autumn Farmers’ Market is the Fifteen Cornwall Apprentice Challenge. Our fifteen eager apprentices were divided up into three teams and for the last month they have been working really hard to design and produce some fantastic food to sell. The audible ‘Italian Gob’ was selling bacon sandwiches, ‘Jimbos’ brownies and cupcakes from the stroke of 9am. The Fifteen Sausage Company worked with Kernow Sausage Company to produce and sell a gourmet hot dog, and customers were whisked away to the streets of Italy with team ‘Alimento Italiano Pella Via’. We were spoilt for choice.
Our demonstrations kicked off with Ben Hawkins from Da Bara Bakery. In true Blue Peter style Ben showed us how to make and kneed dough and produced ‘one he made earlier’. As the marquee started to fill Paul Wadham from the Tresanton Hotel took to the mobile kitchen. Oysters and crab were on the menu and there were several nervous faces when he introduced a live crab to the audience. But no one was shy when it came to tasting the delicious raw and cooked oysters and the crab spaghetti.
Next up was our very own Andy Appleton who flew through a demonstration proving that good restaurant quality food doesn’t have to be complicated and can be recreated in less than 45 minutes. Andy produced a fantastic three course menu of muscles, Cornish duck with squash and Cavolo Nero cabbage and apple, pear and rhubarb (from his garden) crumble. Then it was onto Paul Ainsworth who delighted the crowd with blow torched mackerel and a ‘Paul Ainsworth’ twist on steak and chips, all dutifully assisted by birthday boy Jack, who was one of our apprentices from cohort 4 and now works for Paul at Number 6 in Padstow.
Finally it was Gordy, who needs no introduction. No Fifteen Cornwall occasion would be complete without our resident Head Sommelier, Gordon Lawrence. He wowed the crowd with his vast wine knowledge and gave us all tips on wine flavour, food matching and general wine facts, we even got to sample a few. The peachy Voignier from the Languedoc was our favourite (see, we did learn something!).
Once the last drop of red wine had been polished off it was time to announce the winner of the Apprentice Challenge. The Fifteen Sausage Company managed to sell a staggering £460 worth of sausages and soup (and it was certainly not soup weather), Alimento Italiano Pella Via sold £293 and The Italian Gob a very commendable £363. But it was The Italian Gob, captained by Ben Ambridge, who took the overall trophy as they had worked so hard to keep their overheads down and their profit margins up. A very valuable lesson learnt. Paul Ainsworth very generously not only gave up his time for a demonstration he also donated the apprentice prize of dinner at Rojanos in the Square, Padstow for Ben, Sorcha, Emily, Ross and Jimbo. A staggering £641.14 was raised in total for the Cornwall Foundation of Promise which funds our apprentice programme. Well done guys!
So the last few foodie bits were packed away everyone agreed it had been a really successful day and we are all looking forward to our Spring Farmers’ Market in March 2012. For Andy Appleton and Paul Ainsworth it was onto Boscastle for another cookery demonstration on the Sunday for the Boscastle Food Festival. A chef’s work is never done!