This year, the Harvest Festival in Waterford was all singing and dancing- sometimes in rain. Nigel and myself volunteered this year to help out in the GROWfest Demo Tent- and what a weekend it was.
There were four demos on the Saturday, and three on the Sunday. So we were quite busy! The demo area was, for the main, set up under the tent in Blackfriars. And the wash up area was a “little” rustic, but that made it all the more enjoyable.
I helped with the demos in the Ballymaloe Cookery School during the Litfest this year, and just loved seeing all the different chefs/ styles and recipes. So when the opportunity arose again I just jumped at it.
First up was Pip and Pear, a local company who are passionate about good quality baby food, and teaching parents to involve their children in the process of cooking. Irene spoke from personal experience about raising children and trying to cook for them in the best possible way. It was very well received by the audience- no mean feat as many of them were small!
Next up were my teachers, Darina and Rory from Ballymaloe. I was delighted to see Tracie was their gorgeous assistant, and although expectedly manic, it was a packed house and an amazing atmosphere.
Despite the challenging back of kitchen facilities….
I admit I had never heard of Chef Adrian, and he will admit himself he looks rather young to be cheffing at all, but he is so relaxed, prepared and friendly. He was a complete professional. And had a very enjoyable way of giving the demo. His steak was pretty good too.
Ros, my demo chef partner was in charge of the Lilly Higgins demo, I was very glad at that stage to be just washing up, and the demo went as smoothly as the others. We were packed up and home by 18.30hrs, feet a little sorer, but both of us in great spirits. Mind you, I was very glad I’d put lamb shanks on the timer in my oven as cooking for ourselves might have taken a while!
All the GIY guys are so enthusiastic, it made our volunteering a complete joy. Karen is a complete breath of fresh air, and we were constantly chatting with Amanda and Shona as we all frantically got everything to run throughout the day!