Season to Taste- Unilever’s journey through the seasons exploring food trends around the world
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a very special event- Season to Taste, organised by Unilever Foods.
Unilever Foods has collaborated with the food influencers and leading chefs who play a major role in setting food trends and defining the food we eat.The event was a journey through the seasons, of food that belonged to each season and the recipes from kitchens across the world.
Truly, today, especially in London we are eating a much greater variety and lesser known but hugely delicious foods from across the world, more than ever before.
So every kind of food influencer was there- community cooks, chefs from notable bistros, food bloggers, Michelin star Chefs and even a Tea Blending Expert.
The venue was the First Option Studio at Shoreditch. It was beautiful. Originally a Victorian zip and suspender factory set within a private courtyard now converted into a studio that retains its original Victorian brick walls, pine floors and exposed roof trusses. It has spiral staircases and two bespoke kitchens, one on the groundfloor and one on the first floor. The location was stunning.
And so was the event.
There were stalls of all kinds… from Greek food and Brazilian to the campervan burger.
The studio was decorated with fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of sauces and condiments from Unilever Foods.
Tidbits and tasting samples of the most gorgeous food were floating around.. right from delicately moist Turkey to the Lapin Moutarde (Rabbit in Mustard Sauce) and the most delicious Carrot Cake were there for sampling… but more about that later.
Let us start at the beginning of my journey.
After enjoying the fabulous decor and my hunger suitably aroused by the Lapin Moutarde samples, I reached the Tea Tasting Table hosted by the very knowledgeable Kurush Bharucha, the Tea Expertise Director at Unilever.
Kurush had a huge variety of teas set out for sampling.. from the delicate White tea, the ubiquitous Green tea, the sweet Oolong Tea through to Masala Chai.. they were all there.
He patiently explained the entire process to us, the brewing, the tasting, the rolling of tea leaves. It was a wealth of information.
Here are the unfurled Oolong leaves. You can see how big they really are. I am in love with the Fujan Tai Kwan YIn Oolong Tea that’s handpicked from Taiwan. The tea was unbelievably sweet, a taste that lingered in my mouth for a long time.
Subsequently, my blogger friend Manjiri and I wandered about sampling the food and chatting with the other people at the event.
We met with Victus and Bibo who started their journey in Greenwich Market and sampled their delicious Lamb and Halloumi Wraps. I also met up with the chefs from Casse Croute, a popular Bistro in London, famous for its Lapin Moutarde (Rabbit in Mustard Sauce)
It was also a total pleasure to meet the chefs from Skandilicious and I simply loved their Mustard Herring Canapes. I thought I wouldn’t (raw or smoked fish is not my thing), but they were really lovely.
We then met with Lucy Bradley of Anglesey, the Campervan Lady who kindly made for us her famous Anglesey Burger with Mustard Coleslaw that she served up with some beautiful edible flowers.
What an experience.
The highlight of the afternoon was the Masterclass by the famous Marco Pierre White . He demonstrated how to make a stunning French Autumnal Chicken Casserole.
He shared with us his secret Culinary weapon – Knorr Stock Cubes and Stock Pots. He truly believes that they enhanced flavours more subtly than salt and pepper, as well as reduce the time involved whilst still creating delicious dishes at home. I was really amused when he said to me – Do you really think I spend hours at home cooking when I’ve returned after a long hard day? No I don’t.. And neither should you.
He also introduced a product called Aromat, something I hadn’t seen before, but seemed to be extremely popular with the Scandinavians.
It is fantastic blend of spices and seasonings can be used instead of salt and as a condiment at the table. It is so versatile that you could even use it while cooking eggs instead of salt. It just takes the dish to an entirely different level.
Marco used it to marinate and season the chicken before frying it. I’m glad he introduced me to this product, it is now indispensable in my own kitchen- a substitute for salt, pepper and other flavoring- all in just one bottle.
And there’s moi with the man himself!
Thank you Unilever Foods for organising this event and for inviting me to it. I had a wonderful time.
I tried my hand at recreating some of the recipes I learnt at the event. Read more about them at the links below: