Demo cooking on the ‘farm’

I can’t tell you how exciting it was to arrive at Lounge on the Farm late on Friday evening and come across this blackboard as we explored the site. (We can put aside the fact that my charming children, when asked to comment on whether there was anything notable about this sign said first “Wow! Stefan Gates!!”….well fair enough I suppose)

The excitement gradually built to nerves over the course of Saturday morning and then something approaching sheer terror by 1.30 when I had to go and get my microphone, cross my fingers and hope for an audience!

Having sent through my recipes and requirements in advance the brilliant Alan, a home economist who has done this sort of thing a  thousand times before, had everything prepped and ready to set up the demo – even down to making up chappati dough so I could utter the immortal line “here’s some I prepared earlier” – although as I am useless fibber I said “here’s some that someone else kindly made earlier”. His skill becomes particularly apparent when you look at how beautiful it all looks in the clever overhead mirror.

Then it was off to get a ‘Madonna-mike” as it became known, and with a quick pep talk “just have fun!” and a big hug from the real star of the afternoon Mr Stefan Gates, it was kick off. I made the mackerel starter from Supperclub number one – without the gratin as it would have taken way too long.

Next I made a Goan fish curry, with a beautiful bream, cut into smallish steaks and bones still in, packed full of chillies and tamarind paste served with some fresh chappatis. My greatest delight was the queue of people, most of them children (so not all down to festival induced munchies) who piled into the spice with no fear and came back for more. 

The full recipes are on the “chef chat” pages of the new Eat Drink Kent website – would love to hear if you give them a try.

Did I have fun? yes…eventually. Would I do it again? Maybe if I was asked to. Do I prefer cooking without narrating? Yes definitely (which as anyone who knows me well will tell you, comes as a bit of a surprise!)