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Taste of Christmas 2010 - pay a visit | townfood - recipes, restaurant reviews and food news

Taste of Christmas 2010 - pay a visit

This year's Taste of Christmas is a fantastic day out. We went along on the first day, Friday 3rd December which leaves two days for you to pay a visit. There's plenty to do there, make sure you have enough of time to soak up all the demonstrations, workshops, tastings and stalls. Below are some pictures of the highlights

Waitrose cookery school

Waitrose is one of the main sponsors and are offering free cookery classes and wine tastings. We participated in their English sparkling wine tasting where a gentleman from Nyetimber gave a great 30 minute history of the Sussex-based wine producer which was accompanied by tastings of two of their delicious sparkling wines.

worral-thompsons and novelli

Many chef are doing demonstrations throughout the weekend. Above Anthony Worrall Thompson and Jean-Christophe Novelli both did their thing.

whisky bar

There's is also plenty to drink at Taste of Christmas. The dedicated wine section sees numerous sellers proudly displaying their wines, and offering continuous samples. Everything from traditional French wines, English wines and new labels such as the memorable Pig in a Poke wine are there. Hammersmith gin and vodka producer Sipsmiths also popped up, their sloe gin is about the best around, definitely a great one for Christmas. Hotel du Vin has an impressive bar at the centre of the exhibition and Auchetoshan Single Malt Whisky has a standing bar, as pictured above.

garlic and cheese shops

The stalls are a joy to walk round. The cheese section has an impressive selection of traditional cheeses as well as some new twists. Again there are an abundance of samples to get your tastebuds going. There is also a chocolate area which is a great place to pick up some Christmas presents.

atherton and zuma

AEG are also main sponsors and they had their own demonstration theatre. We saw Jason Atherton cook oriental salmon from his new cookbook, Gourmet Food for a Fiver. Ross Shonhan from Zuma had an impressive array of ingredients during his demonstration including an enormous hide of Wagyu beef and winter black truffle. He made seared beef in a truffle dressing and beef tartare on seasoned sushi rice. We managed to have a little taste of the seared beef - incredible.

salmon modern pantry

Last and by no means least, 12 top London restaurants were offering up tasting plates of some of their best known dishes. The restaurants that were there included Benares, Villandry, Club Gascon and Roast. Above is organic salmon sashimi with Umeboshi plum and yuzu dressing from The Modern Pantry. This was zingy and refreshing after a lot of cheese, chocolate and wine!

There's still time to get down to Taste of Christmas which runs until Sunday 5th December at the ExCel Centre. For more information, please visit their website: www.tasteofchristmas.com

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