The Hairy Bikers rode into Essex on their beautiful Triumph bikes for a foodie adventure and cook off! Yes, tis true, and Essex Gourmet was invited along to taste test their delivered dish, representing the best of Essex produce.
For their forthcoming BBC Two series – The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain – the delightful duo are venturing into 30 counties within the UK to seek out, sample and cook the very best of local produce; challenging a local chef to a ‘cook off.’
The Essex setting was Baumann’s Brasserie in Coggeshall, with media shy (ha-ha!) chef Mark Baumann. The challenge – cook one dish each, consisting of the best of Essex homegrown ingredients and present it to a panel of hungry foodies for feedback and voting.
Among the judging panel of wanton foodies were Essex chef of the year Paul Boorman from the fabulous Juniper Restaurant in Colchester; top Goose producer and arable farmer Simon Hughes from Great Clerkes Farm, Saffron Walden (as seen on Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas Special) and a small number of local foodies & political representatives, who’s names sadly evade me, although were jolly pleasant people anyway.
This is my depiction of the day… carted off into close by pub and overfed with coffee for what seemed like days, then returned to Baumann’s and presented with delicious dish number one. Tasted a tiny morsel each and filmed our verdict before fighting ensued over last scrap on plate, then removed from Baumann’s and seated back in pub for yet more coffee and snack of chips. Following many more tortuous, long and lingering hours dish number 2 was presented, closely followed by filming and vote off, pictures and home.
Thankfully, I was amongst good company and we were all very well looked after by the production team. However, TV filming is not nearly as glamorous as one expects!
The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain will hit the TV screens in September on BBC2 – a must watch!