No blog from me last week as I’ve been flat out with work but I’ve got a fun few weeks ahead. Come and catch up with me in person if you get a chance!
On Monday this week I went along to a celebration lunch hosted by Age UK Barnet. Age UK teaches cookery lessons to older men and the whole buffet was prepared by the guys who had recently been on their courses. I think this is such a good idea. Much of my love of food comes from my own Dad, who is a pretty handy cook himself. But his Dad, my Grandad, didn’t cook at all and if I’d have known about these courses a few years ago they would have been perfect for him. It was a real pleasure to go along and I really hope I can do my bit to encourage more men to take up cooking too.
I’ve been baking cakes all weekend and my house smells amazing. It’s for a project I’m doing for CBeebies. I can’t say too much about it yet but I’m pretty excited, as are the kids, who have both been helping me in the kitchen. It’s been fun using my existing recipes as the basis for new ideas. I tried to write my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself, with this in mind; that it will provide the building blocks for not just the recipes in the book but also for further experimenting beyond these. Each of the recipes has an ‘extras’ section, which gives ideas for how you can develop and adapt them. It’s really exciting to see that Amazon has released some of the inside pages for you to take a look at too. Let me know what you think! Only a few more weeks until it comes out on 27 August.
I’ve been working with my publishers, Quadrille, on how and where to promote the book throughout September. I’ll be taking the whole month off work to travel around the UK for it. I’ll be able to confirm where I’ll be travelling to soon and I’ll put a page up on my website with all the dates and places. In the meantime, I’ve been making a lot of challah this week as that’s what I’ll be demoing at Jimmy’s Farm this weekend. It’s a really fun bread to bake as the shapes you can make with it are limitless. We’ll be camping there for the Sausage & Beer Festival. There are still available tickets for the Sunday, but the Saturday (when I’m demoing) is currently sold out. However, keep an eye on the Jimmy’s Farm Facebook page for any Saturday tickets that become available. If you can’t make it to Jimmy’s Farm, why not come along to Jamie Oliver & Alex James’s Big Feastival in August. I’ll be demoing and book signing on Friday (28 August) but will be around for the whole weekend.
The teaser trailer for the next series of Bake Off is working for me – I can’t wait to see what’s in store and who the new bakers will be. It must feel really strange for all this year’s participants, as they’ve known who the winner is for a good few weeks now and have all had to go back to normal life. I’m guessing it’ll air around the 5 August, if it’s got the same slot as it had last year. Good luck to all of this year’s bakers!
I was also chuffed to bits to make a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in the new BBC advert too, in amongst Sir David Attenborough and Sherlock – no big deal! 😉
Finally, I’ve added a couple more of my films for the Scoff channel to my Video Recipes page – for strawberry and lychee mini pavlovas and for baklava – so check them out if you get a chance. There’ll be no blog from me next week as I’ll be busy at the Jimmy’s Farm Festival but check out my Twitter and Instagram for what I’ll be up to. Ta ta for now…