Last weekend was my first visit to Kensington Olympia exhibition centre and spoilt by it being in West London.  It was also my first visit to a BBC Good Food Show, even though I’ve seen it advertised countless times in BBC Good Food magazine.  This year the show is celebrating 25 years, so it’s taken me a while to sample what the show offers…

If I’m honest, part of the draw was TV chefs, but my interest in food is long past that.  If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be running Chilli Jam.  I took my partner who enjoyed it as much as me.  It was nice like all exhibitions to have so make supplier stalls to walk around and try samples.  I take my hat off to them, as they work hard, in a very competitive market of both established and new starter businesses.  It’s always a pleasure to find new products, organic and local sourced ingredients.  The supermarkets can become tedious with bulk items and faceless products.  It feels like you have a connection with the supplier at these type of events, much like a farmer’s market.

I’d recommend you attend one.  For readers in the UK, there are many of these dotted around the country, so keep an eye out and sign up in advance, as it often saves you a few quid!  If meeting or watching celebrity chefs is you thing and you can’t deny it’s always a draw to these events, you can usually book seats in ‘theatres’ to watch them.  Because of the craze of Great British Bake Off on BBC One and in truth it started my baking frenzy and starting of this site, I had to see Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood ‘do lunch.’  It’s a great partnership to experience off-camera and I loved Mary Berry’s quick wit with the audience, oh and the keeping master baker Mr Paul Hollywood in check!

Discounted products at these shows is definitely a plus as you can visit many of the sponsored or company stands and watch and try products.  I love that people were rolled up the exhibition centre with huge bags and even carry boxes on wheels to bring home products purchased.  I can’t deny that an afternoon of shopping and eating isn’t that shabby!!

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