One of the best things about my visit to the London Produce Show last month was getting the chance to watch some live cooking demos and sample the delights that were being made. The first of these that I watched was Miranda Gore Browne, of Great British Bake Off fame, who whipped up some seriously yummy blackberry crumble biscuits, that were then passed round for us to try. They were excellent, and I'm not normally a biscuit fan! They had the perfect balance of crunchy and soft with the freshness of blackberries and the sweet blackberry flower they were served with. I've already made a batch at home and they were nearly as good as Miranda's! If you want to try them for yourselves, then here's the recipe so that you too can make them.

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This Sunday, 20th July, Carnaby Street is going to be transformed for a free, one-day food festival. From 11am - 6pm the street will be packed with outdoor stalls run by local restaurants who'll be serving up street food versions of their best dishes. There'll be live music, free workshops, face painting and live cooking demos by Hardeep Singh Kohli throughout the day.

Over 40 of the top restaurants in the area will be out on the streets giving you the opportunity to sample their dishes from only £5 per dish. Restaurants that will be present on the day are Antidote, Camellia’s Tea House, Carnaby Burger Co., Cha Cha Moon, Choccywoccydoodah, Comptoir Libanais, Dehesa, FlatPlanet, Johnny Cupcakes & Crumbs and Doilies, Joho Soho by Cinnamon Soho, Kua ‘Aina, Leon, Liberty, Masala Zone, Moosh, Mozzino & Katia Kitchen, Pizza Pilgrims, Rosa’s Thai Café, SACRED Café, Shampers, Shoryu Carnaby, Speakeasy Espresso and Brew Bar, Retreat, Stax, The Detox Kitchen, The Diner, The Life Goddess, The Rum Kitchen Carnaby, Urban Tea Rooms, Whyte & Brown, Wright Brothers Soho and Zebrano.

We had a sneak peak preview of some of the establishments who will be involved on Sunday's extravaganza, and you're in for a real treat.

Oysters from Wright Brothers' very own oyster farm in Cornwall.

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Every so often I come across a new restaurant that surprises and delights me. It surprises as I always assume that because I've only just found it, it must be brand new (rarely is) and it delights me as I have a new place to go for amazing food in London. The Shed in Notting Hill is one of these.

I only found out about The Shed last week whilst googling potential spots for a mid week girly dinner, and called and booked the only table they had left, which was at 6pm. It didn't matter that it was so early though - I work not far from Notting Hill so knew I could get there in time and I'd been saving myself for food all day... if only my dinner date had got there on time too! By the time she arrived it was quarter to seven and I was already 2 drinks down. I don't want to moan though, it was strangely nice to sit there on my own whilst waiters and waitresses in checked shirts buzzed around me getting the place ready for what was to be a full house on a Tuesday night. I'm working with a food festival later this year, so while I waited I made some notes for that, as it's rare I've got any time to myself at the moment.

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If you read my blog, or come to my  pop ups, you'll probably know I'm a big fan of Grub Club. One of the founders is now a friend, and I sell tickets for my supper clubs and pop ups exclusively through their site, as they are lovely, they look after us really well and are there to answer questions and support all the way. So when I got an email inviting me to Grub Club chefs' supper I RSVP'd yes immediately. Not only was it a great opportunity to give feedback to the team behind Grub Club, but it was SO nice to meet other people doing the same as me - working full time and doing a couple of food events a month - and bounce ideas off each other, as well as pick up a few tips from the more seasoned professionals!

The pop up hosts who were there were:

Brixton Kitchen - using fresh, seasonal produce, these 2 lovely ladies run a monthly pop up in Brixton. Their produce is so fresh that they only announce their menu a few days before, but book for this and you won't be disappointed. Their next event is this Thursday, but it's sold out - so check out their next event on Thursday 14th August.

Bidoche - Bidoche means 'meat' and that's what this pop up is all about - lovingly prepared, slow-cooked, cured or marinated meat all served in a cool Clapton venue. The next Bidoche is Saturday 9th July.

Fab Cuisine - serving modern European dishes, Fabrice is a trained chef who has worked in some major London restaurants, but now serves up food at pop ups in Battersea to 30 people a time. He doesn't have any dates in the diary at the moment, but keep an eye on Grub Club for information about his next pop ups.

That Hungry Chef - another highly trained chef, Pratap is throwing his last event of the Summer, an 8-course globetrotter taster menu, in Holloway this Friday, 11th July - get your tickets now before they all go! Pratap also now makes and produces delicious relishes and curry sauces, all available on his website.

Mondsey - trained in patisserie but refined in Malaysian cooking, Mondsey host their 3rd Malaysian 6 course feast of a pop up in their home on Saturday 19th July (the same night as my next pop up - oops!!ha!) near Tower Bridge.  

Les Greedy Cochons - all you can eat melty cheese... what's not to love! Food bloggers turned pop up hosts, Les Greedy Cochons are doing their next raclette night in Camden Market on Thursday 17th July.

Quinto Quarto - a man of many talents, and the proclaimed King of Gnocci, Adalberto hasn't got any dates live on Grub Club at the moment (I'm sure they'll come soon) but he's fed hundreds of people already at his seven course Italian feasts, which have included game, fish, festive and new year's eve themes.

Social Pantry - Alex's Clapham based pop ups were such a success that she's set up a catering company and has now started up The Social Pantry Café in Lavender Hill, where she serves delicious and healthy breakfasts, brunches and lunches - their salads look divine. 

BOBs lobster - another pop up turned permanent business, BOB's Lobster serve up their seafood feasts in East London from Tuesday to Friday, and also roam the streets serving seafood delights straight from their VW van.

And I can't write this without a quick mention for my own pop up! I run monthly pop ups, serving homemade, British, seasonal produce made into a four course feast, at our home in  West London, details of the next one on Saturday 19th July here. I'm also available for private catering gigs so please do get in touch if you want to enquire about an event you'd like food for, email me via the link in the sidebar of my blog.

So not only did I get to spend a wonderful evening with these amazing chefs, but Grub Club also persuaded their very own Hugh to cook up a Mexican inspired feast for us too - we were spoilt with ceviche, followed by carnitas - one of my favourite things - which is pulled, spiced pork, wrapped with salsa, sour cream and various levels of chilli sauce depending on your tolerance!

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I can't believe it is July already!! This year seems to be whizzing by SO fast. But that's a good thing, because it means that it's nearly time for my July pop up! On Saturday 19th July I'm hosting a four course dinner at our house, all in aid of a wonderful charity called Hope for Tomorrow. Hope for Tomorrow are a charity that provide support for cancer patients by bringing treatment closer to home. They raise money to build mobile chemotherapy units that can be driven to more rural, hard to reach areas, therefore saving poorly patients grizzly car journeys to and from the hospital for treatment. Hope for Tomorrow work with the NHS to make sure the mobile units get to those that need them. If you want to read more about their truly amazing work you can visit their website here.

My pop up starts at 19:30 on Saturday 19th July and will take place at our home in West London (in between Chiswick, Acton and Ealing). Hopefully if it's nice outside seating will be in the garden, as that's what we did at my pop up last weekend and it was so great to be out there.

The menu for the 19th July is as follows, but if there's something on there you don't like/can't eat but you still want to come, that's no problem at all - just mention in the comments section when booking what it is you can't eat and I will email you a few other options to choose from.

Summer berry fizz cocktail (non-alcoholic version available)
Pea and broad bean mousse with herbed goat's cheese and homemade bread
Whole salmon, braised fennel, baked and dressed aubergine, posh potato salad and Summer vegetable glut salad
Blueberry sour cream cake with salted caramel creme fraiche and crystallised summer berries
Somerset cheese board with homemade seedy biscuits and chilli tomato chutney
Coffee or herbal teas, served with homemade chocolate balls

All my ingredients are the best quality I can get and everything is then homemade by me for the pop up. While the coffee and chocolate are clearly not British I use as many seasonal, British ingredients as possible.

Tickets are £30 for all the food and a cocktail and can be bought HERE. It's bring your own booze on the night, so you can bring as much as you like, and I provide soft drinks if required.

Hope for Tomorrow is a very dear charity to me which is why I've chosen to raise some money for them. All proceeds from the pop up on 19th July will be going straight to Hope for Tomorrow, and will also be match funded either by the company I work for during the week, or failing that, by myself.

My next pop up after 19th July will be on Saturday 20th September - details to follow - as I'm having a little break/already doing too many catering gigs in August!

I really hope some of you can make it along for a Summery four course feast of an A Little Lusciousness pop up!!
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