So, today I am delighted to announce that Easy Peasy Foodie is now an award winning blog!!! Last night I won the award for the Best Blogger Recipe at the British Turkey Awards for my Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs with Bombay New Potatoes. I am so over the moon right now!
It’s a few months back, now, since I was asked to take part in a competition to discover the Best Blogger Recipe for the British Turkey Awards – a task I rather relished, not least as it was a particularly tough brief. The recipe had to showcase British Turkey (obviously!), but also be innovative, healthy, delicious and reflect this year’s chosen theme: ‘Best of British’. Not only that, but the recipe also had to include a minimum of two other Red Tractor products. Talk about a tall order!
After a good deal of thought and some detailed internet ‘research’, it occurred to me that one of the things that defines ‘Best of British’ for me is our love of embracing other cultures and cuisines and creating uniquely British fusion food. One of the dishes that best encapsulates this idea is the Tikka Masala – a dish with Indian roots, but which was adapted for British tastes and so the idea for British Tikka Masala Meatballs was born. To find out more about my award winning dish and to get the recipe head over to the original post.
Entering the competition was one thing, but being judged the eventual winner was quite another. I was absolutely delighted to be contacted by British Turkey a few weeks ago and be told I was a finalist and would I like to come to the British Turkey Awards? Over the moon was perhaps something of an understatement. It is at this point that I should apologise to you all for not telling you I was up for the award – but the details were heavily embargoed and I wasn’t allowed to – believe me, for a blogger whose natural tendencies are to blog, tweet, instagram and facebook everything exciting this was HARD! But I managed…just!!
The British Turkey Awards are held every year to celebrate innovation and excellence in the turkey industry. This year the awards were held in The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly, London. It was a fabulously put together, black tie event complete with excellent after dinner entertainment and award-presenting by Hugh Dennis and a host of other fun: a raffle, a charity auction, a casino, a live band and even ‘hook a duck’ (apparently – I had to leave early to get the last train home, so missed out on that particular highlight!). I have been to several similar events during my time in the wine trade and I can most definitely say that last night was one of the best!
The evening was also themed Best of British and, as you can imagine, turkey featured extensively on the menu – the event started with a champagne reception accompanied by a delightful selection of turkey canapés, including Turkey Sausage & Mash and Turkey Pasties.
The starter was a rather fun ‘British Turkey Classics’ featuring a Mini Raised Turkey Pie and a Turkey Scotch Egg. Main course was a more traditional Roast Fillet of Turkey Breast with Rosemary and Wild Mushrooms.
You will be pleased to hear that turkey did not feature as a dessert – instead we had a Bramley Apple and Chelsea Bun Pudding paired with some rather fabulous Greengage Ice Cream. The turkey dishes were all winning entries in the British Turkey Student Chef of the Year Award.
The most exciting part of the evening was obviously the awards ceremony – It was fascinating to see the array of different turkey produce available – and not just for Christmas. As well as categories for things like Best Christmas Convenience and Best Christmas Innovation, there were awards for innovation and meal solutions in everyday products too.
It was an interesting theme that came through during the evening, that turkey is a fantastic, versatile and healthy meat and yet an enormous swathe of the British population only ever eat turkey on Christmas Day and in the few days afterwards. It’s a puzzling conundrum – why do we as a nation revere turkey so much that it is THE meat to have at Christmas and yet avoid it almost completely during the rest of the year? It’s completely bonkers when you think about it! And it is, of course, a key challenge for the for the UK turkey industry. I for one have vowed to start using turkey a lot more in my recipes – it’s delicious, easy to cook, convenient, healthy, family and budget friendly – so perfectly in alignment with the values of Easy Peasy Foodie – watch this space!
I was fortunate enough to be sitting on a lovely table, full of wonderfully interesting people, including the lovely Derek and Paul Kelly of KellyBronze Turkey fame. Paul Kelly is also the current Chairman of British Turkey. Also on our table was Hugh Dennis, who did an absolutely stellar job of providing the evening entertainment; John Shanley, the now retired CEO of Sparks – a charity funding pioneering children’s medical research and which British Turkey has long supported; and the winners of the Outstanding Contribution Prize: Amir and Limor Chen of Strut and Cluck – Britain’s first (and I believe only) turkey restaurant. But to describe it thus probably doesn’t give it justice. I had a lovely time chatting to Amir and Limor about their restaurant. Inspired by their Eastern Mediterranean heritage, they have a passion for healthy eating and consider turkey a superfood. They have built their menus around free range turkey marinated in their special family herb & spice blend, then slow-cooked to perfect tenderness and served alongside seasonal produce with an Eastern Mediterranean twist. They have received rave reviews and several accolades and they have only been open since June! I so want to go there right now!!
Finally, I must give a huge shout out to my lovely friend Mo, who came with me to the awards as my plus one and took quite a few of the photos gracing this post – without her I would not have started my blog, so she was very much the most appropriate person to bring along. Thanks sweetie 🙂
Sadly, as I mentioned above, I had to skedaddle before the end of what was a rather fabulous evening (missing all that hook a duck fun!) and head home and back to real life, clutching my newly acquired bling all the way (I did get some funny looks on the train back to Sussex!).
Today I have mostly been walking on cloud nine and no amount of normal life has been able to dampen that – thanks to all of you who have already expressed your congratulations and fingers crossed it will be the first of many more awards in the future for Easy Peasy Foodie!!