Showing posts with label event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label event. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 May 2013

COMPETITION TIME! Foodies Festival at Tatton Park

It’s that time of year again – no not the one where we get a few small days of sunshine and all the fat lasses get their wobbles out; not the one where we finally get a rest from overpaid roustabouts kicking a pig’s bladder round a field and no, not the one where I stop drinking for a bit (that never happens, nor even when everyone else hates themselves in January. I never hate myself).

No, much better than my self love - Foodies Festival has once again returned to the North West, hurrah! The UK’s largest celebration of all things food and (more importantly for Nosh) drink is once again popping up at Tatton Park from the 17-19 May; cross fingers for the return of the sunshine!

Expanding on the well-loved format, this year sees a bigger and better festival, with new stages and areas for you all to explore – including a zeitgeist-y Cake and Bake theatre where, you guessed it, baking and cake chat will happen; including a participant lead bake-a-long, Great British Bake Off’s Ruth Clemens and steampunk Emilly Ladybird whizzing up some Hendrick's inspired treats.

Much to my delight, other new areas for this year include a theatre dedicated to Chocolate, with daily demos from David Greenwood-Haigh of Divine (wonder if he’s single…?); a dedicated BBQ area (another big trend, may go for a snoop with my Guerrilla Eats head on…) and a theatre dedicated to BOOZE, including a cocktail area (dear organisers, please reserve me a seat next to the demonstrator...).

As well as all the new stuff, there’s the usual Producers’ Market, selling all sorts of wonders to take home with you; al fresco dining areas with food served by places such as Ning, Chaopraya and Stolen Lamb; the Kid’s Cook School, so we can get the little ones interested and the Street Food Market (yup, another Guerrilla Eats snoop a comin’) with some wonderful traders like my good friend and producer of actually addictive ice-cream, Ginger’s Comfort.

All in all it’s going to be a great weekend of gluttony and sheer unliscened bacchanalian fun – so get your tickets HERE.

BUT STOP PRESS – I’ve got 2 x pairs of tickets to give away BECAUSE I LOVE YOU (read – am good at blagging things). All you need to do is comment BELOW or on my twitter feed (@northwestnosh) about why I should pick you, funnier the better. I’ll get one of my amazing work colleagues to randomly pick you out of a hat (probably a yoghurt tub, glamorous!) on Wednesday 15th May.


Friday, 26 April 2013

FREE BOOZE - Cocktails in the City Competiton

Next week is the second year running of Cocktails in the City; a glitzy glam event celebrating everything bar-tending and booze related in Manchester.

Based at the Town Hall, Cocktails in the City brings together 18 bars, 150 cocktails and 600 cocktails enthusiasts. The movers and shakers (pun intended) of the Manchester bar scene will be setting up pop-ups throughout the Great Hall, where cocktail lovers (and booze hounds like myself) can sample drinks, chat spirits and party the night away. As a special treat this year, the Lord Mayor's Parlour (posh or what?) will be taken over by Liar's Club, Hula and Keko Moku (with a little help from El Dorado Rums) to re-create a tiki paradise - COME FIND ME THERE!

Booze - always make people this happy (not scientific fact...)

As well as tiki-time, Cocktails in the City has expanded this year to bring you food from chi-chi burger joint, Almost Famous - probably a good thing considering how much booze is going to be consumed.

Think that's great? Those famous source specialists, The Liquorists, will be on hand to give visitors guided spirit sessions AND there's plenty of cocktail demonstrations going on in the main hall.

Come see bartenders getting crazy creative at Cocktails in the City

This year, visitors can choose from a range of tickets (book HERE):

The Taster: £15 including entrance, two cocktails, main stage demonstrations and a cocktail booklet.
·         The Enthusiast: £25 includes three cocktails, a Liquorists tutored tasting session, main stage demonstrations and a cocktail booklet.
·         The Connoisseur: £45 includes champagne cocktail reception, food from Almost Famous, three cocktails and a Liquorists tutored tasting session.

BUT HANG ON - I've bagged two VIP tickets for you to COME JOIN ME at the biggest party of the year! And it's very easy to enter - just comment below to let me know your FAVOURITE cocktail (and why) - or just follow/tweet me if it's easier @northwestnosh - by Tue 30 April 5pm.

And because I love you so much, I've also gone and got you an exclusive cocktail recipe for the El Dorado House Punch - which is super easy to make at home:

1 bottle El Dorado 5 Year Old Rum

1 mug builders tea (i.e strong brew & 1:1 tea:sugar)
1 carton grapefruit juice
1 carton apple juice
1 egg cup absinthe (or Pernod/Ricard/Ouzo)
Bottle of bubbly

Add ingredients to a large bowl. Add lots of sliced, tropical fruit BUT NO ICE>
Ladle into glasses full of ice.
Distribute round the party!
ENJOY - whilst guests lavish praise on you for your ace drinks skills.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Big Chilli Coook Off - Almost Famous

The first time I attempted to make chilli con carne was for my first proper boyfriend. I was playing domestic goddess whilst my Mum was away; ready to surprise him with a bottle of wine, some home cuisine and a night of unbridled teenage passion.

This isn’t a happy story – after using a state of the art Shwartz seasoning shake I duly burnt the mince so we had a chemically, fag-burn pile of grey mince with soggy veg to wade through; plus he wasn’t a fan of wine and I don’t think my crying over the meal helped. Needless to say the relationship didn’t last for long.

Over the years I’ve honed my chilli making skills to be somewhere near passable – I like the results anyway – but it’s nowhere near authentic; my version has a satisfying savoury sweetness with a smoky/spicy kick and is cooked low and slow for a melt in the mouth finish – but this isn’t about my chilli, this is about the latest speciality night at Almost Famous.

Digressing from burgers and their usual Thurs-Sun opening policy, The Big Chilli Cook Off pitted three of the Famous chefs (yes, even burger joints have chefs) against the two owners, with Manchester’s joe public (well those that paid for the pleasure) judging/scoring each chilli.

Straight through the door and we were presented with a Lil’ Sloppy Juan, which was meant to be a slider, but was almost the size of a regular Almost Famous burger – pink as per usual, the patty was cajun spiced and slathered in crispy onions, cheese, chipolte paste, famous sauce and plenty of chillies.

Lil' Sloppy Juan - sloppier than your Mum

Then the chillis – you controlled which order you ate them in; with no hint as to taste/spiciness, so each bowl was a gastronomic gauntlet, that was both fun and tongue trembling scary at the time. You got as much guacamole/cream cheese/salsa etc as you could fit in your bowl/mouth/tummy to enhance/cover up the flavour and to dip the unlimited nachos in - take it from me, totally filling. A rundown of the chillies was thus and in order of my favourite (least first, favourite last):

• John Wayne – from the name I expected a large, swaggering chilli that was going to sternly yet respectfully slap me round the chops before lingering on my taste buds until disappearing off in to the sunset – I found this chilli a little under seasoned and without much depth of flavour. Good, but no cigar, pardner.

• Ben’s Bad Ass Chicken Chilli – I have issues with the meat here, call me snobby but I like red meat in my chilli. This was the fiercest of the chillis, apparently the recipe was loaded with plenty of scotch bonnets thrown in for the chilli fiends, however this made it a bit too spicy for me, but good flavour (once you got past the heat) and I enjoyed the non-textbook inclusion of sweetcorn.

• Mad Dog’s Meaty Feast – this seemed more like a stew than a chilli; no bad thing as it was full of gamey, winey, umami flavours with super tender meat and a mellow spicy tickle underneath from the added chorizo. I got two bowls of this, not technically allowed, but so what, I’m a rebel/glutton or something.

• Jailbreak/bait – Very nearly my favourite chilli; this was a super smoky mouthful of tender beef with a bit of a kick at the end to make you sit up and listen. Topped with pulled BBQ pork, which added a whole extra dimension of flavour/texture it certainly was a contender for the top spot and was the one that received the most votes over all.

• Flippin fuckin bloody chilli – Just beating jailbreak/bait for the extra depth of flavour and a slight tone down in the spice, I loved this chilli and damned myself for eating it last - when I snuck back for an illegal second helping it was all gone.

Chilli bar - I wish all bars were this meaty

So you just went and judged what chilli was best was it? No, remember we were at Almost Famous so there was some audacious theatricals to keep the punters happy- as the night was an homage to southern style eating, food contests and general Man Vs Foodness then the only thing for it was a hot wing eating contest.

These singed my nose hairs - not sure what it did to the people eating them

Hot wing eating? Ah this was no volume/speed challenge though – this was a sheer, bloody minded heat/pain contest; the winners those that could make their way up to the hottest chicken wing and successfully keep it down/not die. Call me a masochist, but there is nothing more pleasurable than watching 13 grown men gasping, tears running down their face and calling out for their Mummies. I don’t know how they made it to the end as even the penultimate wings singed my nose hairs and made me gag as they were walked past. Brave men, we will remember them all.

Chilli Cook Off wasn’t as formal or busy as Pig Out, but was a whole lot of fun – I went home full of meat and booze; stuffed and happy that I had watched a table full of grown men reduced to blubbering wrecks. It’s the simple things in life.

Almost Famous, nondescript wooden door between Keko Moku and Socio Rehab, 100 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1HP – Twitter

Please note I was given my ticket to this event, but I was under no obligation to write nice things, I just really enjoyed myself and thought it would have been well worth it for the £15 I would have paid.

Almost Famous on Urbanspoon

Monday, 10 September 2012

EXCLUSIVE Breaking News - Almost Famous Chilli Cook Off Tues 25th Party of the YEAR

STOP PRESS - date changed to Tues 25th Sept - STOP PRESS

What would you like in your mouth than a big bit of meat? How about hot, spicy, smoky meatiness? How about hot, spicy, smoky meatiness at a ONE OFF EXCLUSIVE end of summer special party with even hotter girls and even sweeter booze? And what if you could only find out about it/book it HERE?
After the success of Pig Out and to celebrate the passing of the sweetest/warmest/sexiest season, on Tues 26th Sept the Almost Famous kitchen staff will man up take on two fearsome conquistadors for a head to head chilli cook off and they want you to grab some asbestos mouthwash and then get yo’ sweet asses down to celebrate with them for this fiery, one off special.

Bubbly, spicy, fuck yeah goodness

Put the date in your diary NOW, underline it in red and buy yourself a ticket – it’s only £15 per person (with just a £5 deposit needed; so save up your money from selling crack to kids and pay the remainder on the night). What’s that, you need to be in beddy byes by 9pm? Don’t worry; there are two sittings – 5.30-8pm for the babies and 8.30pm till close for the bigger boys. (The later session will go on sale as soon as the first one sells out WHICH IT WILL BY TOMORROW - limited tickets you hear?).
‘But I can just stay at home with my Asda value mince and packet of Schwartz seasoning,’ I can hear your baby mouth whine. This isn’t any old chilli, or any old chilli eating night fools, this is a FAMOUS CHILLI NIGHT – as you enter it starts with the Lil’ Juan, a slider more sloppy than yo’ Mama’s kisses; then there’s going to be the five, fuck off chillies and because Almost Famous value you so much/this is a cook off (duh) they’re asking you to vote which one is best. This will all be followed by music, dancing with yo’ sister and pickling yourself in overproof moonshine.

This ain't your sister (left), but that is yo' mama (right)

So it sounds like a pretty tasty night for anywhere, but this is Famous baby, so you know it’s not going to end there don’t cha? They’re laying down the gauntlet to anyone* who thinks they’re hot/man/crazy enough to enter the Wings of Death competition. Pitting man against lady against chicken; whoever can get to the hottest scale of wings (start at suicide, end at DEATH) and eat more than the measly maggots trying to out-compete them, walks away the victor with a limited edition bottle of Fuck Yeah sauce and claims to international bragging rights/fittest girls in the Northern Quarter/being more winning than Charlie Sheen.
So how do you get to be part of the hottest, spiciest, meatiest party in town? Through this website and NO FUCKING OTHER, BABY. Nosh has secured a pre-order on the tickets, nowhere else can you get your hands on the hot little beauties (or the tickets either) – seeing as Pig Out sold out in two hours I’d order yours RIGHT FUCKING NOW – come on you pussy NOW on this link HERE!.
Ps Dress code Daisy Duke/Bo and Luke Duke/Brokeback/Magnum/Trailer Trash for FREE BOOZE.

Almost Famous, 100 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1HP
*The Wings of Death competition is open to first six fools, I mean people, who email through the contact page HERE – closing date for your entry is midnight Mon 25th Sept. North West Nosh and Almost Famous accept no responsibility if entrants end up wetting themselves/crying to Mummy/ in A+E.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fire and Salt BBQ Pig Out - Almost Famous, Manchester

We all know I like a good piece of meat in my mouth - so when Almost Famous announced that they were teaming up with Fire and Salt BBQ Company for a night of Pig Out piggy porn, you know I was first in the queue for my ticket, my palms sweaty with excitement, pulse racing.

Unlike the usual no booking malarkey that Almost Famous runs, this night was a) out of their normal Thurs-Sun opening hours/days (exciting! Clandestine!) and b) ticketed (strangely conventional for Famous). Watching Twitter, like I do because I get bored at work/have nothing better to do with my life, the tickets sold in double quick time promting Famous/Fire and Salt to roast two piggies and put on a double sitting.

The premise of the night was turn up, eat pig, leave satisfied - however being an Almost Famous night there was also plenty of chutzpah and theatre thrown in for good measure. Not only did we get to eat pig, we got to see piggy as well - before we tucked in he was wheeled out for us to page homage, straight from the BBQ. Oink oink.

Hey there little piggy, you going to get in my belly?

The pig had been cooking for the past two days in Fire and Salt's traditional southern style BBQ pit (and Southern style doesn't mean like Essex here); basted, tended, cared for, obsessed over (pretty much how I like to be treated) and then the kitchen monkeys at Almost Famous had created some absolutely blinding dishes for us to get wet over (like the state I get in if I'm treated like that piggy...).

First out  - pork scratchings; well you couldn't have a flithy night of pigging out without the most dirty, salty, crunchy bar snack ever - seemed to get everyone right in the mood as by the time the ribs came out everyone was practically drooling about what was to come - hyped up by the frenetic finger picking of the the banjo player and the skimpy shorts worn by the waitresses (my, they were skimpy!).

First out were Fuck Yeah ribs, totally melt in the mouth - in fact not even mouth as the bones came out in my fingers and just left the spicy, smoky, sweetness of the meat for me to shovel in - needless to say I ate as many of these as I could and greedy nicked any spares that were lying around, baring my teeth if others came near.

One of the three portions of ribs I manged to gobble

Then a double dish for double fun - on one side, a bacon sandwich with the Famous makeover; basically that finger-lickin' famous ketchup, god I could murder one of these every morning. Then a carnita; a soft little taco filled with achingly tender pork, hot sauce and a lime laden guacamole that lit up your mouth and made your eyes pop out of your head.

Carnita and bacon sandwich *drools*

Out came a slider - a mini-burger that was modelled on the eponymous Famous burger but topped with JD maple candied bacon, BBQ onions, baconaise (yeah like there wasn't enough pork on the menu), cheese and BBQ sauce. Mini-burger, but a mighty mouthful.

Then, when I really couldn't fit in any more food and was beginning to feel a little Man Vs Food, out came the pork platter. An overflowing plate of porcine perfection, served on Famous sweet potato and potato fries and accompanied by a selection of sauces and dips, including butter, because we all needed more calories/fat/death in our bodies right then.

In case I hadn't had my fill of meat, some pork for me to stuff in my (mouth) hole

All the while we porked out the drinks were flowing; the staff were chatting, relaxing and serving the needs of the of us vile gluttons in the true friendly Famous style. I stuffed pork in my mouth, gobbled inordinate amounts of meat, tasted a range of wonderfully thought out flavours and licked my fingers almost to the bone. Evern thinking about it now brings me out in goose pimples.

From the smiles and full bellies of the diners the night was a super success - it's good to see somewhere trying something a little different. As with anything that's put on at Almost Famous you know the crazy amount of dedication and passion that has been poured in to every detail of every dish and at Pig Out, you could definitely taste it.

Ps Keep an eye out on the Almost Famous website/twitter for more food obsessed nights as I'm sure there will be plenty to come.

Almost Famous, 100 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester

Almost Famous on Urbanspoon

Almost Famous on Urbanspoon