Saturday, December 1, 2007

BBC Good Mediocre Food Show

After much excitement and build-up, I went to the BBC Good Food Show today. John was smart and went to the annual Worley Model Railway show (that we went to last year and the year before). We were talking about it yesterday with a friend at work, and she said that she had gone to the Good Food show for the last two years but wasn't going this year. She was also impressed that we were going to 'brave it on a Saturday.'

We got up pretty early and made it to Birmingham by about 10, and John trundled off to look at trains while I made my way to the other side of the NEC on a shuttle bus. I subscribe to the magazine (which has been plugging the show for months), and I had my e-ticket, which included a 'show program' (supposedly worth £2.50). I asked the people at the entrance who were selling what looked like the show programs if I could have one, pointing to my ticket. "No, you just get the free one - it's over there if you want to go get it." Lovely.

I went in and it was heaving with people - so I thought I'd walk around the perimeter and get my bearings. Basically, all the booths were either giving away free samples of whatever it was they were selling, or they didn't really have anything to sell. Bunched around any possible free sample were hordes of people, shoving each other out of the way and grabbing fistfuls of whatever the vendor happened to be handing out.

The whole thing was like Price Club the weekend before Thanksgiving. I did manage to fight my way through the crowds to get a new kitchen knife (for which there was no line because they weren't giving anything away for free).

All of the tickets came with a 'supertheatre' ticket - and I'd signed up for a mock-taping of 'Ready, Steady, Cook!' It's kind of like Iron Chef, in that there are ingredients presented and the chefs have 20 minutes to make whatever it is that they're given into a 3-course meal. It actually ended up being pretty funny and entertaining, but I was so harried by that point that I didn't really care.

Here's Ainsley, the host:

And here's everybody, cooking up a storm:

The guy on the left was really funny - they'd told him to whisk some cream and somehow he managed to get cream EVERYWHERE. On the cameraman, on Ainsley, on the table, on the floor, and all over himself. It was very entertaining.

Here we are, queueing to get in (since they were trying to get all 3000 of us through one door:

And here is the mass of humanity, stampeding from one free sample to the next:

I feel like such a crotchety old bag complaining about it - but the behavior of 'the general public' today was truly appalling. I think it had the potential to be a good event, they just completely sold too many tickets. That, and I was pretty darn excited about it. There's a slim possibility that I'll try again next year, but there's no way I'm going anywhere near it on a weekend.

Glad to be home, anyway.

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