News: The BEAST Comes to Birmingham

So, there’s something Bouncy and Beasty coming to the neighbourhood, so I thought I’d let you know.

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSE LANDS IN BIRMINGHAM

FRIDAY 8th – SUNDAY 17th DECEMBER, 10.00am – 11.00pm

#TheBouncyBeast

Tickets are now on-sale today for the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, The Beast returning to the UK at the NEC, Birmingham this December. At an unbelievable 272m long, The Beast is the ultimate nostalgic bouncy castle experience for adults. Unleash the beast this December and run, bounce and dance your way around the phenomenal 32 obstacles open to the public for eight days only – the perfect office, family or group party!

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Take on The Beast and enjoy a feast of Birmingham’s finest street food vendors washed down with craft beer, cocktails and prosecco on tap. Live DJs will combine with an extraordinary sound and lighting show that will complete the most ridiculously fun day out you could possibly imagine.

The Beast is the brainchild of UK promoters Nick Zuppar & Joe Arditti. Nick and Joe said:  “The Beast London was such an unbelievably huge success with 20,000 bouncy revellers through the doors, we’re bouncing with excitement to bring it to Birmingham for the first time ever for the ultimate party occasion this DecemberYou have to see it to believe it!”

Tickets are limited and expected to sell out very quickly so don’t miss out by booking yours today. The Beast sessions are ticketed and will run throughout the day in 30 minute blocks from 10.00am to 11.00pm, with morning sessions for kids, from Friday 8th December – Sunday 17th December. Spectator tickets are also available and will gain access to the food, drink and party areas which will be open throughout.

 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE: www.ilovetobounce.com and www.theticketfactory.com

Date: 8th-17th December 2017 (not 11th and 12th Dec)

Venue: NEC, Birmingham

Address: National Exhibition Centre, Halls, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT

Prices: £20.00 (+ £2 booking fee)

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in Birmingham you might want to know about.

 

Colmore Food Festival 2017

It seems to be coming around quicker every year.

The Colmore Food Festival is one of the highlights of Wifey and I’s year. Bringing the cream of the Colmore BID‘s bars, restaurants and cafes in a showcase over a Friday and Saturday.

You can read previous years’ posts herehere and here.

My photography skills seem to have forgotten about anything but food and drink this year but it was a similar set up to last year, with the stage next to the Town Hall and a central seating area with the stalls looping around it.

Wifey and I went both days (of course!) and we tried a fairly decent selection, photos below:

Day 1

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My first dish of the day (prior to Wifey’s arrival) was the Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks from Purnell’s Restaurant accompanied with watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.

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Chicken Katsu Curry, breaded chicken, mild katsu curry sauce and sticky rice from the lovely chaps at Chung Ying Central.

We tried both dishes from Nosh & Quaff , usually found on their starters list, The Rib Tips (a very popular dish for the festival), deep fried lumps of pork belly tossed in their house BBQ sauce, and their Buffalo Wings, Free-Range Cotswold Chicken Wings with a smoked butter and Habanero sauce.

After that much food, it was time for a beverage so we popped over to the cocktail maestro from Purnell’s Bistro, Gary Anderson (on what we learnt was our last time getting a cocktail from him, prior to his move to The Meat Shack as their new GM). We had a Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, and Pineapple & Sage Daiquiri, Bacardi Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Sage & Pink Peppercorn.

And that was the end of Day 1

Day 2

After a fun day in the radio studio (for Geeky Brummie, it’s worth a listen, I promise!), it was time for more food and booze!

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First stop of the day was Opus  / Bar Opus Wifey had the Pork Belly with spiced cherries and I had a Parma Violet with gin, creme de violette, lemonade and parma crystals.

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Next it was time for our now traditional Colmore Food Festival must-have from Jojolapa, the Momo’s (chicken dumplings).

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My next stop was Gaucho and their Beef Empanada and (not pictured) Vacio (bavette) steak which came accompanied with Humita Saltena (creamed sweetcorn).

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Then it was a return to Purnell’s Bistro, and another Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, the third variety of cocktail we had was their Summer Lovin with Grey Goose Vodka Peach, cranberry, Orange and Lime.

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Wifey also popped to Purnell’s Restaurant, with the Ox Cheek swapped out for Beef Blade accompanied by watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.

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There was also time for a bit of Dim Sum, from Chung Ying Central.

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The final dish of the day was Black Forest Cake from The Bureau, and some Tom Collins from The Jekyll & Hyde (not pictured) we were pretty much done for the year. and with that, it’s on until waiting for 2018’s Food Festival!

When: 30/06/2017 – 01/07/2017

Where: Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre

Who: Colmore Business DistrictPurnell’s Bistro / Ginger’s BarChung Ying CentralNosh & Quaff, OpusBar OpusJojolapaGauchoThe Bureau and The Jekyll & Hyde

 

Victoria Square hosts a play with a food theme – The Hand That Feeds

As regular readers are aware, I love food and theatre, so I thought it’d be nice to tell you about something coming up for free!

‘The Hand That Feeds’ is a theatrical song cycle about food crime. Food crime, which involves fraud at any stage in the production or supply of food or drink, is a widespread and growing problem that affects us all. The project was conceived of by Kate Cooper, founder of The New Optimists: a forum for regional scientists.

The Hand That Feeds’ is composed by Sara Colman,written by Mez Packer and directed by Graeme Rose.

It follows the story of Robbie, “a hardworking family man” raised in Birmingham who comes to realise the impact of his role in the food supply chain and the difference he can make.

The project aims to raise public awareness of the issues and the widespread implications of food crime — both locally and nationally — and to create a platform for discussion. The New Optimists’ conviction is that a fun arts-based events can have a big impact in enabling a wider audience to engage in social matters, such as food crime, where the role of science, here the forensics of food fraud, play a big part in making our world a better place.

The content was built with people from across the food supply network in Birmingham, the largest economic sector in the city. As well as the core professional actor- musicians, The New Optimists are working with Castle Vale Community Choir, who will be the ensemble for the piece.

Professor Chris Elliott, who led the Government review into the integrity and assurance of our food supply network after the horsemeat scandal, and who coined the term ‘food crime’, is the Scientific Advisor on the project.

The free, outdoor performances of ‘The Hand That Feeds’ are taking place on / at:

Saturday 10th June: 12pm near St Cuthberts Church, Caste Vale, B35 7PL

&

Tuesday 13th June at 1pm in Victoria Square, B1 1BB

Audiences are encouraged to follow the conversation both in the run up to and during the live shows with #StopFoodCrime.

Founder Kate Cooper said: “The New Optimists is a forum of top-notch regional scientists from diverse scientific disciplines, keen to make our world a better place. Their work matters and The New Optimists is about getting their work — and their informed perspective — in on decision-making. This musical is one of many ways to do so.”

Follow them online at:

http://newoptimists.com

Facebook:  newoptimists

Twitter: @newoptimists

 

Summer Sizzlers at thestudio Birmingham

A few Fridays ago, enjoying a rare day out of the office, after popping down to Birmingham Social Media Cafe, I made my way over to thestudio Birmingham on the promise from East Village PR of a bit of BBQ food a G&T and the hope of sunshine.

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The front door of thestudio is a bit unassuming, taking over a double shopfront, it doesn’t look that big from the front, however it takes up the majority of the building with 22 rooms over three floors, including an atrium and patio, where I planned on chilling for the next few hours…

And the sunshine was on point, it was a glorious afternoon and the hubbub was already starting.

The reason for my attendance was the launch of their new Summer BBQ packages, with BBQ maestro Richard Holden showing off his flare over the charcoal and a few beverages of the alcoholic kind to soak up the sun, in the company of the award winning Mr David Massey, aka #BrumHour.

First stop, as usual, I was inexctriacably  born closer to something shiny, in the form of Copper Head Gin bottle, from Belgium and paired with East Imperial Burma Tonic, from New Zealand. Both brands were new to me and it was truly an intercontinental cocktail!

A G&T always reminds me of a nice sunny day so this was perfect.

Next up, was one of my favourite brewers in the Midlands, Purity Brewing Company, they had their full range on display with their new lower 3.5% abv Pale Ale Bunny Hop.

None of that for me though, Longhorn IPA is an opportunity I’ll never miss and one of my favourite all time IPAs, it’s quite citrusy, but always refreshing.

Our final stop on the way round was to Richard Holden’s BBQ tent, which we quickly invaded as the sun was getting too much for us!

Richard was cooking some tasters of his BBQ Masterclass menu, including Salmon with Pesto, Beer Can Chicken, Wings and Flat-breads with Humus, all smelling equally delicious. It was also great to have a quick chat with thestudios Commercial Director Julian, who was helping out with service.

The heat was starting to get to me however, so BrumHour and I nipped inside to enjoy the atrium (and their free WiFi!) whilst having a refreshing beer to cool off.

It was nice to see a different side to thestudio as I had previously attended for ICE (International Comics Expo) Birmingham which just shows the varied clientele they do have!

When: 26/05/2017

Where: thestudio7 Cannon St, Birmingham, B2 5EP

Who: thestudioRichard Holden’s BBQCopper Head, East Imperial Burma TonicPurity Brewing Company

 

The BBQ Masterclass can be booked through thestudio by calling 0800 028 6694 which displays a range of BBQ and kitchen skills from £50 per head for 3 hours through to £70 per head for a 6 hour course, with food included, for groups between 10 – 20 in size.

Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of thestudio and East village PR (who also sent me a natty apron), this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

 

 

Feliz Segundo Aniversario! Brummie Gourmand is 2!

It’s hard to believe it’s been TWO YEARS since my first post. I gave an update on what the first year had held so I thought I’d give you an update on Year 2!

This year has been an interesting one so far, having been shortlisted for the Midlands Food Drink and Hospitality Awards Blogger of the Year, the first anniversary of Geeky Brummie on Brum Radio, the launch of the Geeky Brummie Podcast, and lots and lots of blogging.

Some personal highlights have been:

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  • Enjoying Beef & Malbec at Gaucho

Choosing just a dozen of the things I’ve been up to was difficult so head on through the archives to read more!

To finish, a quick thank you, again, to long suffering Wifey and thank you to all those who’ve taken time to read my little corner of the internet. Here’s looking forward to year 3!

Feeding Time at Foodies Festival

For a change, there was some blue sky present this summer. It was a glorious sunny Sunday and for the third year in a row, Wifey and I escaped the city (just about) and headed to Cannon Hill Park.

The main reason for our visit was not the usual excellence of the MAC, or for a run. Instead, it was to  have a taste of the Foodies Festival. Now in it’s 11th year starting in Brighton at the end of April, and then touring the country with food festivals in ten locations throughout the Summer.

The Birmingham event showed off some of Birmingham’s best talent with Nathan Eades Richard Turner, Brad Carter, Ben Ternent and James Wong.

Also TV talent was in attendance in the shape of Great British Bake Off Winner, Nadiya Hussein, and MasterChef’s Tony Rodd and Dhruv Baker.

Accompanying the demonstrations were some streetfood stalls, bars and produce to purchase and try.

The first stop off for Viv and I was a bit of Caribbean spice in the shape of the Levi Roots camper van, serving up wings and nibbles. Wifey managed to grab a wing smothered in Reggae Reggae sauce, with a bit of chopped spring onion and mayo.

The wing was nice and hot, and the Reggae Reggae sauce worked well as a marinade. We’ll definitely be trying it at home at some point.

Next stop was keeping in the Caribbean theme with a visit to the Appleton Rum Bus.

This Jamaican Rum is a firm favourite of Wifey’s extended Jamaican family and it’s nice to see it reaching the UK!  We were shown how to mash sugar cane, which reminded us of our holiday to the Dominican Republic a few years back. Wifey got to pretend to be bus driver, had a rum tasting of Appleton’s signature blend and then finished off with a couple of cocktails.

A Jamaican Mule for me made with ginger ale and lime whilst Wifey plumped for a Fruit Punch with Orange, Pineapple and Grenadine. Both were delicious and didn’t last very long!

Onwards to the Chef’s Theatre and we bumped into Birmingham’s best Chilli Sauce provider in the shape of Pip! Pip’s Hot Sauce is  a devilishly spicy chilli sauce brand,
crafted in small batches to ensure quality and made right here in Birmingham.

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We picked up a bottle on the way for Wifey’s dad, a bit of a connoisseur of fiery stuff, and arrived at the theatre in time for Nathan Eades’ chef’s demo.

Nathan Eades has taken over Head Chef duties at Simpsons for just under a year now, after a successful run at his own, Epi @ The Courtyard in Bromsgrove, and pop ups at The Kitchen Garden (Kings Heath) and The Pickled Piglet (City Centre).

For today’s demonstration, Nathan was cooking Seared Scallops with asparagus, shrimp and squid ink.

 

It was a fascinating demonstration with lots of good foodie tips on preparation, and getting your ingredients weighed and sorted prior to cooking saving a lot of time.

After witnessing that display, it was time to get munching. Our next stop was a Prosecco and Squid bar for Wifey.

A hefty portion of squid and chips with a squidge of mayo. The squid in batter was quite light, not suffering from excessive chewy-ness and the chips not too greasy.

My lunch also went with an aquatic theme but with an added quack.

I had a portion of crispy rotisserie duck, spring onion and hoisin sauce accompanied with duck fat chips.

The duck was a touch on the dry side but otherwise flavoursome, and the chips were amazing like crispy roasties and chips combined.

To cool off, it was time to return to an annual favourite of ours, Whipsmiths. These guys do Liquid Nitrogen Ice-cream in their Cryo-mixer, a purpose designed liquid nitrogen ice-cream machine, and allows operators to handcraft individual portions of ice-cream in just 30 seconds.The queue took 30 minutes but it was worth it.

Wifey had a green combo of Pistachio and Matcha whilst I went for Popcorn and Coconut. If you’ve never tried it, it’s a lot creamier than normal ice cream as the crystals have less time to form, therefore, are smaller and smoother. Wifey’s ice cream was almost savoury in flavour but disappeared rapidly, mine was crunchy with some real popcorn thrown into the mix.

And that was pretty much it.  We’ll be returning next year, however, the majority of stalls in the streetfood aisles were repeats of previous years, hopefully next time there’ll be some further variety as we’re running out of things to try!

When: 05/06/2016

Where: Foodies Festival, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston / Moseley,  Birmingham, B13 8RD

Who:  Foodies Festival,