This August bank holiday is Frosts Foodie Festival and I go along to get a taste of what’s on offer
The Frosts Garden Centre has always been so much more than just a garden centre to our area. With their well thought out kids activities, very enjoyable-to-visit restaurant and well-stocked food hall.
This bank holiday weekend things aren’t just all about a 3 for 2 on flower pots either. Frosts are holding a three day food festival, called, well, Frosts Foodie Festival.
It’s in partnership with Eat with Spencer, local award-winning chef Spencer Ollington.
When you go inside the main building of Frosts, head on straight forwards until you reach the t junction and then take it left (opposite way to the restaurant) and you’ll find the event space.
It’s a big room filled with a whole variety of local(ish) artisan food producers, a cookery corner where kids can get their hands busy and a big chef stage where there are professional chefs demonstrating their skills on the hour between 11am and 3pm.
When I arrived on the first day (Saturday 25th) at 11am I was just in time to see current Milton Keynes Chef of the Year Shane Clarke on stage (MKFLA 2018).
Shane Clarke works with his brother Aaron doing The Brothers Supper culinary events. He is also head chef for The Anchor in neighbouring Aspley Guise.
Shane was on stage cooking whilst Spencer Ollington compèred the proceedings.
The audience and I watched Shane prepare Pan fried seabass, king prawn & chorizo tortellini, chorizo cream, courgette salad, including making his own pasta for it.
Look at that plating up! Pretty good innit for being under pressure whilst a ton of us watched him sweat.
The audience and I were lucky and even got to sample his cooking too. Nom.
In between watching the chefs cooking I took the opportunity to scout over the artisan food producers who were spread across the whole space.
Whole spices and mixed spice mixes. I had a smell of the Black Jade spice mix on their stall and was instantly taken back to memories of my Guyanese/Chinese grandad and the fusion cooking he used to do for our Christmas meals together. I love how a smell and food has the power of memory. Spices are as important on the nose and tongue as they are in our personal memories.
Woburn Country Foods
Woburn Country Foods are a Bedfordshire Butchers, they also operate the Butchers counter in Frosts own food hall. At their stand in the festival room there is a ton of sausages for sale, lots of which you can sample before you buy. They are also selling pork pies the size of your head!
I couldn’t resist a couple of packs of sausages. I took home Cumberland sausages and Breakfast Chipolata sausages. I also nabbed a bag of their Pork Scratchings. And currently writing this whilst wishing I had grabbed a pork pie too. Sniff.
Atelier The Brigadeiro
Winner of the MK Food Awards 2018 ‘Best Local Product’ Atelier The Brigadeiro are found at Frosts too this weekend with their Brazilian chocolate truffles. There’s samples to nibble. They’re delicious!
Two Birds Spirits
Makers of Gin, English Vodka and Absinthe from Market Harborough. Two Birds have got bottles and bottles of all kinds of stuff to tempt you with.
Dhaniya are a family business from Milton Keynes who create authentic Indian spice rubs and curry pastes.
Willow Tree Gin
Bedfordshire’s only distillery, Willow Tree Gin is created with smoked botanicals.
Then it was back over to the stage as Spencer Ollington was on stage cooking up a storm with venison.
I have no idea how he managed to create a dish like this in barely no time at all. Take a look for yourself! Mmm roast carrots.
Then I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get some proper grub inside myself too. There was a couple of street food vendors outside the main entrance to Frosts and in front of the Food Hall.
There’s the Spencer famous Halloumi fries.
Milk shakes, hot chocolate and juice bar called Liquid.
There was also The Kitchen Garden by Frosts. A place you can grab a burger or this epic hotdog (above) and also a beer or a glass or wine (yeaaaah, I had a prosecco. hic). Food was a really, really good quality. The hotdog came with crispy onions and bacon jam with options to load up and add avocado or chilli too.
Then it was pudding time and I couldn’t resist Purbeck ice cream who have a stall outside the front entrance too. I had a scoop of Butterscotch and a scoop of Mint Baby Choc Chip. They make the nicest ice creams in a whole load of different flavours, you really must try them.
Then back inside to look at some more of the produce stalls.
Jam Moo Kow
Jam, chutneys and preserves, grown and made here in Milton Keynes. I have had a few of their jams before and found them delicious. I walked away from Frosts with a Piccalilli I can’t wait to try soon.
Don Jacobo Wines
Plonk of two kinds. I don’t know much about wine at all. Zero in fact. But there’s red and white and a lovely guy who will tell you all about them!
Milton Keynes Cupcakery
This stall is hard to resist. Just look at them! That drip cake with the French fancies on needs to come visit me at home, as do the Oreo brownies. 🤤
So many different varieties of fudge and brittle on offer. I bought some Irish cream fudge for my parents who were looking after Half Pint and Squishee for me, it was very tasty apparently.
Inside the festival was also the Smart Raspberry Cookery School. Giving the children a chance to get cooking themselves making pizzas and ice creams.
On the main stage next was Hazel from Jam Moo Kow who was helping Spencer made a dessert with some of her produce.
Then a look some more food stalls.
From Lidlington in Bedfordshire is Darn Spice hot chilli sauces.
The Chocolate Mill MK
Local chocolatier Steve Mills is at Frosts. With samples and lots of handmade chocolates for you to get your mitts on. I couldn’t resist them and took home a small box of six. They are now in my belly and were all delicious. Tip: Try the rhubarb and custard ones. They are NOM!
The Indian Orchard
Past winners of the Best Local Product award at the MK Food Awards are also at Frosts this weekend. The Indian Orchard make pickles, chutneys and treats and are from our very own Milton Keynes. Lots of samples to try.
There was also a huge stall selling olives and Turkish delight and Turkish sweets like baklava. I bought a huge box or orange, rose and lemon Turkish delight. Very, very tasty.
There was also a few more stalls that I didn’t manage to get around to seeing properly but I’m going back tomorrow (Monday 27th) for the last day of the festival.
The Frosts Foodie Festival has been running since Saturday and continues you until tomorrow Monday 27th August 2018. It’s very family friendly and full of things to see and try and watch and buy. Well done Frosts and well done Eat with Spencer and all those taking part and showcasing. See you tomorrow!