The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford

A singer from The Voice in the garden, impressive decor and a sophisticated ambience but how does The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford perform in the, er, kitchen?

New Bletchley Park-esque Pizza Express in CMK

Pizza Express Midsummer Arcade reopened earlier this month after a Bletchley Park inspired makeover. Want a peek? Read on…

The Wheatsheaf Bow Brickhill

Reopened for business following new owners but what’s changed? EVERYTHING. Read on…

Review: Essence All About Nudes Eye Shadow Palette + FREE Giveaway

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Flicking through the September issue of Cosmopolitan I find myself engrossed in an article from beauty journalist Lucy Partington. 

In it she explains that before she became a beauty journalist, she lived with the assumption that when it comes to beauty, you get what you pay for. She isn’t the only one and I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of thinking “the higher the price tag, the more the product must be desirable, more efficient or superior” #MakeUpSnob. 

One particular product that caught my eye in disbelief was the mention of an eye shadow palette from a brand of makeup I had never heard of before called Essence. Stocked and sold at Wilko stores. 

JUDGING BEST LOCAL FOOD & DRINK PRODUCE FOR MKFLA 2016

Yesterday (Saturday) I was up bright and early and made my way to Paris House in Woburn. It was the day to deliberate and decide on the winners of the Best Local Food & Drink Produce for the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards 2016.

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 A cup of English Breakfast Tea to start and then it was down to business. My fellow judges were Michelin star holder and owner of Paris House Phil Fanning. MK Food & Leisure Awards Chef of the Year winner 2015 Jeffrey Payne. And fellow blogger and local food lover Rob from Robs Ribs.

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First up was the food nominees:

Kandola’s Kitchen – Chocolates
Gunter Weber – Rural Honey
Frosts Food Hall – Chicken Liver Pâté
Fistful of Spice – Caribbean Hot Sauce Mango Chilli
Virtual Orchard – Cider Vinegar
The Indian Orchard – Garlic and Tamarind Pickle
Jam Moo Kow – Plum & Cinnamon Jam
Wodehill – Croxton Ewe Cheese
Amazing-Grains – Rye Bread

How many of you knew that these products existed? Well worth checking them out and I’d love to hear what you think of them or maybe you could message me with a local product that you love that that didn’t make it in this years shortlist that you would love to be considered for next years awards?

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Then it was the turn of the drinks category:

Hornes Brewery – Triple Goat Porter 4.6% vol
Bucks Star Brewery – Cloudy Artisan Beer 4% vol
White Park Brewery – Oast House 4.8% vol
Concrete Cow Brewery – MK IPA 5% vol

Deliberations were hard but by the end of the morning we had decided on our winners which will be announced at the Awards Night on May 8 at The Sculpture Gallery, Woburn Abbey.

There’s still time to vote for lots of categories in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards 2016 and have YOUR SAY on who gets crowned the best of the best in our area

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JUDGING THE Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards Chef of the Year Cook Off 2016

Yesterday was quite a different sort of day for me. I got up early and went to college…

Well, the Brasserie at Milton Keynes College Bletchley campus to be precise. It was time for the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards chef cook off 2016. A live cooking contest between local chefs from a whole range of local pubs and restaurants. A bit like Masterchef that you see on the TV and best of all, I was going to be a judge. Me!   

There were eight chefs competing for the coveted title of Chef of the Year:

Jack Behjet – The Crooked Billet
Brendan Flynn – Bell & Bear
Grae Conyers – Nonna’s
Daniel Novak – Woburn Brasserie
Neil Grimble – The Black Horse, Woburn
Chris Doyle – Oliver’s Restaurant, The Woburn Hotel
Spencer Orlington – Bistro Live
Vikram Kumar Sharna – Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar

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All the chefs were to cook up three courses. A starter, main and dessert.

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The starter was a mystery box challenge. Eight identical boxes of ingredients were given to each chef and they were given just one hour to discover the contents of the boxes, conceive an idea for a starter, cook and then present it to us. This was so interesting to watch and to observe the thought process of a chef creating a dish from scratch.

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The main course was up to the chef. It was their chance to show off the very best dishes in their repertoire.

The dessert course was to present a trio of desserts. One, had to be a chocolate fondant. One, had to be a cheesecake, but the flavour was negotiable. The third part of the trio was to be chosen by the chef, a dessert that they felt complimented the other two parts.

It was not an easy task judging, but judge we must. All the chef’s worked exceptionally hard and turned out some stunning dishes on the day. Scores have been tallied and the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards Chef of the Year 2016 will be announced at the glittering awards ceremony at Woburn Abbey on May 8.

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The Judges

 

Reckon you’re a good judge? There are still many categories that YOU can have your say in. Deadline for voting is 30 April 2016 and you can vote on their website http://www.mkfla.co.uk/

Special mention to The Brasserie who received an award in recognition of their talent and hard work from the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire on the same day I was there. Congratulations! 

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