Archive for June, 2010

Tea: from great-great grandfather to great-great granddaughter!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Kate Gover used to hate tea with a passion.

That was until she tasted a Japanese green tea produced by farmers on a tiny estate. She fell in love with the complex taste and a new and exciting world opened up in front of her.

That one extraordinary cup inspired Kate to start Lahloo and it would be hard to find somebody more passionate about tea.

Although Kate’s love of tea was ignited by a single cup of artisan Japanese green tea, it was studying tea and its British history that led her to a remarkable discovery, not to mention inspiration for the company name.

During her research, she learnt that her great-great grandfather, George Hockaday, sailed aboard an iconic 19th century tea clipper called the Lahloo.

She offers tea drinkers a boutique collection of loose-leaf tea from some of the world’s finest small tea gardens. These distinctive teas are a world away from the faceless, mass-produced tea produced in huge factories.

This is hand-picked tea with character, flavour, provenance, and, like Kate and Lahloo, each one has its own fascinating story to tell.

 

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When Art and Food meet

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

When Art and Food meet the result can’t be anything but really good!

Holly has just come on board with FoodAdo: the more we discover about her the more we like her and the delicate chocolate she creates.

“As an artist painting magical and uplifting pictures, who was also a foodie and a chocoholic, I was interested in quality  chocolate, and was so inspired after seeing the film “Chocolat” that I began to experiment with various chilli and chocolate concoctions of my own, and embarked upon a quest to discover the secrets behind the best and most delicious chocolate in the world.

Initially I started to sell my chocolate creations alongside my art at exhibitions.  This proved very successful, and I began to fuse my passion for art and chocolate by putting my own art on the packaging.  In early 2008, l launched Chocoholly, with a mission to produce the finest quality organic hand-made chocolate, together with my own packaging  I had designed myself.  The rest, as they say, is history!

I have been greatly inspired by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, she has been a real trailblazer for peoples rights and the environment, and an absolutely amazing woman. I admire women who’ve gone into business and become a success against the odds,  like Jo Malone who has successfully built a luxury fragrance brand and  now coaches women starting their own new businesses.

I believe strongly in the provenance and purity of the ingredients I use, which means everything is organic. No chemicals have been used in the growing of any of my ingredients. There’s nothing artificial added, and my range of chocolates are accredited by the Soil Association.  I make everything by hand in small batches, the old fashioned way, and I even create my own chilli oil for flavour, and everything is in harmony with the environment.  This is what Chocoholly really stands for, and the price reflects this because the ingredients are organic and pure which results in the finest artisan chocolate for the most discerning chocoholic.

I love creating recipes and my Chilli and Coconut dark chocolate is a very popular flavour as it is perfectly balanced, and not the usual mouth burner that chilli can be. Probably because I make my own chilli oil using a variety of different chillies for flavour. My Cardamom chocolate is so subtle and wonderful that it has become my best seller.

I intend to incorporate more and more creativity in to my chocolate, and to continue to create organic chocolate that is pure and in harmony with the environment. If you have any suggestions for new flavours I’d love to hear from you!”

 

Father’s Day in London: lots of children and lots of safe food!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

FoodAdo was invited by LondonMums for a lovely Father’s Day in Putney, London.


Families, happy children and delicious surprises inside the FoodAdo hampers.

The Champions of the Tournament won hampers full of tasty surprises.

FoodAdo brought lots of presents and specialities: good and safe for the children and for their parents too.

Monica from LondonMums organized the fun day and invited FoodAdo to join in for the Tournament and the raffle.

LondonMums.org.uk is a a beautiful community of families living in London, that organizes events and share good tips for parents in its colourful newsletter.

It was a good Sunday afternoon!

 

FoodAdo exploring “Taste of London” in Regents Park

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Tom Aikens and other food experts for the Taste of London 2010 in lovely (and SUNNY) Regents Park.

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I love chocolate!

Friday, June 11th, 2010

More girls coming on board!

Galia, from CHOC Chick Chocolate, had a long love affair with chocolate for long long time…

“I love chocolate! Chocolate has always been a big part of my life and some of my earliest childhood memories are of making and eating chocolate as a child in South America.

Having rediscovered the chocolate of my childhood here in the UK, I resolved to set up CHOC Chick to promote the pure goodness of chocolate in its raw state and bring the delights and benefits of raw chocolate to everyone.

I must also confess to not being one who spent a lot of time in the kitchen. As a working mum, cooking was more of a chore and never a relaxing experience for me. What really amazed me was how simple and enjoyable making raw chocolate is and how much I enjoy experimenting and thinking of new ingredients to add to the chocolates.

The best part really was discovering how good for you raw chocolate is. The more I read about the benefits and properties of raw chocolate, the more amazed I was that raw chocolate ingredients aren’t simply a household staple, easily found in any shop. Not only is raw chocolate considered a “super food” chock full of antioxidants containing over 300 nutritional compounds, but made with Sweet Freedom (a natural sweetener made from fruit) the home made chocolates have a low glycemic index and are lactose and gluten free. Raw chocolate is also a recognized anti depressant, mood enhancer, appetite suppressant and my ultimate favourite…aphrodisiac!

I of course started making large quantities of chocolates for my family, friends, dinner parties, school fairs and any occasion I could find. Sunday mornings in our household have become infused with the smells of melting cocoa butter and chocolate powder and my children adore helping me and of course eating the chocolates!

This rediscovery was too good to keep to myself and circle of friends, so after sourcing ethical suppliers in Ecuador and designing our packaging, I launched my website in September 2008 and the first CHOC Chick Kit was born.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these decadently healthy raw chocolates as much as I do!”

When “passion” really means something: Clare, a passionate producer

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Interviewing produces like Clare Jones, The Bellevue Tea Company, just makes you realize what “passion for what you do” means in fact.

She has just come on board at FoodAdo, bringing her beautifully packaged tea, a lot of good energy and a fantastic story:

“My love affair with tea began nearly 25 years ago in Calcutta, as it was there that I first met Mike, my tea-trader husband.”

You listen and you know already you want to know more.

“Tea has been at the heart of my life ever since. From that essential, first cup of tea of the day, to an enjoyable afternoon tea at a friend’s house, I cannot help myself from appraising each and every cup. After years of sharing a life with someone who, quite literally, sniffs the contents of teapots, or dissects teabags in hotels, it was inevitable that I became, as it were, infused with the subject.”

“Over the years, I seem to have become, like my husband has always been, a tea “help desk” to anyone I know, or happen to meet. People do seem to want to talk about tea, and have all sorts of questions… Which tea to drink and where to buy it? Which tea bags are the best at the moment? What gives Earl Grey its flavour? Is this tea any good?

It became clear that the obvious thing to do, with the guidance of my own in-house expert, was to go into the business myself. So, for the last two years I have put much of my energy and enthusiasm into creating and building the Bellevue tea brand.

A trip to Sri Lanka was, of course, essential. I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the way the tea was being produced. I visited the estates where my tea is grown, and met the people where it is packed. I was reassured by what I saw – the people are well treated and proud of their work, and I was made to feel really welcome.

Bellevue tea finally launched in 2008 and the HQ is located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The company is named after a local, picturesque shopping street called: Bellevue Road, in the heart of South West London.

During our first year in business, Bellevue teas were being sold all over the UK and as we celebrated our company’s first birthday, we were very pleased to welcome Harrods onto the list of stockists! Now in our second year, with demand for our teas growing to include customers in Eire, the USA and Canada, Bellevue tea still feels like a small, “boutique” brand.

Tea is more central to my life than ever before, as anybody who visits my house discovers when they see the tea piled high in the doorway. With the help and encouragement of my husband and my four very patient children, the brand building goes on. There are now five good-looking, fine tasting Bellevue teas - and many more in the pipeline!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas to help choose the newest addition to the Bellevue tea family. Please do get in touch any time, we always enjoy hearing from tea drinkers everywhere. “

Events for the weekend: More healthy food at the South of England Agricultural Society Show!

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

South of England Agricultural Society Show

June 10th – 12th 2010
South of England Showground, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6TL

Something fun for a summer weekend..