SW9 – Loughborough Junction – Levi Roots’ Big Lunch

Having worked as a steward on The Big Lunch on Lavender Hill in Battersea a couple of years ago, I was delighted to see that the initiative is still alive and well. I’ve also been involved in a few community-based festivals and food events – see my post last week on The Fabulous Feast.

As a little warm up to the main event on June 2, Brixton-born celebrity chef Levi Roots hosted a special cooking demonstration from at the Marcus Lipton Centre near Loughborough Junction.

The Big Lunch, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Eden Project, encourages people across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year, for a few hours of community, friendship and fun.

Showcasing five recipes costing just £5 each, Levi demonstrated to residents from the Loughborough Junction community that holding a Big Lunch doesn’t require a lot of money or preparation.

Levi’s Jamaican cooking style helped to inspire the street party recipes, which were tried and tested by Big Lunchers from the area, who are planning to hold the event on Sunday 2 June.

Taken from his own collection, Levis’ recipe demonstration included haloumi 50/50 Kingsmill Wraps with melon and mint salsa, chill tomato toasts, hot cheesy potato skins, barbecued sweetcorn and flavoured butters and roasted treacle toffee bananas, all of which are easy to prepare and can be cooked on a grill or a barbecue.

I’m always a big advocate of community gatherings and initiatives, and although this isn’t the thing I usually post on my blog, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s good to see everyone getting involved in cooking and community.

Local Big Luncher Hazel Watson tucks in to Levi Roots' Roasted Treacle Toffee Bananas

Local Big Luncher Hazel Watson tucks in to Levi Roots’ Roasted Treacle Toffee Bananas

Levi Roots demonstrates his Five Recipes for a Fiver to local Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers

Levi Roots demonstrates his Five Recipes for a Fiver to local Loughborough Junction Big Lunchers

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SW11 Battersea – St John’s Hill – The Fabulous Feast

The Fabulous Feast food festival on St John’s Hill served up a treat to Battersea locals and visitors on Saturday and I was lucky enough to be one of the stewards involved in the event.

Shops and eateries opened up their doors onto the pavement, while the St John’s Hill road was lined with specialist food producers, live cooking demonstrations and street food stalls.

One of the highlights of the day was The Great Battersea Bake Off. Competition was stiff and the judging drew a crowd of onlookers who were eager to know the result (and snap up the remnants of the entrants’ baking efforts!).

Laura Amos of The Dessert Deli judged the winner of the brownie competition to be Rachel James’ Valencian orange and almond entry. Savannah-Rose Williams, 11 of Putney, won the children’s fairy cake competition.

I do love this photo of the junior winner (who was lucky to get Laura’s signed book as a prize!)

(L-R) MP Jane Ellison, Savannah-Rose Williams (11), & Laura Amos of The Dessert Deli

(L-R) MP Jane Ellison, Savannah-Rose Williams (11), & Laura Amos of The Dessert Deli

Kaosarn’s Thai dishes, Dosa Deli’s vegetarian Indian snacks, carriBBurton’s Jamaican jerk chicken, and Simmons’ sweet and savoury crepes all turned up the heat in street food offerings.

Beers flowed freely from casks and kegs in the pubs – while the stall of Battersea micro-brewer Sambrook’s were the providers of real ale. The Bloody Marys of Ben’s Canteen and the Make your own Mojito station at Jackson’s bar added an alcoholic dash of zing to proceedings! Other learned activities included food and beer pairing by Powder Keg Diplomacy – who also ran an ice cream making session and the oyster and champagne bar at Fish Club was filled with happy customers all day long!

Experience Travel, who offer bespoke holidays in Asia, delighted visitors in their courtyard with complimentary Vietnamese snacks and Bia Hoi (fresh beer!). Nearby cafe and luxury deli, Urban Gourmet, showcased their fresh bread and pastries.

The success of the event was evident as the pavements were filled with the happy faces of traders, visiting stalls, residents of the Hill and the visitors – without whom the Fabulous Feast could not have been possible.

As a little aside – which is something I hope you’ll keep between you and me…I’ve just got a new job which involves event management (especially in the Borough of Wandsworth) – hence why I was a part of The Fabulous Feast.

Thought I’d share this photo with you to show you the rest of my team…exciting times!

My new colleagues!

My new colleagues!