This year's event in September promises talks from industry experts, new trends, artisan products and a section dedicated to chocolate. Lisa Jenkins reports
The Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2015 is the place to discover and taste the latest trends, with 750 new and artisan foodand drink exhibitors on show. Now in its 16th year, the fair is a trade-only marketplace to source all things gourmet and incorporates the Speciality Chocolate Fair alongside a host of other events and attractions for attendees.
The Small Producers Village has sold out for 2015 and offers start-ups the chance to launch their products to the right audience. Look out for artisan curer Maynard's Farm, tea specialist Wise Owl Tea and charcutier Cannon & Cannon, along with newcomers Freida Pantry and Drink Maple, producers of a new maple drink.
Food and drink from around the globe
As well as a wealth of companies from across the UK, the fair will also welcome speciality producers from Europe and beyond, including vanilla bean marshmallows from Belgium-based Barú, Helt Honey from Denmark and Italian pasta-maker Pastificio Lucio Garofalo Spa.
‘Free from' at the fair
Business mentoring forum
Industry experts will be on hand to listento the difficulties businesses and individuals are facing with 30-minute private sessions and talks from expert advisors, including Natasha Corrett, chief executive of Honestly Healthy, who is a self-taught gourmet vegetarian chef, entrepreneur and author of three best-selling cookbooks.
Also appearing will be John Stapleton, entrepreneur, business leader, chief executive and non-executive director, with his presentation on 'Five things everyone should know about building a strong consumer brand'.
Fine Food Live 2015
Steve Walpole, director and lead consultant of Steve Walpole Limited, boasts an impressive CV that provides him with the experience to host and manage a feast of talks and chef demonstrations across the three days of Fine Food Live, including:
Steven Bennett - Keeping it seasonal and local
Bennett is a baker and butcher's son who went on to gain experience in some of Lincolnshire's top eateries, including Winteringham Fields in North Lincolnshire and the Star Inn in North Yorkshire. He is now operations director at the Oaklands Hall hotel in Laceby, Grimsby. The chef will be whipping up dishes using local, seasonal produce that's grown within a 10-mile radius of Oakland's restaurant, the Comfy Duck.
Hulya Erdal - The Turkish food scene making its mark
Erdal's passion is teaching others the love of food and promoting her belief that anyone can cook through her highly motivated, fun and exciting classes around London and the UK. Her talk at the show is designed "to give chefs and owners the scope to broaden their menus, to be more open to allergen-free cooking, to understand food from a particular region of the world, and embrace the current street food scene."
Rachel Davies - Sharing experiences through food
Davies, who has a degree in theology and started out with no culinary ability, found her passion for cooking while on a Voluntary Services Overseas stint in Zambia. There she was forced to learn fast while living in a village with no supermarket, and she baked her own bread and made granita using lemons from her garden. Her menu at the fair will include a colourful autumn slaw with sesame and white miso dressing and a kaffirinha cocktail.
Speciality Chocolate Live
The fair will this year also host the Speciality Chocolate Fair. Consultant pastry chef and author Will Torrent will host a collection of chocolate experts and pastry chefs who will be showcasing their techniques and flavour combinations live at the show, using gourmet and artisan chocolate for all their recipes. The chefs will include:
Marc Demarquette was born to a French father and Chinese mother in London and was introduced to good-quality fine chocolate from a very early age. He will be sharing his experiences of creating a bespoke range of chocolates for London department store Fortnum & Mason and looking at 'Chocolate - beyond the traditions'.
Matthieu de Gottal is now one of the UK's top artisan chocolate producers and uses the finest bean to bar, single-origin chocolate, ethically sourced from the globe's top chocolate growers and makers, to make his world-class truffles. Come along and watch him create whisky and water ganache.
Peter Sidwell lives and works in the Lake District and he enjoys reinventing British recipes that are centred around fantastic ingredients. His passion for baking has been a continual influence on his food and, during his demonstration at the fair, he will be talking about modern baking and cooking for today's customers.
New exhibitors and products
Thousands of new and innovative artisan food and drink products, including a host of producers making their first appearance, will also be on show, including:
Jadu Tea is an independent premium tea brand based in the UK. Its blends range from thetraditional English Breakfast to exotic rooibos and crème brÁ»lée, and the elegant Mademoiselle Grey and China Green - all hand-packed in a luxury suede box.
New product on stand 3850
Cocofina has created a range of luxury products, including coconut flour, coconut sugar and coconut flakes.
New product on stand 1357
Sheppy's Cider is launching a new cider with blackberry and elderflower, created usinga dessert cider apple with a blackberry juice and elderflower infusion.
New product on stand 4713
Maynard's Farm, a Shropshire-based smoker and curer, will present a range of products including its traditional cured bacon, pork sausages and treacle-smoked bacon.
New exhibitor on stand V115
Retrocorn will be showcasing its handmade popcorn coated in traditional British flavours, such as rhubarb and custard and cola cube.
New exhibitor on stand V5
Where and when
- 6-8 September 2015
- Olympia London
- Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX