IFE09 exhibition highlights

27 February 2009
IFE09 exhibition highlights

IFE09 takes place at ExCel in London on 15-18 March. Visitors will be able to meet 1,200 producers, distributors and suppliers who are showcasing products from around the world.

This year's show will also feature the Skillery, run in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Silver Hill Foods. This will include live cookery demonstrations incorporating the latest in flavour trends, menu design and innovative cooking styles.

Simon Hulstone, Michelin-starred chef-patron of the Elephant bar and restaurant in Torquay and current Knorr National Chef of the Year, will be sharing the secrets of the dishes he prepared at the Bocuse d'Or earlier this year. Here, he tastes a selection of exhibitors' goods and gives Buy It! his verdict.

Don't miss your chance to pre-register for free entry to IFE09. With just three weeks to go until the doors of ExCel open on 15-18 March, save yourself £30 by registering online atwww.ife.co.ukor phone the hotline on 01923 690661 for your visitor badge.

Free-from alchemy
(Stand N3019)

Delicious Alchemy has launched a range of "home-baked-style" biscuits exclusively for food service, which are wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free. The products also contain no preservatives, artificial colours, flavourings or genetically-modified ingredients.
They are available in two flavours - sultana and chocolate chip - and come in wrapped twin packs with the aim of reassuring consumers that the biscuits have not been contaminated and providing ingredients information on the pack label.
www.deliciousalchemy.co.uk Chef's comments: "I was impressed. You wouldn't know that they were wheat-free if you didn't look at the packaging first, which is the ultimate achievement for ‘free from' food."

Alternative ketchup
(Stand N1136)

The Amazing Food Company imports food from the USA and has already successfully launched Soy Vay marinades, sauces and dressings, Garlic Valley Farms Cold Pressed and Roasted Garlic Juices, and Dulcet Cuisine's award-winning marinades, mustards, rubs and spices. Now the company has brought Dulcet Cuisine's new range of exotic ketchups to the UK.
The versatile ketchups can be used for grilling, glazing, dipping and spreading on everything from hamburgers to grilled vegetables. Included in the range are Peppery Moroccan Ketchup, Mild Curry Ketchup and Orange Chilli Ketchup.
Chef's comments: "I tried the Peppery Moroccan Ketchup, which was fantastic, and a brilliant alternative to classic tomato ketchup. The spices are great and the sauce would work wonders on a decent burger."

Zesty lemon
(Stand S2705)

UK pâtisserie company Indulgence Patisserie has added Lemon & Mascarpone Cheesecake to its premium product range. The cheesecake comprises a rich digestive biscuit base topped with a generous portion of mascarpone cheesecake. To deliver a high-end finish, the dessert is topped with lemon curd cream, flaked almonds and icing sugar. For convenience, the dessert is precut into 12 portions and interleaved.
www.indulgence.co.uk Chef's comments: "This delivered everything you would want and expect from a good cheesecake: a nice crumb, no scrimping on the portion size and a light texture. It had a great zesty lemon taste, too, which was very satisfying."

Wafer-thin meats
(Stand N1954)

The Southover Food Company prides itself on always using locally sourced free-range products whenever possible. Its Shaved Salt Beef is a new addition to the company's cooked meats range. Although the company has a rich heritage of producing salt beef, it is now available in wafer-thin slices, making the products more versatile for customers and portion-friendly, too.
Chef's comments: "This is a good deli-style meat and it avoids being too salty or fatty, making it perfect for bagels or antipasto plates."

Versatile cheese
(Stand S4307)

The owners of Delamere Dairy named the company after Cheshire's Delamere Forest, where they started their first herd with just three goats. Twenty years later, the demand is so huge for their products that family goat farmers from across Britain help with the supplies of milk.
Delamere Dairy's Spreadable Goats' Cheese is made in Cheshire and offers a fresh and mild taste with a versatile texture. The cheese is both spreadable - as the name suggests - and firm enough to hold its shape. It is brilliant-white in colour, which is characteristic of fresh goats' cheese, and can be spread on bread, used as a jacket potato topping or mixed with other ingredients for a dip. Other suggestions include using the spread to make a smoked salmon roulade with lemon and chives, or serving it stuffed in a chicken breast with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.
Chef's comments: "This is a great-tasting, versatile product, and I think it would be perfect for canap‚s and open sandwiches."

Impressive portion
(Stand S2405)

Honey Roast Half Duck from Silver Hill Foods is slow-cooked on the bone and finely glazed with honey towards the end of its cooking cycle to give a golden finish. The duckling is deboned by hand, leaving only the leg and wing bones for presentation. The product can be heated for a couple of minutes in the microwave or hot grill, or oven-baked to crisp the golden skin. The product can be served with a variety of different sauces, including spicy, Oriental or more traditional.
Chef's comments: "The half duck provides a large meaty portion with a nice, pleasant flavour. It is really easy to reheat and delivers an impressive portion yield."

Fusion dressings
(Stand N3113)

The Condiment Company specialises in producing mayonnaise, sauces and dressings, all handmade in batches to ensure consistent quality and taste. Its newest Fusion range of dressings combines flavours from around the world.
The recently launched Thai Fusion dressing has a deep ginger and lemon grass flavour, with subtle hints of garlic and chilli running through it. It can be used as a salad dressing or a marinade and is ideal for brushing on meats or fish before grilling, and then brushed on during cooking for a really intense taste.
www.thecondimentco.co.uk Chef's comments: "The dressing has nice, clean flavours with a nice aftertaste. It would be excellent as a dip for spring rolls or a dressing to go with scallops."

Aromatic teas
(Stand N1639)

Solaris Botanicals specialises in the blending and preparation of organic "first flush" speciality teas. The company is run by two qualified medical herbalists, who source hand-picked tea to ensure consistent quality. All Solaris Botanicals teas are prepared using traditional processing methods.

To target the food service market, the company has launched a new presentation box, containing nine varieties of "first flush" organic whole-leaf tea packed in 100% biodegradable silken tea bags. Presented in a bamboo box, the teas range from black to green to herbal varieties.
www.solarisbotanicals.com Chef's comments: "These are good, fresh-flavoured teas, incredibly aromatic and very easy to drink."

Spanish beans
(Stand N1323)

Brindisa selects, imports and distributes a range of foods from the most respected producers in Spain. The company is particularly proud of its El Navarrico Habona beans, an alternative variety to the judión, which are marginally smaller and thinner. However, they are still plumper and creamier than most butter beans. The quality of their texture is down to the amount of starch they naturally contain as well as the expertise in their selection and cooking.
www.brindisa.com Chef's comments: "Brindisa's El Navarrico Habona beans are fantastic - nice big, silky beans which would be lovely in a stew with morcilla and chorizo. A really good product."

Hemp seed oil
(Stand N1240)

Good Oil is the first culinary hemp seed oil to reach the mainstream food market. Henry Braham and Glynis Murray spent 10 years on their farm in Devon growing, pressing and developing the pure, natural oil for everyday cooking and dressings.
Their Good Oil Milk and Light is made from cold-pressed natural hemp seed, gently filtered for a mild and light colour and taste. It is packed with omega-3, 6 and 9 as well as being low in saturates.
www.goodwebsite.co.uk Chef's comments: "This oil had a great, smooth taste, with a lovely colour and flavour. It's good to know it's so healthy, too."

Rich's Finest
(Stand N3205)

A new range of Finest Sauces was created by the team of chefs also responsible for the Great Taste Gold Award-winning Coronation Mayonnaise last year and is manufactured by Rich Sauces in Northern Ireland.
Included in the range is real mayonnaise, alongside a more value-oriented mayonnaise, as well as dressings and flavoured sauces including Coronation, Tikka, Marie Rose, Cajun and Garlic.
www.richsauces.com Chef's comments: "I thought these were great as sandwich fillers - not too artificial in colour, which I liked - and I was impressed by the good variety and ideas."

Money bags
(Stand N1027)

Independent supplier of chilled and frozen finger and party food, Abergavenny Fine Foods, takes inspiration from around the globe, from Mexican street-style food to traditional classics. The company's range of canapés includes Smoked Salmon Money Bag - or Smoked Salmon Wonton as it is also known - which is made with a thin square pastry wrapper made of wheat flour, and deep-fried for an authentic finish.
www.abergavenny.uk.com Chef's comments: "The wontons had a great presentation and I was impressed at how easy they were to cook. They had a lovely smoked salmon filling and are ideal as canap‚s."

More products

  • Organic spelt food label Sharpham Park (stand N1658) will be launching new additions to its product range. They will include Speltotto mixes in three different flavours, chilled spelt pastas, and Organic Spelt Farmhouse Granola.
  • Steenbergs Organic (stand N1531) is launching a range of organic stuffing mixes - in apple and onion, herby lemon, sage and onion, and sultana and onion varieties - and 10 spice and herb seasonings inspired by the flavours of Arabic cuisine.
  • Pieminister (stand N3143/d) will showcase several improved pie recipes, including Mr Porky Pie, which is made with outdoor-reared West Country pork, apples and scrumpy cider.
  • Yumberry UK (stand S4654) is launching a brand new juice called Yumberry. It is 100% yangmei juice with no added fillers, extenders or sweeteners.
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