15 May 1998

COOKING UP A DEMO

The St Ivel demonstrations

always draw good audiences

and a television star is among

the line up at this years show,

as Ann Rogers reports

COOKS and chefs are popular with audiences. Television has proved that – and the Royal Bath and West Show has a team of them lined up to demonstrate their skills throughout the four days of the show. The menu will have a strong flavour of Taste of the West and audiences will file in past a display of local produce and goods from Somerfield Stores carrying the Keep Britain Farming message.

Six demonstrations a day will take place in the St Ivel Hall says June Small, who is responsible for organising this section of the show. Mrs Small and her husband Robin are fruit farming members of Taste of the West and June is also a Womens Food and Farming Union member.

St Ivel, which is sponsoring the cookery demonstrations, will be spreading the healthy eating message with the help of home economist Jenny Skelly. She will demonstrate on each of the four days using products from the St Ivel range including Shape brand yogurts and cheese, Vitalite, Gold Light and Utterly Butterly.

Strong support

The WFFU is providing strong, support for the cookery demonstration with a team of members on hand to look after visitors and answer questions and one of their number will be demonstrating. Celia Hyland, who comes from Devon, is a home economist who formerly taught further education classes. "The emphasis will be on using British and particularly West Country produce," says Mrs Hyland. "Last year I made quite a bit of use of bottled fruit which got us over the time when there was not much British fresh fruit around."

Bottled and frozen fruit will appear in her ingredients list again this year. Economy will be one of the factors that she will take into account. "But it wont be all brown and boring," says Mrs Hyland explaining that some recipes can prove to be very expensive when costed out, so she will show how to make adaptations to include ingredients that are to hand. She is also aware that a few gardeners will be among her audience and she will relate some of her dishes to what you can grow.

The time available to families for cooking is another point that she will take into account. "I will be preparing things that can be left on for a long time and things that can be done fairly quickly. Everything has its place," says Mrs Hyland who is happy to answer questions from the audience as she works or for people to come up and speak to her afterwards.

Time will be influencing the Ladies in Pigs demonstrators too. Ladies in Pigs is the organisation dedicated to promoting the sales of British pigmeat in all its forms. Most members are pig farmers or the wives of pig farmers who don their bright red pinafores and jaunty straw hats to prove to the public how good British pigmeat is. They are to be seen at in-store promotions and cookery demonstrations at shows and other events. They also encourage the development of recipes and have many to give away.

Local members

Sally Ham, from Wiltshire, will be representing LIPs at the St Ivel cookery demonstration, assisted by a team of local members. "We want to show that you can use pigmeat in so many different ways," says Mrs Ham. Minced pork has been a feature of many of the demonstrations LIPs members have given recently, and Mrs Ham will probably include some to stress how lean pork can be.

Mince will also feature in the stir fry and other recipes that can be cooked quickly. Mrs Hams colleagues will be demonstrating those in the food hall where people are happy to stand and watch.

But Mrs Hams programme will stress the versatility of pork and include casseroles which need longer cooking. "I shall probably do a Blue Peter, preparing a dish in front of the audience and then producing one I have prepared earlier to show what the dish will look like when it is ready to eat," she says.

Store appearance

This years Royal Bath and West will be the first agricultural show at which Somerfield Stores has made an appearance. The supermarket chain will be bringing a chef who has a keen following among viewers of the television programme, Ready Steady, Cook. James Martin will be appearing on Friday and the Saturday and will include regional dishes in his programme. While those from the West Country will predominate, this young Yorkshireman is likely to include some from his home county too.

A timetable for the demonstrations will be displayed outside the hall. There will be no entry charge or need to book a seat. &#42

Cookery demonstrator Celia Hyland (far left) will represent the Womens Food and Farming Union. Fellow member June Small (left) is responsible for organising this part of the show. Below: A St Ivel home economist in action at the 1997 Royal Bath and West Show.

James Martin, of

Ready, Steady, Cook fame, will demonstrate

his skills on Friday

and Saturday, courtesy

of Somerfield Stores.