Went off to the Warwick Chilli & Cheese Festival this weekend and was struck immediately by two things. First, it seemed oddly light on actual chillies and second (most tragically), it was utterly without cheese.
There were quite a few stalls offering jams, infused booze, and sauces. There was chocolate – some spiced up, some not. There were baked goods – some spiced up with chillies,
some not. But I didn’t see any chillies – not picked, not on plants. And this was super annoying since I had specifically planned to find a chilli expert and ask them some questions about chillies (generally and specifically relating the chilli plant we now have that is covered in fast ripening produce!
And despite the name, I saw absolutely NO cheese. Cheese is not the kind of thing I over look. I love cheese. I adore cheese. I notice cheese when it is around and believe me, I notice when it should be there but isn’t.
What I find most annoying about the lack of cheese – apart from not getting to eat any – is that the organisers must have known at some point before ‘kickoff’ that there would be no cheese. Yet, nary an update on social media. There were updates but nothing saying ‘hey, just FYI – we’ve had some issues with cheese vendors …’ Would some people possibly have decided against attending? Maybe. But what ended up happening was a lot of comments on social media complaining about lack of cheese. And that’s the stuff people will find next year when googling to see if it is worth attending. So failure to communicate there as well.
So not what I expecting and a bit of a let-down. But never is a day at a food event wasted because I met some people who are excited about their food.
The Wicked Cookies booth was not only full of the most delicious looking cookies but it was being manned by two plucky young entrepreneurs and their Mom/business partner. Seems the kids started baking to cover a trip to Disneyland and things just took off from there. I am happy to report that they not only got their trip to Disneyland but they have continued to churn out some scrumptious cookies for all to enjoy. You can find out where they’ll be next either via the Wicked Cookies Twitter feed or on the Wicked Cookies facebook page.
Cafe Cannoli was a huge but deeply pleasant surprise! It’s been ages since I’d encountered cannoli. Proper cannoli. This was cannoli worth calling cannoli and having spent over 25 years in New York City, wandering in and out of some of the best food shops in Little Italy, I know of what I speak. Watching them fill and coat the cannoli was like a trip back home. Wonderful!
Ben of Ben’s Biltong wasn’t in Warwick but the biltong that Peter Evan Jones has been raving about on Puritans Radio was – as was the garlic droewors (which is well on its way to becoming my new favourite savoury snack.) And how thrilled was I to discover a Banbury stockist of Ben’s Biltong – The Banbury South African store!
And I couldn’t resist getting some churros from Churros and Chocolate either – no, they had nothing to do with chili or cheese. But chocolate makes up for an awful lot 🙂 Delish!
And advice to anyone planning a chilli or a chilli and cheese festival – somewhere, you want a stall that looks like this: