Archives August 2019

Bucks County Show 2019

When Laura, a good friend of ID, said she was entering the Bucks County Show this year, I was instantly intrigued: what on earth was she actually talking about?! 


After a bit of research, I realised that it was right up our street. A food hall full of local producers as well as some awesome examples of home bakers and gardeners, using and growing local products.
We arrived at about 11:30am and of course made a beeline for the food tent. As a result, this meant that by 11:34am we had already sampled at least three types of Foxdenton Gin, with our particular favourite being the Winslow Plum. A quick browse on their website this morning I am gutted to have missed their Dark Lantern rum so I will certainly be picking one of them up in the future (We’re big fans of rum at IDHQ). 

The food hall was buzzing with people all there for little taste tests of what the producers had to offer. One thing you will always notice if you go to a local food market is the willingness of the producers for you to sample their product. My mum, who accompanied me for the day, questioned at one point if it is worth the exhibitors giving away so much, but knowing what it is like from the other side of the table, you spend so long mastering the products that you just want to share it with everyone. Yes, it is ultimately a sales technique but just a small conversation with any of the artisan producers and you realise just how proud and passionate they are.

After a quick lap of the food hall we moved on to see how Laura had performed in the categories she had entered items into, as well as a quick scope out of some groups we could potentially enter next year (once the ID allotment has more than just mud!). As someone who has adapted very well to suburban life in Milton Keynes I cannot lie, I was instantly taken back to my village roots, seeing all these tables full of cakes, flowers and produce. It was great! Then the educator in me also loved to see how all these people entering each class had interpreted the exact same recipe – apart from the Victoria sponges, they all looked so different. The vegetable cake section particularly caught our eye; courgettes are in abundance this time of year so we could potentially develop an ID courgette cake for next year (although a year development maybe taking it a little too seriously!). We were really proud to see that Laura had come first in class for her lemon curd, but her mum really stole the show with plenty of 1st, 2nd and 3rds. We might have to send Laura in to get some of her recipes! 


All in all, it was a really good day out; later in the day I got chatting with the Buckinghamshire beekeepers and sampled some of their local honey fudge, so that is one item I will definitely be encouraging chef George to re-create. When I went back to the food hall later on, so many producers’ presentations were looking quite bare, which was great to see. 


Now to get planning for next year… 


Top 5 tips to survive a heatwave

Team ID give their best ways to get through the sunny days..

1 Advanced preparation. Mornings are cooler so use this time to cook a few elements in advance that can be chilled in fridge while you’re out enjoying the sunshine (or at work, boo). Try any of these below to make an awesome salad:

  • Roasted sweet potato cubes – either plain or with a little of your favourite seasoning
  • Boiled new potatoes – Jersey Royals are the best when available
  • Steamed green vegetables such as mange tout, sugar snaps and asparagus
  • Boiled eggs
  • Roasted sweet peppers (remove the skins)
  • Grilled aubergine or courgette
  • Any kind of grain, quinoa cooked in beetroot or carrot juice is a particular favourite.

2 Smoothies. Keep some berries and bananas in the freezer, then whizz them together with either a bit of juice or milk to make one of your 5 a day into a super cool and refreshing treat.

3 Iced coffee. We don’t know about you but even on a hot day we still need our caffeine fix! If you have an espresso machine then great, make yourself a double; if not then make yourself a really small, really strong instant shot (if you have sugar, add when it is hot). Pour it over a glass of ice, top up with milk and have a quick stir. Delicious without the coffee chain price tag.

4 Eat plenty of food high in water, such and watermelon, strawberries and cucumber, as these all help to regulate your core body temperature. Avoid anything spicy or high in saturated fat such as fried food as these can contribute to raising your temperature even higher.

5 H20. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just plain old water from a tap and plenty of it. You will not want to do any of the above if you are dehydrated, feeling terribly lethargic with a headache. Just please think of our pals the turtles and carry a reusable bottle with you rather than single use, disposable plastic.


Latest News: Plotting.

Exciting news from IDHQ this month. We are now the proud owners of an allotment. Yay!

We are not going to lie, we are very new to this. Although head chef, George, has been cooking for many years and use to spend time with his Grandmother in the garden we are far from green fingered! But…like a microcosm for the industry as a whole, we must do better and learn to be more sustainable and self sufficient. Luckily for us we have a few family members to help us along the way.

Why is it important to us?

When we look at the way food trends and lifestyles have changed post war in the UK the abundance of food we have now has made us nothing but lazy for living from the land and understanding and respecting food. We are very lucky that most of us have not had to suffer the hardship of rationing, we have supermarkets full of food to shop weekly and we do not have to preserve the seasonal food because if we want strawberries in December then they can be flow in from Morocco. Basically, we got rich and we got lazy.

We need to recapture the understanding of growing produce for the table that our grandparents had.

George, Head Chef

One of the joys about travelling is to taste the food and drink of the local land, in doing this you get an understanding of what that village or town represents, how they cook and eat is in the DNA of the people. What it can grow, what it can’t grow. You could maybe still say this about some towns in the UK, but rural Buckinghamshire, what does it taste of? That is what we are trying to find out, using local produce and growing our own.

So, we are starting small, got some beans, carrots and beetroot to set us off but we are looking forward to what we will learn to grow and serve up on a menu in the future.

We would love to hear any tips you have in the comments below.