Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Test Space Kitchen, Leeds

Being a novice to food events that don't take place in restaurants, I was unsure what to expect from TestSpace: Kitchen however the description however gave a few clues;
"a special Victorian menu created by local food writer and blogger Mike Wallis, expert food forager Mina Said and the award winning Sunshine Bakery: involving de-constructed whole hog, giant Eton mess, pastry covered fruit, loaned pineapples, local foraged food and more"
My first thoughts are that it would be a bit like Heston's Feasts so I paid the bargain price of £10 and went along.
Test Space carries out pop up events across Leeds in various venues promoting local talent, a more detailed description can be read here: Test Space. The venue for their first pop up kitchen was the stunning temple works in Holbeck, Leeds.
Temple Works, Leeds
The event was hosted in the back of Temple Works, in quite a small room for the amount of people, again this was different than I what I expected, I was expecting a warehouse sized room. The size of the room wasn't a bad thing however, it made the atmosphere more intimate and a little bit magical with the eerie surroundings and the anticipated arrival of the food.

We arrived at about 7pm and were informed that food would be about an hour, due to the food being cooked off site and transported in, we were kept informed at regular intervals about its progress but no one seemed to mind the wait due to the many new people to get to know and the menu to drool over.

The appearance of the pigs head coming through the door heralded the arrival of the meal and it was swiftly set up in the adjacent room. It was literally a feast for the eyes and mouth as you can see from the picture.
Plate after plate of several versions of pig including ham, pork belly, pork loin stew alongside various game birds and a couple of options for the Veggies. Each version of pork was beautifully cooked, juicy and flavoursome, the sauce of the stew was particularly good. A special thanks to Mike Wallis for creating this amazing feast and for Mina Said for foraging some of the ingredients.

After the main plus seconds and also after a couple of us decided to pick at parts of the pigs head, including the ears and cheek (interesting but nothing i would recommend, we also drew the line at the snout), the pudding was served and its probably a good thing it was served it when it was, due it being there on arrival and looking increasingly like it was going to collapse.
The dessert was a giant Eton Mess plus Eton Mess cupcakes made by David Bennet of the glorious Sunshine Bakery in Chapel Allerton. It was a fine pudding, tooth meltingly sweet meringue with cream and delicious strawberries, I also attempted to take a cupcake home but succumbed to temptation and ate it long before i left.
After the meal, SlowFoodYorks gave a short, interesting presentation about the slow food movement before a local musician played an acoustic guitar set.
Overall it was a brilliant night, fine food, excellent company and superb atmosphere. Roll on the next one.

Links to people mentioned in this post:

David Bennet/Sunshine Bakery: http://www.sunshinebakeryleeds.co.uk/
Mike Wallis: http://twitter.com/nalsa, http://mtw101.blogspot.com/
Mina Said: http://www.leedsguide.co.uk/review/feature/food-for-free-foraging-walks/14808
Test Space: http://www.testspaceleeds.com/
SlowFoodYorks: http://www.slowfoodnorthyorkshire.com/

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,