Pete Price: Food festivals are a recipe for delight
GENTLEMEN indulge me for a moment, ladies cast your minds back many years.
You’re sitting on the bus going home from school, it’s the day you’ve had your cookery lesson and you should have a biscuit tin full of sausage rolls, or in my case fairy cakes, but the lads on the bus have devoured the lot.
You see I did cookery at school with Miss Carr at Hoylake Parade. I was the first boy ever to get out of metal work, as I had aspirations of becoming a chef. I never did get those cakes home.
I would watch Fanny Craddock and her husband Johnnie on our black and white 13 inch telly – outrageous cooks (I won’t do the gag about Fanny’s doughnuts!).
That was my first experience of the world of food. I became hooked on the idea of the catering industry.
I had three years at Birkenhead Food Technology Department and walked away with a handful of diplomas. I then joined the world of catering, which I have to say straight away is very hard work – ridiculously long hours but very rewarding.
Do yourselves a favour, don’t even think of going into the industry if you’re a clock watcher. But if you do, you could travel the world especially if you have the right qualifications. I’ve worked in the West End of London, on cruise ships, five star hotels – the list goes on.
My life changed when I started work at The Cabin Club, Wood Street. Those were the days when the top meal was prawn cocktail, a well done fillet steak and Black Forest gateau. My how things have changed. Merseyside has exploded into a wondrous culinary adventure. We could hold our own with the best of them now. I often think if I had stayed in the industry, would I have finished up as a TV chef?
All these things were racing through my mind while walking through the Wirral Food Festival the other week, past the Morris dancers to the main marquee, where Paul Askew was taking us on a journey of culinary delight. I hosted the experience.