Wales the True Taste 2010 is just a few weeks away. The True Taste Awards are the Welsh awards for small and large producers of everything from free range chicken, confectionery, cheese, sausages, dairy, lamb, beef, wines, beers and juices. It includes the best well-sourced deli and vegetables grown in Wales.
We won an award last year for our homemade lemon and thyme cordial. The accolade allows great marketing potential and support from the Welsh Assembly Government.
This year we entered the long and difficult tender process to cater for the awards dinner, research, menu planning, local sourcing, budgeting and creative ideas all went into my long tender document and I was thrilled to be awarded the job. It is a great honour as all the guests are very knowledgeable food lovers.
All the food must be sourced from the county in which the awards dinner is to be held and each year this changes giving every county their time to show off their produce. This year it is Pembrokeshire and there will be 500 guests attending the event. The event attracts many major sponsors. I organise the staff – there will be more than 50 – and the table hire, including more than 4,500 pieces of cutlery, 3,750 items of crockery and I am yet to calculate the total number of glasses!
We hire in all the equipment required for the kitchen in order to get the meal out quickly, efficiently and of course piping hot. It is a mammoth but exciting task.
Last week we held the menu tasting at our kitchen in Clive Road, Cardiff. It is a fun, full-on day and lots of decisions were made. I don’t want to give the menu away at this stage so my recipe this blog is for the energy bars I will making for the chefs to keep them going throughout the day which will be long, full of pressure, heavy loads and deadlines.
Ej’s energy bar
12 oz oats
2oz toasted sesame seeds
3 oz of walnuts
2oz pumpkin seeds
4oz crunchy peanut butter
4oz Welsh honey
Juice of half an orange
Zest of 2 oranges
3oz dried chopped apricots
2oz dried chopped prunes
2oz golden sultanas
2oz dried cranberries
Feel free to adapt the nuts and dried fruits to suit your taste or what’s already in your cupboard
Place all the seeds and nuts on a large baking tray and toast in the oven for about 5-10 mins. Watch carefully you do not want them to burn, just turn golden brown and fill the kitchen with roasting smells.
In a saucepan melt the honey and peanut butter with the orange juice and zest
Add all the dried fruit and nuts to the pan. Line a baking tray with cling film and then firmly spread the mixture into the baking tray. Put in the fridge for at least an hour – overnight is best.
Turn out and cut into wedges. For a really decadent version coat one end of each wedge in melted dark chocolate. It does not have to be all healthy it just has to keep us going!