This year’s Allergy Free From Show, as always, was an INCREDIBLE event. Despite the World Cup Semi Final being played during the main show day it was heaving. The atmosphere was buzzing and sampling was going down like there was no tomorrow.
My day started off preeeetty early with a 7am train from Birmingham to London and a run around the tube to get to London Olympia for 10am when the second day of the show kicked off. I first found my bearings in the arena and located the ilumi stand where I’d be for the latter half the show, before heading to the Doves Farm Kitchen to set up my recipe demonstration.
This was the first time I’d done a proper talk/demonstration in front of the public, so as you can imagine it felt a little daunting. Two of my lovely vegan insta foodie friends turned up to watch which was so lovely of them (I’m looking at you Charlotte and Maddy <3). I was kitted up with a mic set and offff I went!! Bish bosh bash and the job was done…thankfully we had no baking catastrophes, but I guess pancakes are a pretty fail-safe bake! If you’d like the recipe to my allergy-free 1 bowl pancakes, please comment at the bottom of this post!
If you thought that was exciting, then you are in for a tReAt!! I was invited to help with ilumi at the show so jumped on the stand just before midday to join the team of 5 (now 6) handing out samples and spreading the Ilumi word.
There were girls in the kitchen working their socks off to produce the hot food samples of all the different ilumi products. If you’re not already familiar with these, they have a noodle range out in four flavours (Tom Yum, Sweet Chilli, Vietnamese Beef and Singapore Style). Personally, I LOVE the Singapore Style noodles but the Sweet Chilli flavour is also perfect for the sweet tooth I may or may not have ;). These are free from the main allergens and are effectively a tastier, healthier version of a pot noodle. All they require is hot water, thus making them perfect for a quick lunch alongside some fruit.
ilumi are just about to launch a new kids range which is SUPER exciting! All the little kids and mums and dads (and heaps of other adults – don’t worry we love the dishes too!) were all commending the three meals they’re launching – a beef chilli, a beef meatball dish and a veggie risotto! Designed for children, they’re all slightly softer than the standard adult dish but this makes them even more perfect for little children. These were so popular that people were waiting for samples when we were so bogged down and didn’t have any on display!
Are you one of those gluten free foodies that misses Mac ‘n’ Cheese like no tomorrow? The ilumi cheese sauce is what YOU NEED! Although we were not sampling this on the day, there was a lot of interest in it’s potential!
Although I wasn’t present for the sampling of the kid’s breakfast porridge, I hear it went down a treat with the young ones in the morning… ilumi have designed a new children’s porridge that you just simply put in the microwave and cook for a few minutes. This product was also a big hit – some of the children that missed the morning samples came back in the afternoon and requested samples of the porridge!
I think the speed at which we were producing samples and having to restock the stand showed in itself just how well ilumi goes down with coeliacs and others allergic to normal pot noodles.
Another highlight of helping out at the stand was that not only did I get to meet so many other coeliacs, vegans, foodies with other allergies etc who I could relate with, but I also got to meet the product developer!! I must have blown her away with how many questions I asked but this was super cool. I’m a freelance recipe developer in my spare time for those that didn’t know, so it’s always interesting to see where she got her inspiration from!
If you saw me at the show and said hi please make yourself known! It was such a fun day at the show – thanks to ilumi for inviting me along to their stand, and to the Doves Farm Kitchen for asking me to do a recipe demonstration! Who will I see next year at the show?!