I often walk through Westow Park on my way to teach cookery or buy ingredients at Crystal Palace triangle, but I was amazed to see it host the wonderful Overground festival on the 16th of June. The festival kicked off earlier in the week and I went along to a few of the bands that played in the local pubs, including the Severed Limb (beautiful name I know!) who played on the Thursday night, great Skiffle revival! Local bands like The Lovebirds remind me of my years spent in Chicago, when my days training in the kitchens there were mixed with amazing live music in the city’s clubs.
The main day however is the Saturday and the area was packed with visitors and cheerful locals. The festival attracted a huge crowd and is a great showcase foir the local shops, bands and creatives of the area. Thanks to Manish from Good Taste in Crystal Palace , there was a tasting tent at this year’s festival showcasing local chefs, food writers and food-lovers. On the day I demonstrated recipes twice in the afternoon; starting with a basic cooking sushi class and then a green bean with back sesame sauce dish, one of my favourites! I am sure some of my students will be familiar with this one and it was also offered as a side at my recent supper club. I was also offering tastings of Japanese tea which was either guzzled down or sipped hesitantly, perhaps it is the marmite of Japanese teas, love it or hate it! At least the green beans and sushi were finished off, with not a morsel left!
Jane from Supernourished, who specialises in raw food recipes demonstrated a seriously exquisite dessert using avocado as a base, it was delicous. Matt Walls, a local wine writer and expert; offered a lively wine tasting – the crowd had been well warmed up by Manish who served up fine ales with ideal cheeses to match. A massive thank-you to Noreen and her helpful, hard-working team for all their work in organising the festival and helping the tasting tent. We are very lucky to have some great characters here that put Crystal Palace firmly on the foodie map. Make sure if you didn’t make it this time that you come along next year, see you there if not before!