I was invited to cook (with Archie, if he wanted to!) at Harvest at Jimmy’s a couple of weeks ago. It’s a huge family-oriented food and music festival, held on Jimmy’s farm in Ipswich (he of the well-known Channel 4 series).
I was cooking as part of an amazing line-up which included great acts like The Hairy Bikers, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Atul Kochar, Rachel Allen and Mark Hix. To say we had a great time is an understatement. Jo actually said that we may have had our best day ever as a family. Absolutely loads to do for Archie (including a Charlie and Lola show), non-stop food, meeting some of my chef heroes – and of course the pleasure and honour of performing on the main food stage.
I always make it clear in these situations that there is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that Archie will join me on stage. In fact, I make a point of stating that I am being booked alone, not as a double act.
BUT… I couldn’t keep a certain little man off the stage! When I said I was going to cook, he just insisted on coming with. I thought he would join me for 5 minutes or so but 45 minutes later, he was still there, with the audience literally eating out of his hand. I do wonder what goes on in his mind in these situations. He must enjoy the validation he gets – and he certainly loves seeing people laugh with/at him. All I know is that he was on stage entirely of his own volition and just seemed to love hanging out and playing along with me.
Our “performance” was very much as per what happens in our kitchen at home. It was lovely to be able to show the audience that the videos at home are a reflection of what really does happen – controlled chaos, fun, creative play, rounded off with some tasty food to eat.
I cooked to a theme of “Tastes of my Childhood” – a goulash from school and my nan’s chopped liver. Part of our performance was filmed by my dad – very badly at times! I think he was too busy clapping and chatting, so I am sorry about the shaky footage at times but it’s worth a watch, if only to see me and Archie in a completely different environment.
A huge thank you to Dom, Claire, Bryony, Ellie, Rosie and Nicky for making the day so brilliant for us three. We can’t wait to go back next year, if we are lucky enough to be invited back to cook. Even if we are not, we will still be going!
[Watch Archie completely upstage me at 5 minutes and 30 seconds on this second clip!]