Thursday, 30 July 2015

Jamie Dear, You Are Among Professionals Now

Fanny Cradocks TV career more or less came crashing to a halt in 1976 when she was a mentor and judge on the Big Time, hosted by Esther Rantzen. Fanny was tasked with advising Devon housewife and amateur cook Gwen Troake with her menu for a very splendid dinner. Fanny was not impressed, at all, and didn't hide it from the cameras, chiding poor old Gwen, letting her know in no uncertain terms her menu was NOT suitable now that she was among professionals. These days TV cookery shows are plentiful, but are the judges any fairer than Fanny?

Would Fanny be at the helm of Masterchef the Professionals, if lovely Monica hadn't gotten the job? In 2014 Scotlands own Jamie Scott was victorious - but he insists when I talk to him that Monica was much more generous than Fanny! 'Monica was always at my table as soon as my dish was finished to taste what I'd made and check on my techniques.' Ah, so she didn't destroy your confidence even before you'd starting cooking? How unusal! 'Although, it was great to see Fanny at the forefront of TV cooking as a pioneer in a male dominated world, at that time' he shares with me. I'm sure Monica appreciates Fanny paving the way for her!

Fanny Cradock Jamie Scott Masterchef Foodies Festival

Jamie is appearing at this years Foodies Festival in Edinburgh for the first time - and he's excited at the thought of a big crowd! 'I watched Adam Handling in the rain last year - it was a wash-out, but Adam was great. I wore shorts and sandles which was a shame. This year I'm hoping for sunshine and I'll be dressed professionally in all the gear.' For Fanny this would be full ballgown, but Jamie isn't so sure this is really him. 'I'm working, so I'll be in my chefs whites and dressed properly for the job' he told me. But we can expect to see some skirt...

Fanny Cradock Jamie Scott Masterchef Foodies Festival

Beef skirt. I feel a little like Fanny asking 'Brambles?' to poor Gwen but Jamie assures me it's a cut of meat. He likes to showcase great Scottish produce and providers - so we might just see said skirt, Highland Wagu Beef, perhaps some scallops from Oban and probably more than a dash of Scottish vodka. Now we are talking a language I understand! Like Fanny, Jamie trawls through the old recipe books of Escoffier for inspiration. He has a passion for bringing forgotten recipes and ingedients, like Gentlemens Relish and Mushroom Ketchup, into todays cooking. 'If it worked so many years ago why wouldn't it work nowadays? We have better equipment now - not big stone ovens - so things cook better and taste fresher. I like the classics, but reinvented and made more accessible.' Like me with Fanny!

Fanny Cradock Jamie Scott Masterchef Foodies Festival

Jamie has loads planned after Foodies - including more festivals, pop-up restaurants, some guest chef-ing in Arbroath, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Norfolk, as well as cheese and gin trails around Scotland. Cheese and Gin? I'm there! Fanny would be so proud, I am sure she would take well to Jamie, sharing his passion for classic food. There will be NO yukky faces pulled at Foodies as we all watch in anticipation to see the wonders that Jamie will unveil for his winning menu. I'll be checking round the large crowd for skirtage, so don't be alarmed if you see me.

Fanny Cradock Jamie Scott Masterchef Foodies Festival

I am delighted to be an Official Foodies Festival Blogger. See you at the Festival!

Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 0844 995 1111

Friday adult day ticket £10.00 (£8.00 concession)
Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £13.00 (£11.00 concession)
3-day adult ticket £20.00 (£16.00 concession)

Friday VIP ticket £35.00
Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00
VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP tent with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a goody bag and a showguide.
All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.
Open times:
Friday 7th August: 11am – 7pm
Saturday 8th August: 10am – 8pm
Sunday 9th August: 10am – 7pm


  1. Guest-cheffing in Arbroath?! I need to investigate...

    1. He is! I thought about you when I was chatting to him this morning - I'll ask him where for you!

  2. I too watched Adam Handling in the rain last summer - he was great! We also ended up sharing a potato spiral with Stephen K Amos, but that's a different story... Looking forward to this year's festival!

    1. Namedropper! I'm looking forward to it very much this year - hopefully it will be dry!