Last Word: Adventure!
The Taster publishes a regular final interview with a character in the foodie world; in our last issue, this was Carol Adams, founder of Food Adventure South Wales. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Carol spent many years traversing the globe before finally settling in the UK — but, never one to put her feet up, she soon got busy setting up her foodie experiences company: it now attracts visitors from the USA and Europe as well as the rest of the UK. Here’s her story:
“Food has always been a passion in my life but never a career until now. I grew up in the Bronx, New York, but my original career (in finance and social regeneration) brought me to live and travel in many countries, from the US to France, Israel, West Africa and South America. I’ve always had hobbies around food: in the Bahamas, I was director of a wine & food society; in New Orleans, I organised culinary tours; and over here (earlier this year) I cooked gumbo on ITV’s cookery show Mel and Sue.
I always tried to get to know a country through its food. I loved going to markets; whenever I saw someone buying an ingredient I was curious about, I asked them how they cooked with it. This often led to invitations to come home and cook along with the family! — In this way, I developed extensive knowledge of various cuisines.
When I moved to Wales 10 years ago, I was astounded by the quality of the local food — but also by how little known it was. My husband, Mark, started a food blog (Corpulent Capers) about local restaurants, and persuaded me to start writing about food producers. If I discovered something I loved, I’d go to the producer’s farm or site to learn what made their produce so special.
The blogs were great successes. Mark and I became part of a virtual ‘food community’ and often, my readers would say ‘Oh, I’d love to go with you the next time you visit a producer’. Thus the idea for Food Adventure was born.
Once I had the idea, I met with food producers, devised tours and set up the website. In 2014, the first tour for paying guests was ‘A Wonderful Welsh Wine Adventure’. This was a full-day minibus tour of two vineyards in Monmouthshire with a five-course lunch. Up until this point I had no idea if any one would buy a ticket or not! You have no idea how much I celebrated when I sold the first ticket! People came from all over Wales, and also from Bristol. It was a success!
I invited the press and key partners to my official launch. We learnt about dairy farming and ethical rose veal at a Welsh dairy farm followed by a cooking demo and lunch at an award-winning tapas restaurant.
I’ve now used my knowledge of food in Wales to create many unique outings, and I have guests from as far away as London and the US. I offer ‘Tipple Adventures’ for those interested in drinks; or dining adventures for those who want to discover a great restaurant. People can learn skills, such as making bacon or preserves, from award-winning artisan producers; or more general cooking with top chefs, cooks — and myself! In our foraging adventures, farm visits and walks, people can discover beautiful scenery and historical places as well as great food. It has all been a great Adventure!”
To book a tour or class, see foodadventure.co.uk or, if you would like a more bespoke experience, ring Carol on 07542 689608.
Do you enjoy selecting and eating good quality food, from seasonal veg and sustainable fish, to artisan treats or English & Welsh wines? Or creating the perfect kitchen, dinner table or outdoor-eating scenario?
We’re seeking advertising sales reps for The Taster food & drink magazine, who enjoy thinking and talking about food, and can identify and talk to the new breed of food producers. Our readers want to buy premium and ethical foods, and they’re interested in kitchen gadgets, kitchen decor & furniture, cookery courses, wine tastings and eating out. Meanwhile, thousands of foodpreneurs and artisans are starting up companies every year seeking to cater for such customers. We need you to bring these people together!
We’ll provide leads and ideas, if you’ll also bring some imagination and initiative to the table. Like most of us, you’ll work from home and your hours are your own. We don’t mind how many or how few adverts you sell, but we will pay a generous commission on those you do sell.
We’re a small but friendly team of foodies, excited about our magazine and about helping to champion new food businesses in the UK. Our circulation has doubled over the past two years and for the right person, further prospects are a real possibility.
To make a start, ring 020 7993 2234 in office hours or email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you’d like to join the party.
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We’ve called this deliciously savoury dish ‘Swede chicken broth’ because the humble swede is the key, not the poultry. A few dishes (mostly chicken and beef stews and similar) rely on this underrated root. If, like The Taster, you suffer from horrible flashbacks to mashed swede skule dinners, banish them now – Fear the Swede No More!
This is not precision cooking. Fresh grated ginger, growing parsley and garlic cloves are always good; but powdered ginger, dried parsley and garlic purée out of a tube are fine. The exact combination of veg is up to you. By all means add, say, celery or celeriac or more fresh herbs or whatever. Just one thing — do not omit the sherry. It’s quite important, and it’s not the same dish without it.
Serve without cream as a toothsome starter; or with cream, warm crusty bread and your best butter for a main course
♦ Roughly equal quantities of swede & carrot, half as much onion, other winter roots – Jerusalem artichokes, parsnip – but not a lot of potatoes, or it will start to be a different, more soupy sort of broth. At least one whole swede and two carrots per medium-sized potato
♦ Chicken stock. Good strong stuff and plenty of it – enough to submerge all the veg
♦ Flavourings – garlic, ginger, herbs (parsley and thyme are good), salt & pepper
♦ Medium (amontillado) sherry. Or Madeira or Marsala wine
♦ Butter and oil for frying
♦ OPTIONS: streaky bacon, mushrooms, cream to finish
♦ Chop, slice and brown all the veg, garlic, ginger, herbs, mushrooms and bacon in the oil and butter, in a big flat frying pan, stockpot or saucepan. If you use a saucepan, stir the contents about to ensure they brown evenly
♦ While the veg is browning, heat or make up the chicken stock to boiling point
♦ Turn the heat under the veg down as low as possible. Pour the stock over, submerging the veg. Give it a few minutes, then season carefully, tasting spoonfuls between shakes of salt & pepper, until it tastes right (you need less salt if you add bacon)
♦ Simmer veeeeeeery gently – the surface should quiver, rather than bubble – for an hour. Add more stock or water if the veg breaks the surface. Towards the end, pour in a generous slug of sherry
♦ Ladle into bowls and *maybe* drizzle with cream – opinion is divided on whether it’s better with or without; we can see arguments on both sides. Bang the dinner gong and congratulate yourself on a job well done
See more seasonal recipes and ideas here