Last night, I was invited to a blogger’s event organised by Green & Black’s at the Miele showrooms in London.
The event was designed to tie in with Green & Black’s “Piece of Green & Black’s” campaign – a slightly gimmicky cross between The Apprentice and The X-Factor with the aim of finding an assistant for their Head of Taste, Micah Carr-Hill.
Personally, I have reservations about the idea of hiring someone by way of a PR campaign, but decided to try to approach last night’s event with an open mind.
There were three main parts to the evening, with plenty of cocktails to help things along. First we were given a short talk about taste, and given a few samples of extracts that are used in the food industry. This was interesting, but perhaps a little odd for someone to be extolling the virtues of artificial vanillin (the main one being “it’s cheap”) at an event for a company with the word “Organic” in it’s logo.
To be fair, Green & Black’s use organic vanilla rather artificial vanillin (which is often extracted from petrochemicals), but it would have been nice for someone to have been talking about the benefits of using natural ingredients as well.
After the talks, we were given the chance to sample a couple of ganaches (chocolate, cream and other flavours) and a couple of cocktails and asked to try to work out the flavours in each. This turned out to be much more difficult than anyone expected, but it was partly complicated by everything being very, very sweet.
The cocktails were not pleasant, and the white chocolate ganache we were asked to try was made with Green & Black’s white chocolate that has so much vanilla, it’s nigh on impossible to taste anything else. Given the extra flavour was a subtle white tea, I’m not surprised that nobody (as far as I know) got it right.
But the highlight of the evening was the 15:15 Challenge itself. Bloggers were asked to prepare a dish from scratch in 15 minutes for under £15. And the results were spectacular. I was blown away by the quality and diversity that people came up with in such a short space of time – a task not made easier by the pressure of having large groups of fellow bloggers constantly taking photos of the process. First prize went to MiMi who won an impressive KitchenAid mixer for her outstanding efforts.
I have to say that despite my scepticism, I really enjoyed this event. It was well organised, the Green & Black’s people were all lovely, and it was amazing to watch real food bloggers doing their thing. I still think their “Piece of Green & Black’s” campaign is more of a PR stunt than a serious attempt to hire someone, but I’m willing to be proved wrong.
I want to be proved wrong.