Today I was advised by a crazy chef (but in a genius, hilarious all round snazzbuckets-bloke sort of way) to pop the couple of dry roasted peanuts he’d just reverently placed in my hand into the ground and watch them grow into a magnificent plant-type object!
Apparently I’d be able to climb this plant tomorrow and have wondrous adventures…I’m not sure whether I’m ready to be featured in ‘Jenn and the Nutstalk’ quite yet, but who knows, I may follow his advice in the not too distant future!
And what was this highly entertaining chef’s name? Stephen Bulmer; This guy is a solid-gold legend!
A few minutes before he imparted the slightly suspect peanut advice, he had been busy making his apprentice get his face painted with a rather fetching pair of black glasses and a bright red smackeroo-lipstick mark, all of which Aaron endured with extremely good grace, and even with a cheeky grin!
Having introduced Aaron to the audience as Maureen, he then proceeded to smear glucose on Aaron’s chin, add copious amounts of chopped parsley and present his creation to us; a fetching bright green goatee! This was in a marquee with about 97 people all watching avidly, giggling away for an hour this afternoon!
I was working at an event in Northamptonshire, a food show one of The Cousins organises with her business partner. I go along every year to help out, with various tasks including welcoming the public, handing out programs, directing people round the event, and being thoroughly entertained by Chef Bulmer!
This guy is unlike any other chef you’ll ever meet; he’s uproariously quick and had me laughing continuously, and produces top-notch grub whilst doing a cracking stand up comedy routine!
He’s also partial to throwing ingredients at the audience for them to try; employing the (admittedly lesser-used) ’25 Minute Rule’ when Joe Blogs in the audience wasn’t quite quick enough! Tomatoes, sausages and chocolate pieces all found their way into people’s hands, mouths and bags!
It’s certainly impossible to be grumpy around this man, he had me grinning widely from the moment he turned up, and even ‘helped’ in his own way when I was doing the more embarrassing part of my job: Announcing at the top of my voice the various food demonstrations going on in the marquee behind me!
Now I’m not one who really minds everybody stopping and turning to stare at me when I’m yelling, after all that was what I was hoping to achieve by doing so, but when Chef Bulmer happens to be standing behind me at the time and starts yelling helpful hints at the 200 people in front of me, I couldn’t help be a little bit nervous at what he might have said next!
When not alternately chuckling and cringing at what he was up to (and the amount of stuff he was able to just about get away with!) I was busy directing about a thousand people to the toilets, buying raspberry liqueur (yum!) and sniggering at The Brother. You see, he had an absolutely genius role over the two-day event;
Luckily The Brother has always loved a spot of dressing up, so took to these roles with the kind of polish and finesse usually only seen in Shakespearean actors! He even developed a scarily accurate waddle-bouncy walk whilst wearing the fat chef costume, and only made a total of 2 small children cry which I think may be a show record! (Don’t quote me on that one, I’d have to check my sources)
So between Chef Bulmer and The Brother, I managed to spend a large amount of time having a good giggle, and even tripping up on some pesky cobbles and nearly landing on someone’s cup of tea didn’t even phase me!
All of a sudden, it was the end of the show. Stephen Bulmer had launched his last (delightfully fresh, locally grown ingredient) missile and left me clutching my dry roasted magic peanuts, hope and excitement evident in my eyes! He dragged the long-suffering Maureen/Aaron off to pastures new with a cheeky wink and a chef’s-uniform-clad bum wiggle!
It made me want to sign up for his cookery school just so I could have more fun, but for that I’d have to deny who I really am: an amazing cook, obviously! I really doubt that there’s anything he could teach me that I didn’t already know….In fact, I reckon that next year I might give him my recipe for plastic soup, that one’s always a winner! (Small plug for my FBH archives: If you haven’t read Plastic Soup, get on with it! He he!)
After a combined effort tidying up and long tussle with copious amounts of rubbish (we filled two skips worth!) we called it a day…exhausted but happy!
Having driven home and walked from the car to my house (only about 15 metres) and appeared scarily as if I were an arthritic waddling 96-year-old granny, I dragged my extremely useless, limp and achy body off to bed! (Via the bit of earth under my window to plant the nuts, of course!)
And so the Food Show is over for another year; we had cracking fun with the good people of Northamptonshire, almost-perfect weather (it only drizzled for half an hour, which unfortunately was still enough to make my hair frizz out to Lily Savage proportions!) and above all, buckets of scrumbunctious nosh at every turn!
Here’s hoping that Maureen’s glasses truly were applied with face paint, otherwise the permanent marker’s going to cause a few giggles back at the cookery school!
Fatty Blob Head