Sunday, May 19, 2013

Food Revolution Day Fiesta Wrap Up

Food Revolution Day was created by Jamie Oliver as a way to inspire and educate people around the world to eat better food and learn cooking skills that used to be passed down from generations but in this fast food world have been slipping away.  Obesity has become an epidemic in the world because of people's reliance on fast junk food instead of having home cooked meals at home like our parents used to.

It started last year and the goal is to make it an ever expanding yearly global event.  Last year I hosted a dinner party in my home but this year I wanted to take a more hands on educational approach and extend it to the public instead of just my friends.

It's now a couple of days after my Food Revolution Day Mexican Fiesta Event.   Although the turnout was less people than I expected.  There are always no shows but you have to still be prepared with enough food in case they all show up.  That's the tough part of hosting an event.  If people don't pay for it in advance there are no guarantees they will actually show up.   So we had a small but fun group of people anyway.

The event was set up to teach people how to make Pico de gallo, guacamole and Tortilla shells from scratch at the event and then we would all sit down to a meal with the fruits of their labour and my additional items of Organic Chipotle, Tequila-Lime Pulled Chicken, refried beans, pickled red peppers, mexican crema and lettuce for accompaniment and a Mexican chocolate pudding with cookies for dessert.

There was a whole lot of chopping going on.  I picked fairly easy recipes because I didn't know the skill level and wanted it to be easy for anyone to do.  I tackled the tricky parts.

I have to thank Aprhodite Cooks for providing the great Cooking Studio space to host the party at.

I would also like to thank Yorkshire Valley Farms for providing the excellent Organic Chicken that had a couple of days of marinating before I roasted and shredded it and The Detox Market in Toronto for providing discount cards to their store and also arranging to get Mexican Chocolate from one of their vendors Taza Chocolate.  I used their chili chocolate and their cinnamon chocolate in the dessert.  I also used their recipe for the Mexican Chocolate pudding.

Without these people supporting Food Revolution Day and my event it wouldn't have been possible for me to host this event.

I wish I could clone myself when it comes to these events.   I wanted to greet people coming in, get them set up with name tags,  take photos and be able to teach them how to make the recipes, but I can't multi task that well so I had a little help from a couple of friends to make sure everything got done.

I set up a photo wall backdrop for people to have their photos taken with some Mexican and fun props. My friend Linda made some hipster props on sticks for fun picks.  My other friend lent me a couple of Sombreros from Mexico and a poncho and I had some Maracas for a little fun.

We greeted people with some fresh Strawberry Margaritas.. (non Alcoholic)  was going for the healthy and safe drinks.   Then they proceeded to have their photos taken.   It turned out to be a great warm up for new people as my friends made them feel at home.

A bit of introductions and then we were off to the kitchen portion.  I had my friends Joanne and Linda and myself help instruct people how to chop and mix the ingredients for the pico de gallo, guacamole and then the tortillas.  It took a while for them to get the hang of the tortilla press and I think we should have cooked the tortillas a bit more, but the grill didn't seem to get very hot.   I made the leftover bits at home in a cast iron skillet the next day and they seemed to be a lot better.  Tip... use a cast iron pan for best results.

We had tried to have the chicken and refried beans warming in chafing dishes but they weren't getting hot enough so we had to do a quick transfer to the oven and stove.. but once we had the pico de gallo, guacamole and tortillas ready it was time to get the accompaniments and head to the table.   Everyone was starving by that time including me.  I was so busy getting everything ready all day that I hardly had time to eat anything.  I had a car full of party items and food that I had to bring to the party.   There was a lot of moving parts to this party to make it a lot of fun.

I spent a few days making paper flowers for the event and made some Food Revolution Day stickers.

The food turned out amazing.

It was so fresh and even the one vegetarian loved everything but unfortunately didn't try the chicken which turned out great.

Everyone chipped in to help clean up and really showed great team work  Since it was space that we had for a limited time we had to have everything cleaned up by 10:30pm..  very short amount of time with all the mess we made cooking up a storm, but all hands were on deck to clean it up so we could enjoy our Mexican Chocolate dessert.

I suppose everyone had a great time because they were all talking about next year and planning other events that we could do together.   I just wish more people were there to experience the Food Revolution Day effect.

If I do it again next year I know I need to get a lot more people involved from start to finish so I can make it an even bigger event.   This isn't my business, I volunteer as an Ambassador,  so it's really challenging to do an event like this without sponsorship and help.

I appreciate all the help that my friends and sponsors provided to help me create a fun Mexican Fiesta.


for more information about how to participate in Food Revolution Day
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1 comment:

  1. Hi Linda, Looks like an awesome event - and you know I would have been there had I not had my own event at the same time!

    Re: lamenting the small size of this event, I don't think you should. I had one larger and one much smaller event this year and both of them were meaningful - lessons were learned, food was cooked and shared - the essence of FRD.

    The Food Revolution is all about small changes, often and all year, not giant once-a-year events, so a smaller event where you have people already talking about what they will do next year for FRD sounds like you have hit the nail on the head!

    What a great set of sponsors you had this year - with this under your belt, I know we should expect more fabulous things from you next year for FRD.

    Nice work, fellow-Ambassador!


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