Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Cornucopia - The Corn Exchange Leeds

This weekend after weeks of build ups, advertising and tweeting Cornucopia landed at the Leeds Corn Exchange. Cornucopia was created to showcase the goodies of local producers and businesses.

This magnificent building designed by the ever famous Yorkshire architect Cuthbert Brodrick (yes it is not just the name of a Wetherspoons)... his other iconic buildings include Leeds Town Hall, The Grand Hotel in Scarborough, and Leeds City Museum (previously The Mechanics Institute and then later Leeds Civic Hall).

Cornucopia: a horn of plenty, symbolising nourishment and abundance... also the name of a famous Leeds Mural...

Painted by Graeme Wilson in 1990 it has been there most of my life, and I have always appreciated it. It fascinated me as a child and still makes me smile as an adult.

I couldn't think of a better name to call a food event in Leeds Corn Exchange.

It took place on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October. I signed up for the Big Breakfast which was to take place on Sunday morning at 9am (yes 9am on a Sunday morning... crazy talk), but worried that I would miss out on all the good stuff I went on the Saturday too.

Lets start with the stalls....

First up we have this lovely lady and her AMAZING American inspired treats and bakes. That's the lovely Lisa right there she is a fabulous lady. She has her own blog (here) and you can follow her on twitter (if you don't already she is very popular!) @TheYummyYank

As you can probably tell I love her treats... My favourite is her apple-pie-cheesecake (pictured below). Other delicious treats include red velvet cake, rocky road brownies, coca cola cake, carrot cake... and so much more!

Here we have Lauden Chocolates these chocolates look almost too good to eat. These chocolates definitely deserve to be eaten, they are fresh and not greasy; the flavour just bursts in to your mouth. The passion fruit flavour has won gold stars it's so delicious. I will definitely be ordering a few of these from their website for Christmas presents this year. They reassured us that it's free special delivery too and they have started getting orders from all over the world!

This stall was only here on the Sunday and I didn't get chance to speak to them so I never found out their name as they were still unpacking whilst we were there. I wish I had of bought one of their perfect looking cupcakes but alas I had eaten so much cake this weekend I just couldn't face buying more.

Guppy's of York were there on Saturday. I bought a selection as they were very reasonably priced and looked amazing. I'm not sure how many Bailey's ones you can eat before you are legally still under the drink drive limit... I don't think it's many! They were delicious and I will definitely be popping in on my next trip to York.

This stall is Fayre by Alley she sells a Canadian dessert called a Nanaimo Bar. They are delicious and come in a range of flavours.

I have tried the mint and ginger ones as reviewed on my previous blog post of Kirkstall Deli Market where I first discovered this lovely lady and her little goodies! This time we both tried her new flavour (new flavour to us anyway!) orange which it has been said is even better than a Jaffa Cake!

Alley is a lovely lady and if she isn't too busy you should definitely ask her all about her new creations, she is very passionate about what she does and it shines through in these little pieces of luxury.

As you can see from their banner this is Shaw's who sold a lot of Yorkshire based goodies. The parkin was very good but I would fear for my life if my local supplier found out that I have been buying parkin anywhere else.... So unfortunately I didn't buy any but I did sample it.. twice... once on Saturday and once on Sunday. I was very tempted.

This was the stall hosted by Anthony's showcasing their range of breads, who now supply many local traders such as Fish&. When I turned up on Saturday afternoon this massive table was almost bare. So I was very excited to see they had restocked for Sunday.

I decided to buy a loaf of pumpkin and Parmesan bread.. I'm not a massive fan of pumpkin but this didn't taste too strongly of pumpkin. It lasted ages and was good cold or toasted. I became slightly addicted to making a sort of posh cheese on toast adding extra Parmesan to the top once toasted.

The Blessed Olive sold a range of olives and olive oils.. This fellow wasn't too keen on having his photo taken and I don't think he liked mornings either, although his olives and olive oil was very good.

Dough Bistro was there and I am still yet to visit but I hear some very good reports!

This is the gorgeous Lianne who runs a very successful blog everythinggoeswithtoast.blogspot.com check it for some delicious recipes using a range of well known and less well known ingredients. This weekend Lianne decided to share with us her rose and lavender jams. I was a little wary at first of floral jams... but it turns out the rose jam was actually rather pleasant! It would seem a lot of other people thought so too as she was running low on stock by the end of the weekend! Might have something to do with her lovely display too!

Snowden Hill Water Buffalo.. I was intrigued to sample something from this stall as I have never tried water buffalo before. I tried a few pieces of sausage at the Big Breakfast and loved it! Another thing I regret not buying especially after seeing everyone's lovely meals later on twitter!

Another cupcake stall 'Ames does baking'.. again having made my way round on Sunday and already full up with cake I couldn't face to buy/eat any more! Her mini gingerbread men looked really cute and scrumptious too!

Casa Espresso who were kind enough to let us sample their coffee on Sunday morning at the Big Breakfast.

The last stall I have a picture of is of this knife stall, Gourmet Kitchenware. The most expensive knife I found was £200!!!

Other stalls which I didn't manage to get a snap of were... Swillington Organic Farm I am seriously considering signing up for their meatboxes, readily planted, Lottie Shaws, Thistle Mist, Indie Ices, Sunshine Bakery, Tenter House farm, Chilli Jam Man, Gusto Italian, Pudsey Pickles, and Shekinah. Lots of lovely stalls with such a variety of wares there was definitely something for everybody.


So I dragged myself out of bed very early on Sunday morning to attend the Big Breakfast event. As I was public transporting it I arrived a little bit earlier than everyone else. I ordered a spiced hot chocolate on the recommendation of Lianne who was already enjoying a cup.

Lianne did send me a picture of hers which was much more nicely decorated on the top but for some reason my email wont load it :o( it was amazing though and I'm glad I ordered it rather than my standard cup of tea!

Here was the lovely breakfast they laid on for us.. a bit odd and not like my usual breakfast but I loved it all the same!

Here is my breakfast selections... minus the water buffalo and chili jam which I ate too quickly to take a picture of. On my plate I have some bread from Anthony's to dip in all the different jams! Nanaimo bars from Fayre by Alley a chunk of chocolate chip brownie from the yummy yank. Two of the jams are the rose and lavender jams by Lianne. The muesli was lovely although I did I have a muesli mishap whereby I spilt it all over myself trying to balance it on my knee take a picture and drink my hot chocolate all at the same time... I was asking for it really!

It was a lovely morning and it was nice to be able to chat to the producers and stallers before they were rushed off their feet, however it would have been nice to have been told a little more about the event rather than just be given a handout. People were arriving in drips and drabs so it probably worked out for the best that way anyway.

Like what you have seen here? Gutted that you didn't go? No need to worry! There will be another... this time Christmas Cornucopia held at the Corn Exchange in Leeds on 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December 2011. Don't forget this date! It will be great for last minute gifts or even just treats to reward yourself for surviving the immense queues and hustle and bustle of Leeds City Centre that close to Christmas!

Check out all the other lovely bloggers pages who enjoyed this event too:

Come Dine With Rach

Leeds Foodie

Jo Blogs

Food and Biscuits

Culture Leeds

If I missed anyone out I'm so sorry!! It's getting quite late as I write this and my mind is slowly going to sleep......