A few weeks ago I was at Balmoral Show for the first time and spent three days photographing the food pavilion. The food pavilion was a huge covered area organised by Northern Ireland Good Food (NI Good Food). It consisted of dozens of local food producers and suppliers from large to small. Below is a list of all the the exhibitors:
Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, Cookstown, Mash Direct, Bailies Coffee Company, Fresh Food Kitchen, Mette, P. McCann & Sons, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Crossgar Food Service, Moy Park, Flavour of Tyrone, Good Food Circle, The Taste Adventure – Slow Food Initiative, Food Standards Agency, The Big Lunch – Eden Project, Hannan Meats, Cloughbane Farm Shop, Glastry Farm Ice Cream, Orchard County Foods Ltd, Linwoods, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt Company, White’s Speedicook, Dale Farm, Ulster Farmers’ Union, Slice of Heaven, Natural Inner Maintenance, Sunblest, Kingsmill, Dalriada Festival, Simply Irresistible, Harnett’s, Aunty May’s Preserves, Foodie Folk, Hoy’s Farmhouse Ice Cream, Lizzie’s Kitchen, Heavenly Tasty Organics, Bella Jo, Soil Association, Ruby Card, Baked in Belfast, R Wilson, CLIC Sergant, Love Food Hate Waste, Grow it Yourself Ireland, Superchamp, Broom Cottage, Carrick Cottage…..
As you can see there was a wide variety of food companies there. My job for the three days was to photograph the exhibitors stands, the public and also to photograph the chef demonstration area, or Northern Ireland Tourist Board Signature Cookery Theatre to give it its proper name! The cookery theatre was an area in the middle of the food pavillion that was set up with a full working kitchen, provided by Mette and a seating area for the audience as well as large screen TV’s showing giving an overhead view of the what the chefs were doing. Each day there were new chefs cooking and they cooked for around 40mins each explaining the whole time what they were doing, at the end they plated up the food and the audience were invited to try the food. Some of the chefs who cooked at the show included Anton Campbell & Nicky Reid from Del Toro, Conor McClelland from Rayanne House, Lizzie Kennedy from Lizzie’s Kitchen, Sean Farnan from Priory House, Paul Rankin from Cayenne and Conor Farrell & Christina Blevins from Junior Chef Academy.
Balmoral was a very busy, very tiring, yet enjoyable three days for me. Between walking around the stands getting photographs I had to keep an eye out for the chefs starting to cook, then once they were finished I had to move in quickly to photograph the dishes they had prepared before the audience ate them! Although I was there to photograph the food pavilion I did manage to have a wander around the rest of the show and got some photographs of the other areas as well. As this job was entirely event photography it pays off to take as many photographs as you can as very little is staged and you rarely get a second chance to get a shot. After the three days I had just under 2000 images. Obviously there were a lot of duplicates and some that weren’t any good but I don’t think I’ve ever shot so many images in the space of 3 days! It took a long time to go through the images on the computer and narrow them down. I’ve added a gallery below of some of my favourite images from the show.