Let’s just say outright that – as an online PR person – I have a new appreciation for those bloggers I’ve asked to do reviews or go to events or whatever. It’s been an entire week since the foodie event I went to (put together by the good people who did the Smirnoff London Bloggers Meetup) and I’ve done nothing but put my pictures up on Flickr. It’s been a completely mental week – and this is just about the first time I’ve sat down at a computer without work-related stuff to do.
But now, seeing as I’m home from work, with a glass of wine and no tryptophan from turkey in my system (because I’m not having any Thanksgiving this year), I’m ready to begin my catch-up….
As part of my induction to the London Food Bloggers circuit, I received an invite from Rax and Chris at Splendid to a dinner party hosted by the owners and producers of Good Oil, a hemp seed oil that actually lives up to its name.
Myself, Chris, Niamh (who was just named one of the Top 10 Food Bloggers from around the world by The Times), Helen, Lizzie and Alex all converged on a lovely flat in Westbourne Park to hang out with Henry Braham and Glynis Murray, the masterminds behind Good Oil for an all-around proper dinner party featuring dishes all made with Good Oil.
I had the chance to try out Good Oil before the event – very simply with a baguette from Sainsbury’s, a little garlic and some cracked pepper. While it had the look and texture of a regular olive oil, there definitely was something different. It was nuttier, a bit lighter and didn’t necessarily feel like it was clogging my arteries in the way that olive oil can. This is likely because Good Oil contains no trans fat, little saturated fat and is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
I kept thinking there were a lot of possibilities in cooking with it, but I didn’t really have a clue how to go about it.
*As a side note – I hate peas, and I could more than stomach the crostini. Must have been the oil ;-)
We had a very eclectic mix, and as much as everything was tasty, the most surprising dish of the night was dessert. It doesn’t sound like much: just vanilla ice cream and shortbread. But with a drip or two of Good Oil, it took on completely different characteristics. The nuttiness in the vanilla ice cream suddenly lept out and the shortbread became rich and complex. In hindsight it makes perfect sense, but I never would have thought to put oil on a dessert. My mind is now reeling with possibilities.
However, as much as the food impressed me, Henry and Glynis’ story did even more so. Good Oil took over 8 years to get to where it is right now, which means that it’s gone through constant innovation and tests for taste, consistency and overall health benefits. It’s been – to say the least – a battle. Through the years they’ve lost crops (damn Devon weather), witnessed the foot and mouth crisis and had to deal with the never-ending question of why they were actually growing fields of hemp in the middle of the English countryside. Hearing the two of them talk about their product so passionately really helps the consumer identify with the brand.
The evening ended on a high note with me stumbling home to Maida Vale full on oil and wine, but I should have known that it didn’t stop there. Just like with the Blogger’s Meetup, Splendid went ahead and custom-tailored the night to each individual blogger. What I thought was just a casual conversation about our favourite recipes, turned out to be a perspicacious PR move on the part of Rax and Chris – because come this past Tuesday, I had a personalised recipe card of a Good Oil-take my favourite dish ever from the best restaurant in Ann Arbor: Pacific Rim‘s Japanese-style Sablefish with a Soy-Tamarind Glaze! Well done, guys (as usual!).
I’ve yet to try it, but that’s only because I can’t imagine how expensive sablefish is here in London.
Good Oil is currently stocked at most branches of Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Co-Op, as well as department stores like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Expect to pay a more-than-reasonable £5.99
Originally posted at Fake Plastic Noodles