The Fire Food & Outdoor Living Evening turned in to an unforgettable night of socializing and great company following the second day at SOLEX 2023 with the team from Cheeky Charlie Ovens winning the BBQ Hero competition, a 30 minute Steak Sandwich Challenge, ahead of teams from Kamado Joe, CharBroil and GrillStream.
The evening event saw SOLEX visitors and exhibitors socializing and networking into the evening after the show closed for day 2.
Top chef and TV presenter Matt Tebbutt along with broadcaster Jules Hudson from Escape to the Country, were special guests at the event and judges of the challenge.
The duo were joined by Andy Clarke, one of the most exciting voices in the food and drink industry, mixing with exhibitors and guests at the event which was run by BBQ magazine.
Matt Tebbutt is best known for presenting BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and its sister show Best Bites on BBC2. Matt also co-hosts Channel 4's Food Unwrapped which lifts the lid on how the food we eat, from all round the world, is produced.
He has written several cookbooks, the latest of which is Weekend, featuring plenty of BBQ and outdoor cooking. Matt had a restaurant in Monmouthshire for 14 years and now runs a cookery school and hosting kitchen.
Matt loves to cook outside over fire. “When you cook with fire, it’s a totally different skill and mindset to indoor cooking. I am really looking forward to SOLEX. It should be a lot of fun, showcasing all that is great about fire, food and outdoor living.”
Jules Hudson, an author, and archaeologist, presents the popular BBC series Escape to the Country, helping families find their pastoral paradise. He also presents Channel 5’s This Week on the Farm and Cash in the Attic.
“One of the great joys of any rural experience is access to open fire. The fire is nature’s TV,” said Jules.
The evening, with drinks pairings from Powder Monkey Brewing Co (beer), Tidal Rum (spirits) and BeefSteak Club (wine), was hosted by broadcaster and TV producer Andy Clarke, drinks expert on ITV’s Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh.
Clarke’s producer credits include BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live, Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver for Channel 4, James Martin’s French Adventure and American Adventure and responsibility for all food and drink on ITV’s Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip. Clarke will be hosting alongside Ian Jones (BEM) chef, farmer, and events guru.
"This leading event provided a platform for key industry buyers to explore innovative designs, discover new products, and explore retail and contract market solutions all in one place. SOLEX delivers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere while maintaining a professional focus," commented Gina Hinde, Solex Event Director.
“Through this dynamic event, business professionals and buyers were able to foster valuable relationships in this vibrant industry while previewing the hot trends for shop floors in Spring/Summer 2024.”
SOLEX 2023 continues tomorrow, Wednesday 12th July, in Hall 5 at the NEC.