The Eye magazine (Huddersfield) August 2012 – I have an admission to make… I love my food

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I have an admission to make – I love my food. I also like to cook but I like to eat even more.

You don’t need to have read Proust to know how evocative food can be. I only have to spot the pastel pink icing of a Fondant Fancy to be transported back to a time of childhood teas, Boney M and Triumph cars.

So living in a town where one of the highlights of the year is the Food & Drink Festival (9-12 August) is a bonus for me and I’ll definitely be visiting the stalls to sample the treats on offer.

Having recently taken over as editor of Food & Drink News trade magazine, I now have an excuse to take even more interest in food and food production. Some years back I lived with a diabetic and we were shocked to discover the high sugar content in some savoury foods, such as some pasta sauces. Programmes like Jamie’s School Dinners have also opened our eyes to some of the ingredients most of us would rather not see in our food.

The food you offer guests can make all the difference to how welcome they feel – and that goes for business as well as social occasions. Imagine you have a meeting with potential suppliers and they hand you a cup of cheap instant coffee in a chipped mug with lumpy milk. Their competitor serves up freshly brewed coffee and a plate of luxury biscuits. Which company is likely to give you the best customer service?

My great-great aunt was a baker in the north east and my family still uses her Christmas cake recipe today. When I started a monthly networking group at a local cafe, I decided to call it the Coffee & Cake Business Network and offer a slice of cake to everyone who came along. The cake is made by award-winning local company ProperMaid, whose tagline is “created with passion by ladies who bake!”. I like to think people come for the networking and the Q&A sessions with business experts. But I suspect the biggest draw is the cake.

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