An invitation to Fabulous Fanny’s summer party…

May 25, 2018

Meet Fanny Cradock at this year’s Eat Cambridge festival, and learn all about her early food celebrity fame (predating our dear Delia and beloved Nigella) as well as reliving some of her most exquisite 1960s cocktail party masterpieces. Ladies and gentleman, we are delighted to invite you to join local food expert Dr Sue Bailey as… FABULOUS FANNY!

FannyCradock with plate of food

Come to Fabulous Fanny’s Summer Party on Wednesday 30 May (6.30pm, St Paul’s Church) and let Fanny (aka Dr Sue) regale you with tales of Fanny Cradock’s colourful retro 60s party recipes, her exotic life, and her rise to food celebrity status. Fanny Cradock was an English restaurant critic, television celebrity chef and writer frequently appearing on television, at cookery demonstrations (including the Ideal Home Exhibition), and at the Royal Albert Hall. Fanny became the ground breaking consummate food entertainer from the early 1960s. As well as locally sourced foods and unusual ingredients, she celebrated the rise of technological developments with canned and frozen food, metal foil, and new food mixers on stands. Fanny was prolific and produced over 100 cookery books, a magazine cookery course, and inspired untold millions of women to be brave and adventurous in the kitchen.

In character as Fabulous Fanny, Dr Sue will recreate some Fanny classics, including fantastic wobbling jellies, legendary canapes, and party drinks. Dear Johnny will also be in attendance to add his own inimitable touch. Read on for a taste of the delightful delicacies you can expect on the night…

fanny and johnny in the kitchen

Our own Fabulous Fanny – Dr Sue Bailey – will treat us to a hilarious portrayal of Fanny’s waspish personality, at the same time as preparing some bonkers, although feasible, party food creations in the style of a live 1960s cooking demo. Dr Sue’s alter ego is set to ensure the summer party tickets sell out fast, ‘though not filling the Albert Hall as the original Fanny did… (have a peek at the real Fanny in action on BBC iPlayer). On the menu expect some of Fanny’s legendary summer party classics. We’re thinking banana candles will be top of the list, plus melon balls with ginger, a Pallas Athene Salad, perhaps a ginormous spicy sausage roll, blue stuffed eggs, and a big wobbling multicoloured jelly a la Zizzi! And, of course, dazzling day-glo party drinks!

Credit: Pina, One Two Culinary Stew

Credit: Pina, One Two Culinary Stew

Food historian Dr Sue has plenty of Fanny tales to share – going beyond her colourful retro 60s party recipes and exploring her hugely influential role as an early ‘TV chef’. Kevin Geddes, a good friend of Fanny who has researched her vegetarian interests, said: “If she was around today she’d be up there with Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi, using ingredients from around the world. She took amazing care and ­attention over something simple to make it look amazing. No one today would bother about piping the yolk of an egg.” Perhaps we all still have something to learn from this cooking legend. Dr Sue, in character as our Cambridge Fanny, will, of course, showcase her piping skills on the night if you’re looking to pick up some tips for that next retro dinner party…!

When not playing at being Fabulous Fanny so, um, fabulously, Dr Sue Bailey works as a food historian and food science lecturer and has appeared on television in programmes such as Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped, Rip Off Britain’s food exposes on BB1, and ITV’s Save Money Good Health, as well as consulting on food history and appearing on the Great British Bake Off. You may also have heard Sue presenting on local food and drink show Flavour 105 on Cambridge 105 Radio and contributing regularly to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Sue has over 25 years’ experience in food and education, and is a hugely experienced lecturer as well as time spent leading and running food science degree courses at London Metropolitan University. Find out more about Sue’s interest in Fanny Cradock and get a sneak peek at life playing Fabulous Fanny on Sue’s blog HERE.

Tomato wheels and sausage roll Fanny pic

Booking is essential for this hilarious shindig – tickets are just £15 per person and include tasters and a drink.

Book tickets via Eventbrite HERE.


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