I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Enjoy a global gastronomic journey
Why travel abroad when you can experience the flavours of the world in the heart of England? One of the joys of the 2014 BBC Good Food Show Summer, at Birmingham NEC until June 15, is the variety of dishes and products on display.
I sampled just a handful but felt I had visited the most exotic of destinations.
My first stop was Malaysia, a country whose food is enjoying a surge in popularity, partly due to Ping Coombes winning MasterChef 2014 with an array of Malaysian dishes.
Kitchen Hands: Raymond Java and Adib Rahim on the Malaysia Kitchen stand
The Malaysia Kitchen stand, organised by the body promoting Malaysian food in the UK, was doing brisk business selling noodles, peppers, Dollee Cookies and ingredients for curries.
Ping Coombes and 2010's MasterChef champion Dhruv Baker demonstrated how to replicate Malaysian dishes at home, including Rendang (a savoury dish cooked in coconut milk, crushed coconuts and aromatic herbs and spices), Satay (tender meat grilled over charcoal flames) and Assam Laksa (tamarind and mackerel broth with noodles).
My next port of call was America – or was it China or Japan? The origin of the Fortune Cookie is uncertain, there are claims that it could have been invented in any of those three countries. What I do know is that the cookies at BBC Good Food Show are courtesy of a company founded 10 months ago in Glasgow.
Fortunate: Michelle and Kevin Waugh with their Fortune Cookies
Cracking Cookies is the brainchild of husband and wife team Kevin and Michelle Waugh who loved the concept of Fortune Cookies but disliked the way most of them tasted. They spent 12 months developing a range of handcrafted biscuits in a range of delicious flavours including chocolate orange, raspberry and coffee.
With two full time and two part time workers they produce around 1000 cookies a week. As for the fortunes inside the biscuits, personalised ones have included marriage proposals – with one special request for an engagement ring to be hidden in the cookie.
Time to head for Hong Kong and an exciting new set of recipes developed by MasterChef Larkin Cen with Lee Kum Kee sauces.
The Lee Kum Kee company was founded in 1888 in south China by restaurateur Lee Kam Sheung. It is still family owned and is now based in Hong Kong.
Larkin's new recipes, developed with summer dining in mind, include Grilled Chilli Squid, Fiery Tiger Prawns and Pineapple Skewers.
New recipes: Belinda Yip testing new Lee Kum Kee dishes
I picked up my booklet at the show where it was available alongside three new Lee Kum Kee products, Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood, Chicken Marinade and Plum Sauce.
I concluded my global gastronomic journey in West Africa with Ghanaian-born Amba Kabore-Sharkey. Amba is now based in Belfast where she launched Ceeba Foods in 2011 and, recently, its sister company The Cooking Pot.
Cakemaker Amba realised that not everybody was happy eating calorie-filled confectionery and there was a need for more healthy treats. In Ghana, she recalled, recipes were dairy-free and contained very little sugar so she developed these for European tastes. The result is a variety of snacks including peanut brittle, lemon corn biscuits and corn cookies.
The recently launched Cooking Pot venture features a number of West African dishes, served at events and functions using locally sourced ingredients.
Healthy eating: Sales assistant Valerie Dube offers some African-style snacks