Down Memory Lane with Henrietta Green

It was in the early 2000s when Guild member Henrietta Green took over the piazza at Covent Garden for a series of three-day Food Lovers’ Fairs. ‘In those days food festivals were very unusual events, and commanded a great deal of interest. I was very keen to get food writers aboard, because they had so much pull, so I donated a stall to the Guild’. Henrietta’s publicity worked, and the events teemed with food writers, chefs and the rich and famous (including Prince Charles).

Memories are understandably fuzzy – as is the image of Henrietta above, which possibly dates from about this period – but the stall was run and managed by a group of Guild writers including Roz Denny. Guild members clamoured to contribute cakes and bakes, and much money was raised. Among the energetic bakers were Josceline Dimbleby, María José Sevilla and CJ Jackson. Grace Mulligan arrived by train from Hull, bearing 18 Dundee cakes, and Nigella Lawson with cake boxes of stunning fairy cakes, which sold within minutes.

Did you come along to the event? We would love to hear any memories, and if you brought food along, do you still have the recipe?

Sadly, Henrietta’s Covent Garden fairs were short-lived; the piazza began to fill up with outdoor cafés and bars, so there was no longer space to put up stalls. Because the area was open to the public, it was impossible to charge entrance, nor could she charge stallholders lots of money. Meanwhile, Henrietta’s fairs at Borough Market were taking off – but that is a whole different story.

A reminder that buried in last month’s newsletter was an appeal for Guild members to help at Henrietta’s British Charcuterie Live Awards, Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 July. Please contact her if you would like to know more about the awards, if you are confident about your knowledge of charcuterie and would like to join the team of judges, or if you would like to learn more and be interested in stewarding. Finally, one of the sponsors is possibly looking for a writer for charcuterie-related pieces. Henrietta can be reached via, 07961 300237 or 020 9696 0866.