Some Thoughts On The Subject Of ‘Artisan’ (The Craftsmen’s Dinner Campaign) & A Competition!

Ferraby-Knives-image-1

Ferraby-Knives-image-11

I have great respect for anyone who has the drive and talent to be able to forge a career as a craftsman; I know from firsthand experience that it certainly isn’t an easy path; I trained at university in jewellery and silversmithing and then tried to make a living selling my handmade silver jewellery. I failed. Sure, I could have tried harder and for longer, worked on honing my skills and maybe I could have got somewhere, but I found the whole experience quite frankly utterly disheartening and expensive and I lost any enjoyment in the craft. Traipsing around the country with your stock and display set-up to craft fairs that charge you an extortionate amount of money just to have a stall there with no guarantee of actually selling enough (or anything at all) to cover the costs was not fun, so I quit. I still make the odd piece of jewellery, for myself or as a commission but I think that I am better off just doing it as a hobby.

handmade silver jewellery by Hannah Hossack-Lodge

Handmade silver jewellery by Hannah Hossack-Lodge

Therefore I like to try and support artisans where possible, not just because I know what a difficult job they are doing, but because I get so much more satisfaction from buying a carefully hand-crafted, unique object than from something mass produced; those are the items that I cherish and want to keep forever; yes they might cost more, but a true craftsman will make things that are designed to last a lifetime, or longer; you can’t say the same about something from IKEA. Take for example my kitchen table and chairs; they were hand-crafted in Colombia and bought back to the UK by my parents, who passed them on to me recently as they are downsizing. Each chair is hand carved and painted with different animals and the table is a solid lump of wood, I love them, and with the occasional coat of oil they will last forever.

my kitchen table

So what is the point of all this rambling you might ask? Well, The Balvenie whisky has recently partnered with Michel Roux Jr to create a series of six short films titled ‘The Craftsmen’s Dinner’ which explore the true meaning of exceptional craftsmanship and highlight the quality and individuality that only artisan-produced items can provide. The series follows Michel Roux Jr as he travels the country meeting six ‘masters of craft’ from different fields – a knife maker, salmon smoker, potter, organic food producer, sparkling wine producer and The Balvenie’s cooper; the series will culminate in a three-course ‘Craftsmen’s Dinner’, cooked by Michel using produce from each of the craftsmen.

Ferraby-Knives-image-3

Ferraby-Knives-image-7

They asked me to write a post about the first film in the series which is about a knife maker. Will Ferraby Knives is one of the last remaining knife makers in the UK and the last remaining in Sheffield and his knives are seriously beautiful, and very, very sharp. I have quite a few knives in my kitchen but I only ever really use one of them – a hand forged Japanese chef’s knife; it is perfectly balanced, stays very sharp, is adaptable to most tasks and because it is made from Damascus steel that is folded and hammered many times to make it stronger and more durable, the blade has a beautiful ‘wood grain’ pattern; it feels right in my hand and I don’t like to use any other knife. It was quite expensive (a gift from my parents, so many of the nice things that I own are from them!), but when it comes to a good knife that you use daily it is so worth splashing out a bit, it makes all the difference. But as much as I love my knife, I don’t think it would be a patch on the ones that Will Ferraby makes… they are really something else, true works of art. Not only do they look good, but they appear to be just about the sharpest thing I have ever seen… they can slice a tomato cleanly in half simply by dropping it on the blade… I really want one!

Ferraby-Knives-image-9

Ferraby-Knives-image-knife

Ferraby-Knives-image-8

You can check out the video here, and the rest of the series will be released over the next few months. The Balvenie and Foodies100 are also giving away a fab prize in “The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner Competition” which offers the winner a meal for two at Le Gavroche – Michel Roux Jr’s two Michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair; you can enter the competition via the widget below.

To be in with the chance of winning a meal for two at Le Gavroche, readers must watch the series trailer, and answer the following question:

  • Q: How many dishes are plated up in the kitchen during The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner trailer?

How to Enter:

Watch the series trailer and leave a comment on this post with your answer.

Complete the widget with your details. Bonus entries are available

All entrants must be aged 18 and over entries close on 13th May, 2016 at 5:00pm.

Win
a luxury dinner at Michel Roux Jr’s restaurant, Le Gavroche.

 

86 Comments on Some Thoughts On The Subject Of ‘Artisan’ (The Craftsmen’s Dinner Campaign) & A Competition!

  1. Damian
    March 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm (1 year ago)

    test

    Reply
  2. Carolynn Woodland
    March 16, 2016 at 8:26 pm (1 year ago)

    Five

    Reply
  3. Carol Phile
    March 16, 2016 at 9:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  4. Maria P
    March 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  5. Hugh Mackenzie
    March 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  6. Natalie Crossan
    March 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  7. don erwood
    March 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Three are plated up

    Reply
  8. Patrick Quilty
    March 16, 2016 at 11:54 pm (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  9. Amica Grant
    March 17, 2016 at 7:08 am (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  10. Alix Smith
    March 17, 2016 at 7:14 am (1 year ago)

    3 dishes xx

    Reply
  11. ann goody
    March 17, 2016 at 8:16 am (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  12. Matthew Cobb
    March 17, 2016 at 10:01 am (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  13. Janet Humphrey
    March 17, 2016 at 10:58 am (1 year ago)

    three dishes

    Reply
  14. Charlene Keddy
    March 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes xx

    Reply
  15. Tiff Jordan
    March 17, 2016 at 5:07 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes.

    Reply
  16. Hon Cheung
    March 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm (1 year ago)

    There are 3 dishes.

    Reply
  17. kim neville
    March 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  18. Emma Denley
    March 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm (1 year ago)

    three dishes

    Reply
  19. Rosy
    March 19, 2016 at 3:28 pm (1 year ago)

    Three!

    Reply
  20. Laura Broadfoot
    March 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes 🙂

    Reply
  21. Klara Cort
    March 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm (1 year ago)

    three?

    Reply
  22. Harley
    March 19, 2016 at 10:46 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  23. Chris Davies
    March 20, 2016 at 10:23 am (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  24. charlie pope
    March 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  25. Sally Hossack
    March 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm (1 year ago)

    five

    Reply
  26. Richard Eldred Hawes
    March 23, 2016 at 10:40 am (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  27. Jayne Kelsall
    March 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm (1 year ago)

    I say 3 plated up

    Reply
  28. Victoria Thurgood
    March 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  29. Sue Cole
    March 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm (1 year ago)

    Two dishes

    Reply
  30. Emily Clark
    March 29, 2016 at 11:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  31. Petra Beck
    March 30, 2016 at 8:49 am (1 year ago)

    I’m not sure if I read the question correctly – it first asks for “dishes” but in the explanation it asks for “plates” that have been plated up.
    I see four plates which have had food placed on them in the kitchen – although 2 of them are of the same dish. Hence: 4 plates, 3 dishes.
    But that’s just me being awkward.

    Reply
  32. Mary Lucking
    March 31, 2016 at 12:56 pm (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  33. Dee Griffiths
    April 6, 2016 at 1:10 am (1 year ago)

    Five

    Reply
  34. Chloe Ellis
    April 7, 2016 at 7:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  35. Hekna
    April 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm (1 year ago)

    I spotted five in the kitchen

    Reply
  36. Tricia Cowell
    April 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  37. Birgit Redfern
    April 18, 2016 at 10:18 pm (1 year ago)

    Five

    Reply
  38. martin p
    April 21, 2016 at 10:50 am (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  39. lucy higgins
    April 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  40. John Thompson
    April 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  41. Annelies Paris
    April 25, 2016 at 11:22 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes or “trois” haha

    Reply
  42. Matt McAndrew
    May 2, 2016 at 1:24 am (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  43. Sarah Cooper
    May 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Five plates

    Reply
  44. Juanita Powers
    May 6, 2016 at 6:20 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  45. Michelle O'Neill
    May 7, 2016 at 6:30 am (1 year ago)

    Five

    Reply
  46. Vanni_Wood
    May 7, 2016 at 5:20 pm (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  47. Zac Farley
    May 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  48. Greig spencer
    May 8, 2016 at 10:03 am (1 year ago)

    5

    Reply
  49. helen newton
    May 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm (1 year ago)

    Three 🙂

    Reply
  50. reg vandra
    May 8, 2016 at 7:17 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  51. Kristyn Harris
    May 9, 2016 at 10:38 am (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  52. Nicola Hollyoake
    May 10, 2016 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

    I think 3 🙂

    Reply
  53. Andrew Tanner
    May 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm (1 year ago)

    3 plated

    Reply
  54. Wendy Tyler
    May 10, 2016 at 9:31 pm (1 year ago)

    5 I think

    Reply
  55. Maxine Feehely
    May 11, 2016 at 10:10 am (1 year ago)

    I think it’s six

    Reply
  56. Stewart Biddle
    May 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes

    Reply
  57. Jenny Badger
    May 11, 2016 at 3:25 pm (1 year ago)

    I spotted 5 (not sure if the two silver things were plates but I’ve counted them :))

    Reply
  58. Debi Gillard
    May 12, 2016 at 7:20 am (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  59. Bryanna M
    May 12, 2016 at 9:12 am (1 year ago)

    I counted 3 plates with food on them 🙂 I hope that is right!! It’s hard for me to see sometimes

    Reply
  60. Caroline S
    May 12, 2016 at 10:01 am (1 year ago)

    I thought I counted five!

    Reply
  61. catherine browne
    May 12, 2016 at 11:56 am (1 year ago)

    3 plated dishes

    Reply
  62. Kate L
    May 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  63. Sally Henry
    May 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  64. Sheri Darby
    May 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm (1 year ago)

    3

    Reply
  65. Claire Nelson
    May 12, 2016 at 5:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Three are plated up

    Reply
  66. caroline kelly
    May 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm (1 year ago)

    3?

    Reply
  67. adrian price
    May 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm (1 year ago)

    three are plated up

    Reply
  68. olivia Kirby
    May 12, 2016 at 7:54 pm (1 year ago)

    I think it’s 3 but I’m not really sure

    Reply
  69. Debbie Preston
    May 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm (1 year ago)

    5 plates of food

    Reply
  70. Lisa Pond
    May 12, 2016 at 9:21 pm (1 year ago)

    I say 5 🙂

    Reply
  71. Lisa Pond
    May 12, 2016 at 9:22 pm (1 year ago)

    I say 5

    Reply
  72. Adrian Bold
    May 12, 2016 at 11:56 pm (1 year ago)

    I think the answer is 3

    Reply
  73. tilly.x
    May 13, 2016 at 1:52 am (1 year ago)

    I’d say 3….?

    Reply
  74. Susan H Jenkins
    May 13, 2016 at 4:44 am (1 year ago)

    3 dishes are plated up

    Reply
  75. Name*
    May 13, 2016 at 5:52 am (1 year ago)

    Three plated up.

    Reply
  76. kez
    May 13, 2016 at 9:04 am (1 year ago)

    three

    Reply
  77. Sheila Howes
    May 13, 2016 at 9:06 am (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  78. Sandra Foreman
    May 13, 2016 at 10:45 am (1 year ago)

    three are plated

    Reply
  79. Chris Fletcher
    May 13, 2016 at 12:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Three dishes are plated up I think

    Reply
  80. Judy Beba-Brown
    May 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm (1 year ago)

    FIVE !!!

    Reply
  81. Frances Lauder
    May 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm (1 year ago)

    I spotted 5 :/

    Reply
  82. Julie Booth
    May 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm (1 year ago)

    That was hard to work out but I think it is 3

    Reply
  83. eirini kourvouli
    May 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply
  84. Wendy Barbe
    May 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm (1 year ago)

    Three

    Reply
  85. Wes M
    May 13, 2016 at 7:38 pm (1 year ago)

    3 dishes

    Reply

Leave a Reply