Food is no laughing matter for stand-up star Silky
Top stand up comedian Silky will swap jokes for yolks when he gives a cookery demonstration at a food festival.
The red hot gig at Hamper Llangollen in October will be a first for the comedian and musician who says simple egg dishes and exotic spices are among his favourite foods.
Silky, a regular favourite at the Edinburgh Festival, is already familiar with the venue because he’s performed his stand-up routines at the Llangollen pavilion many times.
“I’ve never gigged in a kitchen before, but I believe in experimenting,” said the entertainer who can play seven different musical instruments.
“When the organisers asked me to do a slot at Hamper Llangollen, I thought, why not? I can multi-task!”
It is expected that this year’s 19th annual event on the weekend of October 17 and 18 will again attract thousands visitors to browse over 120 stalls at Llangollen’s Royal International Pavilion.
The popular event in Llangollen’s Royal Pavilion is recognised as one of the UK’s top 10 food festivals.
Cadwyn Clwyd has provided financial support over the past few years to ensure the festival’s long term viability, this was funded through the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.
While Silky promises plenty of light-hearted banter with the crowd, he says the food itself will be no laughing matter, with high quality local ingredients to the fore.
Hot tips on cooking up some fantastic, original recipes are already brewing in his vivid imagination, though he is eager to point out he has no ambitions to become a professional cook.
“I do love cooking and I enjoy trying out new ingredients,” said the native Liverpudlian whose career in comedy was launched when a friend persuaded him to enter the BBC New comedy Awards in 1994.
In the years since, Silky, who now lives in Leeds, has worked virtually non-stop, performing all around the world in addition to touring the UK circuit. His stand up act including self-penned songs and music is consistently a highlight at the Edinburgh Festival and he has a huge fan base in North Wales arising from his Killforaseat comedy shows regularly staged at Llangollen Pavilion, Venue Cymru, Llandudno and Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold.
The announcement that he is to join the line-up of star turns at Llangollen’s increasingly popular annual food festival is sure to win him yet more fans.
Hamper Llangollen is one of the most prestigious events on the UK culinary calendar, hosting more than 100 local and international exhibitors, along with demonstrations by professionals.
Travelling so much through work has afforded Silky the opportunity to try out lots of different food styles. He is a big fan of Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and Mexican dishes and says he may draw inspiration from them for his festival menu.
He does not adhere strictly to recipes but likes to be creative with different types of food.
“Lately I’ve been playing with cauliflower and I’m loving it, particularly roasted and spiced. I’m also into soups. I often make a big batch of soup and freeze some so I can have it as a nutritious light meal before or after a gig,” he said.
He enjoys curries and will not shy away from the hottest chillies but he never adds heat to food just for the sake of it.
“I like a good curry but always used to go for mild kormas, then I thought why am I limiting myself to one style? Let’s try something different. Suddenly a whole new world of spices opened up to me. But I’m not a macho spice man. I only like the heat if it adds flavour and aromas.”
He’s equally at home with simple dishes – eggs, mushrooms and fresh asparagus, or comfort foods like his late father’s corned beef hash.
He tries to avoid eating too much processed produce and likes to buy crusty freshly baked bread rather than off the shelf supermarket varieties.
His girlfriend of eight years is a vegan so home meals include plenty of pulses and vegetables.
Hamper Llangollen 2015 will also include cookery demonstrations by members of the Welsh Culinary Association, led by Graham Tinsley, who has cooked for the Queen, is part owner of the Castle Hotel, Conwy.