Some time before Christmas, I was invited by Asda to attend a blogger event at Leiths cookery school. You may have seen the TV adverts promoting the partnership between Asda and Leiths, whereby Leiths have given their stamp of approval to a selection of the Asda Extra Special range.
I'll admit that I reacted in a very unbecoming way, disdainful that a respected professional cookery school would be endorsing a range from what I perceived as a cheap supermarket with products to match. So I'll put my hand up and state that I was wrong, unequivocally wrong. Every single one of the products I've tasted from the Asda Extra Special range has been excellent, and would hold its own against products from any other supermarket, whether that's Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose or M&S. When I take prices into account, I'm even more impressed and genuinely disappointed I don't have a branch near me.
At the school, Leiths Managing Director, Camilla Schneideman, explained that her team had not only handpicked their favourite products, based on taste and quality of ingredients, but they had also developed a range of recipes using the products, to give Asda shoppers some fresh ideas on how to use them well. Initially, the partnership focused on Asda's Extra Special Christmas range, but I understand it will be an on-going partnership through the year.
Rather then sit down to a meal prepared by someone else, we scrubbed up, put on our aprons and spent a happy couple of hours in the Leiths' kitchens, cooking a festive feast using the Leiths recipes. In teams of 4, we cooked canapés, starters, a main with sides and a delicious pudding. Luckily, some of the ingredients preparation had been done for us, such as peeling and weighing, so we were able to do a lot in a relatively short time. Only after all our hard work did we sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labours. My stand out favourite was the rich gravy accompanying the rack of venison, and the chocolate Yule log, but everything was very tasty.
Asda kindly offered a Christmas hamper for a Kavey Eats competition, but as I was running a fair few competitions during that period already, I asked for a non-seasonal hamper instead, to cheer someone up through the new year blues. Being a picky sort, I made the selection myself and have chosen everything from biscuits and popcorn to crisps and nuts to balsamic vinegar and dipping oils to pasta and pesto to chutney, gravy and honey. There's even a nice bottle of red wine and one of bubbly cava!
Contents of Prize Hamper: Extra Special mini meringues, Extra Special Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Extra Special all butter parmesan and garlic mini twists, Extra Special soft-baked apple cookies, Extra Special stem ginger chocolate, Extra Special Belgian milk chocolate and pecan popcorn clusters, Extra Special caramelised onion chutney, Extra Special black pepper ciabatta croutons, Extra Special garlic dipping oil, Extra Special hand-decorated toffee cake, Extra Special apricot crumbles, Extra Special Italian conchiglioni, Extra Special Italian pesto alla Genovese, Extra Special rich beef gravy, Extra Special Spanish orange blossom honey, Extra Special spiced plum and ginger marinade, Extra Special Vietnamese jumbo cashew nuts, Extra Special vegetable crisps, Extra Special Marques Del Norte Rioja Reserva, Extra Special Mas Miralda Cava Vintage 2010 Brut
How to enter
You can enter the competition in 2 ways.
Entry 1 – Answer the question
Leave a comment below, answering the following question:
What's your best tip for combatting the January blues?
Tweet the (exact) sentence below:
I'd love to win an Asda Extra Special hamper from kaveyeats.com #KaveyEatsAsda
Rules & Details
- The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 27 January 2012.
- One blog entry and one twitter entry per person.
- The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
- The prize is a hamper of food and drink from the Leiths Approved Asda Extra Special range, with an approximate value of contents of £50 (based on current prices). The prize includes delivery, and can be delivered to UK mainland addresses only.
- Asda reserve the right to substitute any items that are out of stock for other Leiths Approved Asda Extra Special items of a similar value.
- The prize cannot be redeemed for cash.
- The prize is offered directly by Asda.
- Valid entries must contain either an email address or twitter account, for contacting the winner. For those leaving a comment using their blogger/ Google ID, please make sure an email address is visible in your profile.
- The winner will be notified by email or twitter. If no response is received by the end of Tuesday 31 January, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
*If you don't have a secondary email address already and are nervous about sharing your main email address on the internet, why not set up a new free email account on hotmail, gmail or yahoo, that you can use to enter competitions like this?
Thanks to Asda and Leiths for inviting me to the Extra Special cookery class and for offering this prize.