There is only one thing that drives most attendees of the Good Food Show: FREE SAMPLES.
The Sydney Exhibition Centre. 23-25 June 2006. Silent witness to the nature of human condition at its most brutal. Forget about physical violence on the football field. There is no louder crunch of shoulders slamming than the mad desperate scramble for the last sample serving of King Island Beef pie.
Okay so perhaps people weren’t quite crash tackling one another, but there was plenty of jostling, some sneaky back passes and certainly a rugby-like scrum or too. We joined the scuffle, and more often than not, emerged victorious. The Good Food Show is not about fine food, market growers or Perigord truffle shavings. It's all about the samples, and we were armed appropriately with backpack, water bottle and plenty of stamina. Let the feasting begin!
Naked Organics dips
We'd sampled Naked Organics' garlic aioli before from the supermarket, and after tasting all their flavour variants, the garlic aioli remained the firm favourite. It's creamy, smooth and packs a decent garlic wallop.
St Dalfour Gourmet to Go
St Dalfour, purveyor of fine jams packed with fruit (their strawberry jam is one of my favourites), surprised me with this left-field offering of a meal-in-a-can.
St Dalfour duck salad sample
Make that a "meal" in quotation marks. What on earth were they thinking?
King Island Dairy Honey & Cinnamon Yoghurt
I've been eyeing off the honey and cinnamon yoghurt from King Island Dairy at my local supermarket for some time now. Its packaging in a butter-like tub screams decadence, but calorific willpower begged me not to give in. A free sample on the other hand whispered ever so softly I could barely hear it.
Honey and cinnamon yoghurt sample
Rich. Silky. Decadent. The honey and cinnamon were mild nuances that tantalised the tastebuds and urged on my desperately seeking spoon.
Passionfruit-topped yoghurt from Envy
Mango sauce topped yoghurt sample
Cheesecake samples from Nanna's
Herbert Adams meat pie sample
We also tried Herbert Adams' new King Island Beef Premium Pie which had chunks of real beef, nay, King Island Beef, in a very flaky pastry. It was goooooood.
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil tastings
More yoghurt samples - from Evia Yoghurt
Lindt chocolate stand
We scoffed tasty squares of Lindt Dark Intense Orange and the poor girl with the basket of free Fiorettos never stood a chance really.
Fresh fruit hamper with pineapple flowers
Wow factor was definitely high at the stand held by Edible Blooms. A bouquet of strawberries, alternate ones dipped in milk chocolate and swirled with white, had all the girls oohing over the prettiness of it all. And it's fruit too. So it must be healthy.
Strawberry bouquet from Edible Blooms
Chocolate fountain with free chocolate-dipped strawberries
The queue was constant. We couldn't be bothered.
Bill Granger in the Celebrity Theatre
We chose to watch Bill Granger's cooking demonstration in the Celebrity Theatre. As always, the constant gags by the cheeky subtitler kept the audience entertained. Bill demonstrated braised chicken with lemon and honey, a simple dish of browned chicken pieces simmered with garlic, onion, a small vat of honey and a generous squeeze of lemon.
Good Food Show crowds
By the time we re-emerged into the pavillion, the lunchtime crush was claustrophobic.
Mascot for Nissin instant noodles
But luckily we found some respite an the Nissin stall where not only did they have an ultra-cute pokies machine:
Nissin pokies machine
but we were encouraged to pull the lever in an attempt to win either a packet of noodles or a Nissin car shade.
Nissin car shade and noodles
Of course I took the car shade, and I won first go too!
Iced coffee frappe
Cranberry juice from Ocean Spray
Oxygenated water from OGO
Apparently OGO contains 35 times as much oxygen as ordinary water. Natural oxygen, says its website, which, due to a "technological breakthrough" remains in the bottle even after you open it. Any doubts about the necessity of this product in your otherwise deprived life are suitably countered by this website quote which seals the deal by saying "Oxygenwater is a great fashion accessory; our sexy round bottle blends in with the coolest of outfits and venues". Obviously.
Sanitarium salad sample
Baby spinach leaves, rocket, sun-dried tomato, bocconcini and borlotti beans dressed with olive oil and balsamic.
An hour after his demonstration, Bill was still signing cookbooks for devoted fans.
Rosita guacamole (green) and sweet chilli (red) corn chips
Chicken wraps from Rosita
Rosita wrap sample
Hayden Wood (right) cranks up the audience
Hayden Wood, cocktail master of The Liquid Kitchen, is always a crowd pleaser at the Good Food Show. We nabbed seats at the front and thoroughly enjoyed his energetic pumping performance. World Flair Bartending Champion in 1996/97, Hayden definitely knows how to work an audience. In the absence of the irresistible Ainsley Harriott, Hayden is Ainsley Harriott.
Hayden catches a cocktail on the back of his hand
after flipping it in the air
- Boxed espresso cup and saucer in black from Mazda and Intrepid
- Ceramic jam spoon and mini jam jar sample from St Dalfour
- and of course the very cute Nissin car shade.
- The Wiltshire showbag containing a silicone round cake pan, spatula, egg flip and two magazines for a bargain $10
- six 300ml bottles of The Grove avocado oil reduced to only $20 (it tastes fabulous on salad)
- a glut of Masterfood spices which were reduced to $1 each.
The Good Food & Wine Show takes place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane every year.
The Show visits Brisbane 10-12 November 2006.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Good Food Show 2005
Good Food Show 2004
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6/27/2006 11:37:00 pm