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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Good Food Show, 3 July 2005

We look forward to the Good Food Show (or the Good Food and Wine Show, as it's more accurately called) every year. Foodstuffs, samples, celebrity chefs, samples, cooking demonstrations, new products--and did I mention the samples? =)

As always, the place was packed to the rafters on Sunday, the final day. At 10am, when the doors opened, a crowd of 300 had already gathered at the entrance and by 1pm it was shoulder to shoulder in every aisle.

But we're hardcore city folk, used to crowds, being herded like cattle and with keen eyes for spotting potential freebies... at which point it becomes a dog-eat-dog scrum for the biggest, tastiest bone.

We had barely made it down the first aisle of goodness before we were accosted, nay kidnapped, and forced to sample a selection from the Australian Beer Club. "It's like a wine club, except you get 4 different 6-packs delivered every 3 months" was the sales pitch.

We tried four different boutique Australian-brewed beers, concluding with the Ginja ginger beer. Ahhh... nothing like beer on a Sunday morning.

Well that was breakfast. Now for morning tea...

We cheered for joy when we happened upon the Latina Cappelletti stand. Fresh pasta parcels of spinach and ricotta topped with a tomato sauce and plenty of parmesan.

Tokyo Mart, the giant Japanese grocer, has a store at Northbridge which I've yet to explore. The guys here looked very smart in their matching blue uniforms as they prepped up tastings of salad, gyoza and ramen.

After wandering about for an hour-and-a-half, we were in need of a sit-down. We arrived extra early for the Darren Simpson demonstration and caught the tail end of the previous presenter, Neale White, from Pure South.

And yep, just in time to sample his freshly-plated dish. Perfect!

Now that's what I call a mussel!

Cooked in a bacon and pea creamy sauce, the giant mussel was tender, tasty and oh-so-gooood. Thanks Neale, that was great!

We also managed to nab a tasting box of rocket, ricotta and tomato from a passing Sanitarium rep. Woohoo. This is the life!

Then Darren was on, and (have you lost weight Dazza?) he was surprisingly jovial and cheerful throughout his session. He regaled us with jokes, complained about pre-ground pepper (dirt, he called it, I think) and gave an instructional overview about the differences between virgin, extra-virgin and cold-pressed olive oils.

Darren cooked his little heart out but outrage! He denied us samples! I did manage to race to the front to take some quick snaps before it was whisked away though. So close, and yet so far...

Steamed redfish with a baby clam sauce and Asian greens.

Risotto with King prawns and peas.

We raced over to the ABC stand to get a quick snap of Billy Boy...

Bill Granger

...and then literally ran into the Celebrity Theatre as we could hear our pre-booked session by Tyler Florence had already started!

Tyler Florence in action

This was my first sight of Tyler in 3D, having only seen him in pictures (no, we don't have pay TV). For those who don't have access to the Lifestyle Channel (or whatever channel he's on), Tyler is a relative unknown Down Under methinks. In fact I only knew who he was after noticing Sarah's compulsive theme of gushing tributes to him (thank goodness for fellow foodbloggers!).

Tyler joked with the audience (we say PAP-rika, you say pa-PREE-ka) as he whipped up a seafood, chicken and chorizo paella and a flan (yes, that's a flann, not a flaarn Tyler). But good on him for learning the local lingo--he seemed particularly taken aback by the size of our King prawns ("You could put a leash on this and take it for a walk!" he proclaimed).

We managed a spoonful of flan (so rich and delicious) before the kitchen hands shooed us out of the theatre to prepare for the next session.

So more sampling--of Jelly Belly beans, Green & Black's organic chocolate, Amarula cream, fresh yoghurt, Mrs Field's cookies, Old Gold chocolate, Nanna's apple pies, Herbert Adams' lattice slice, White Wings' Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies, fresh Batlow Delicious apples, King Island cheeses, Kikkoman teriyaki chicken and phew... it was hard work I tell ya...

So we welcomed the chance to sit down again and watch Hayden Wood (author of The Liquid Kitchen) work some cocktail magic--and enlist some poor sods from the audience to help him in a cocktail shake-off...

Hayden was definitely entertaining, even encouraging "all the grandmas, I want you to do the Hammer with those hands in the air!" It was a tough crowd--we were tired and on a GI crash--but Hayden rolled bottles of vodka across his chest like a basketball, spun them like catherine wheels and did plenty of fancy tricks to keep us in happy spirits.

All in all, a great day out. We didn't make it to the wine section of the expo, but we were exhausted enough as it was. We picked up a whole backpack full of goodies--yes, snigger at us in the morning, but by lunchtime the most common line I heard was "damn, we should've brought a backpack".

The goodie count included lots of olives, caperberries, balsamic vinegar and various antipasto plus the Good Taste showbag and countless freebies which we collected along the way. I couldn't resist weighing my backpack when I got home and it was a eye-popping 13.5kg! Sheesh, no wonder we were knackered!

Tired but content, and yet already looking forward to next year's! =)

The Good Food & Wine Show takes place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane every year.
The Show visits Brisbane 4-6 November 2005.
Next year's dates for Melbourne are 16-18 June 2006, and Sydney 23-25 June 2006.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Good Food and Wine Show 2004
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posted by Anonymous on 7/14/2005 11:00:00 pm


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