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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Good Food Show 2006

sample mania

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.

Good Food and Wine Show

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
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 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
St Dalfour duck salad sample

Make that a "meal" in quotation marks. What on earth were they thinking?

King Island Dairy yoghurt
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.

King Island Dairy yoghurt sample
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.

Envy passionfruit yoghurt
Passionfruit-topped yoghurt from Envy

 Envy mango yoghurt sample
Mango sauce topped yoghurt sample

Nannas baked cheesecake
Cheesecake samples from Nanna's

meat pie sample
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 and olive oil
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil tastings

more yoghurt
More yoghurt samples - from Evia Yoghurt

Lindt chocolate stand
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.

Edible Blooms fruit hamper
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.

Edible Blooms strawberries
Strawberry bouquet from Edible Blooms

chocolate fountain
Chocolate fountain with free chocolate-dipped strawberries

The queue was constant. We couldn't be bothered.

Bill Granger cooking
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
Good Food Show crowds

By the time we re-emerged into the pavillion, the lunchtime crush was claustrophobic.

Nissin mascot
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 pokie 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
Nissin car shade and noodles

Of course I took the car shade, and I won first go too!

iced coffee
Iced coffee frappe

cranberry juice
Cranberry juice from Ocean Spray

oxygenated water
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 cooking demonstration
Sanitarium demonstration

Sanitarium salad
Sanitarium salad sample

Baby spinach leaves, rocket, sun-dried tomato, bocconcini and borlotti beans dressed with olive oil and balsamic.

Bill Granger
Bill Granger

An hour after his demonstration, Bill was still signing cookbooks for devoted fans.

corn chips
Rosita guacamole (green) and sweet chilli (red) corn chips

Rosita wraps
Chicken wraps from Rosita

Rosita wrap with chicken
Rosita wrap sample

Hayden Wood cocktail lesson
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 Wood cocktail showdown
Hayden catches a cocktail on the back of his hand
after flipping it in the air

Freebie highlights:
  • 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.
Intriguing samples: Purchases:
  • 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.
Total weight of samples and shopping: 14kg (I checked on the scales when I got home) eclipsing last year's record by half a kilo.

flower cookie bouquet

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
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 6/27/2006 11:37:00 pm


  • At 6/28/2006 12:13 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    wow, great pics as always!
    i had a great time there too with the samples and the freebies... went to watch ben and curtis in the theatre.. they were ok, the cameraman was being an absolute knob (ok, the joke was funny at first, but jeez)..

    yesss... got a lovely starbucks metallic hot/cool mug... opted for the cup noodle at the nissin poker machine... didnt know about the mazda espresso cups, but my friend took about 10 of them at closing time.. haha.. left with bags and bags of food, problem was i parked quite far away.. arghh..

  • At 6/28/2006 8:57 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    I love the king island yogurt, I get it for home normally...i didn't know it was really fattening! Poor jacky got really tired having to carry all my stuff so he had to keep walking back to the car to drop off the bags.

  • At 6/28/2006 9:41 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Great photos. I had no idea the fruit bouquets looked so good.

    Woody's shows are so much fun.

    The King Island pies were soooo good.

  • At 6/28/2006 2:29 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    onya! those guac-cornchips look pretty good.

  • At 6/28/2006 6:16 pm, Blogger AteLate said…

    shucks...wished I had gone now ! couldn't go due to prior appointments !!!!! *sob*

    great pics Helen those flowers do look amazing and the the King Island Pie is making stomache grouch. =)

  • At 6/28/2006 6:20 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    Its amazing how persistent you were in taking photos, I gave up having only taken about twenty photos. The crowd was getting to me.
    I loved the King Island yoghurt as well, and the edible blooms!

  • At 6/28/2006 8:29 pm, Blogger BEVERLY! said…

    Haha it's like deja vu.. we took almost identical pics ;) I shrunk mine though as I took over 100 photos of various food, and ate them all too (felt a bit ill afterwards). I've got mine at http://beverly.livejournal.com

    Love your pics. Can't wait 'till next year's show!

  • At 6/28/2006 9:48 pm, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    I really love your blog, the posts & the pictures is great :-)

    I`m amazed by the Fresh fruit hamper with pineapple flowers - it`s gorgeous!

  • At 6/28/2006 11:03 pm, Blogger Sweet Treat said…

    Good to see someone else hoed into the goodies & free samples! So didn't need to eat anything that night!

    I also thought the St Dalfour salad was weird. I know that salad is a big thing in France- but their four bean offering was so soggy.

  • At 6/30/2006 10:59 am, Blogger Reb said…

    Perfectly and comprehensively captured, AG! And you're so right about free samples bringing out the worst in people. I nearly got trampled at the Herbert Adams stand :(

  • At 7/01/2006 2:02 pm, Blogger Anastasia said…

    Awesome coverage - great pics!
    i didnt get to go this year but thanks for the detailed post!


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