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Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Food & Wine Show 2008

Did someone say #$@*&!

It's been Gordon Ramsay mania all week it seems. If he wasn't being interviewed on telly, one of his shows would be scheduled. There was talk of his possible Australian venture, his defence of his tendency to use profanities in the kitchen, him dropping a giant swear jar, promoting his new book and an absolute riot of fans desperate to see him at the Good Food Show.

Friday crowds

We headed over to the annual Good Food Show on the Friday, looking forward to a less chaotic experience than the usual weekend crowds. Alas, the Gordon Ramsay factor, and perhaps an overall increase in public interest for gustatory pleasures, seemed to have brought the masses anyway. We found ourselves standing shoulder and shoulder in some places, caught in a human traffic jam that unrelentingly congregated around all the free sample stalls (guilty as charged, Your Honour).

Pravda vodka, extra smooth and with extra bling

Having missed the Good Food Show last year, we did notice there seemed to have been a slight shift in the types of stall holders represented. Sure there were plenty more alcholic suppliers nestled in amongst the food stalls, but we also noted that the big multinationals, like Herbert Adams, Nanna's, Masterfoods and Latina were no longer present. Instead there seemed to be a slight shift to smaller companies and local suppliers; now there was less of a push for express microwave rice and instant meals, and more of an emphasis on gourmet treats, organics, natural products and fair trade.

Waterthins baguette crisps

Onggi Kimchi pickled cabbage, radish and kimchi pancake

Radish kimchee

Sunflower seed butter spread
- tastes surprisingly similar to peanut butter!

Nando's marinades and sauces

Bionade drinks

Natural Nut bars

Abe's bagel crisps

Such was the demand for tickets to Gordon Ramsay that we missed out on the initial seating offer - and having already had the pleasure of seeing him two-feet away up-close and personal, I wasn't prepared to fork out $15 just to be at the back of a giant hall to see him on a projector screen. We saw the seafood demonstration by Peter Evans instead, but the highlight of the day was not Gordon but...

Chocolatesuze! At The Biscuit Tree

Tucked away near the entrance to the Celebrity Theatre, Suze was full of cheer and smiles. Duly provided with free tastings, I can vouch that her Traditional Scottish Shortbread is indeed buttery and delicious.

Chocolatesuze after her wacky gameshow gig

Wine survey at the Charles Sturt University stall

The most productive ten minutes we spent at the show was undertaking the wine tasting survey for a PhD student at Charles Sturt University. Not only did we score chocolate but a $10 gift voucher too. Noice.

Noice too were the eyecatching displays at Edible Blooms. An edible Christmas tree? Now that's what I call utter genius!

Chocolate Christmas tree from Edible Blooms

The Good Food & Wine Show visited Sydney from June 20 to 22, 2008. It takes place in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane every year.

The Show visits Perth July 11-13, 2008 and Brisbane 7-9 November 2008. It has already visited Melbourne (May 30 - June 1, 2008).

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Gordon Ramsay at David Jones Food Hall, Oct 06
Good Food & Wine Show 2006
Good Food & Wine Show 2005
Good Food & Wine Show 2004
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/23/2008 11:29:00 pm


  • At 6/24/2008 12:22 am, Blogger Rachel said…

    Oh wow! What a blast. Glad you braved the crowds to capture the spirit of the event. Had been wondering how it went.

    I'm glad that the swing is more towards small businesses with unque gourmet ideas and products. *cheer*

  • At 6/24/2008 8:22 am, Blogger kurrabikid said…

    The Gordon Ramsay phenomenon is quite amazing, isn't it? ... and I'm the first to admit I've been swept up in it too. I'm trying to think if there was the same fuss around Jamie Oliver a couple of years back ... and I just can't remember. It's also pretty amazing the way the Good Food Show has taken off.

  • At 6/25/2008 1:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really enjoyed this show, especially with Gordon Ramsay there. Great pics as usual Helen. how do you manage to get the space around you? It seemed that we had to jostle so many people to get to the front lol

  • At 6/25/2008 8:18 pm, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    I just missed out this year! I flew to Perth on Friday, and will be well and truly back home by the time the Perth show is on. Looks like a good time was had, its nice to see more small local suppliers in the limelight. There was an article about Gordon Ramsay in the Virgin Blue magazine! He's all over the place at the moment.

  • At 6/28/2008 11:00 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - lol. Nah, you can't beat a ham in front of the camera :) And wow, Fine Food Show will be fantastic. Hopefully you will get a few more commercial leads too.

    Hi Rachel - It was a welcome surprise to see the shift to smaller businesses and an emphasis on quality not speed!

    Hi Kurrabikid - I think the fact that Ramsay has had two shows per week on TV has helped. It is good that the GFS has had a boost in popularity but I seriously hope they will consider expanding the number of Exhibition halls - the crowds were a nightmare at times.

    Hi Lorraine - We did go on a Friday so maybe the crowds were less intense? You had a feast of Ramsay photos though, and a personal exchange? Oh the joy! :)

    Hi Lisa - Mr Ramsay is saturating the local press at the moment. There have been quite a few interesting articles on the nature of the GR phenomenon too.

  • At 6/29/2008 1:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My favourite foodie show - I love all the taste testing :-)

  • At 7/02/2008 9:13 am, Blogger Y said…

    Heh. Love your photos of chocolatesuze. I think I'll have to make an effort to go next year to the show.

  • At 7/07/2008 12:34 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi littlem - The taste-testing is certainly the highlight. It does seem to be becoming a victim of its own success - the crowds on Friday were mortifying at times! :)

    Hi Y - It's a fun (if somewhat frenetic) day out, and yep, Chocolatesuze sure knows how to work the camera! lol


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