The Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show has just wrapped up after three days of delicious taste-tests, celebrity chefs and masterclasses.
The Good Food and Wine Show is headlined by celebrities and big-name brands, but it is primarily an opportunity for local Queensland producers and small producers from all over Australia to show off their delicious and perhaps under-recognised produce. Local food-lovers, of whom there are thousands, can flock to see, taste and buy produce from the Lockyer Valley, Grantie Belt and Gympie and to sample the wares of household names such as Nespresso and Nudie.
We were invited by Barilla Australia to attend a cooking class with Sammy and Bella from My Kitchen Rules and to enjoy the Show afterwards, so bright and early on Saturday morning we swiped on some mascara, skipped breakfast and headed to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Traditional Sardinian Breakfast Class with Barilla Australia
I know nothing about Sardinian cuisine. I barely know anything about Sardinia except it is an under-appreciated part of Italy. So I was very interested to learn even a little bit more in my first ever cooking class. We were making Seadas, deep-fried pasta filled with citrus ricotta and drizzled in honey. Delicious!
About thirty people squeezed around hot oil pans and neatly arranged ingredients (felt like being on a cooking show, loved it!) to watch the fairly simple preparation demonstrated by Sammy and Bella, who were good presenters and teachers.
We made three Seadas between us, deep-fried to golden perfection, much photographed and smothered in a delicious honey before enjoying. They were very simple to make and delicious. We even managed a little of the rolled/scalloped edges that Bella demonstrated as a technique she learned from her Nonna.
After breakfast had wrapped up and we had collected out Barilla hamper (thanks guys!) our first stop was Nespresso, right next door. The doors to the Convention Centre had barely opened so we were the first clients and desperate for a little espresso and cappuccino to go with the pastry.
Even though the Good Food and Wine Show filled two exhibition halls, walking through it all might not take so long, provided you didn’t stop to sample the produce and chat to the makers behind the counter. Which of course is why it took us several hours to walk the lanes of the exhibition. If you took one of the many masterclasses or organised tastings – with Adriano Zumbo or a Barossa wine-lunch – or sat to watch a celebrity chef such as Maggie Beer or Matt Moran show off in the ‘food theatre’, the show is a full-day outing.
One of the tasting highlights for us was Illawarra Prime Alpaca. How could we go past that without a taste? We had alpaca pate, kofta and buns and they were good. A rich red meat that I would be happy to eat any time. Still on the proteins, after sampling a little too much triple-cream brie, we bought ourselves a salumi cup from Salumi Australia, and took a break to enjoy the subtley different flavours
Kirst’s favourite part of the show was ‘cheese’ alley. A person’s secret food passions can surprise you, and Kirst’s is blue cheese – the richer, more vein-y and smelly the better! So we spent a while tasting goats, sheep, and cows milk cheese and their accompanying fruit pastes until Kirst couldn’t indulge any more and we needed either wine or water to loosen the palette.
I was very excited to see McLaren Vale wine alley at the show, having visited the region a few years ago and loving the wine, but we resisted tasting as we had an appointment to visit Spicers Hidden Vale later that afternoon. We were in the minority though as it seemed almost every visitor over the age of 18 was sporting a glass on a rope around their necks to assist with their sipping and tasting.
Of all the stands we visited on the day, the most enjoyable for us was Nip of Courage, distributors of Australia Craft Distillers – but we’ll say something about that another day.
The Good Food and Wine Show will return to Brisbane from 30 October – 1 November in 2015. If you missed it this year and you enjoy your food, and like the idea of learning more about food, mark the dates in your diaries and get along to some of the masterclasses. While we mostly resisted making purchases, when you visit the Good Food and Wine Show and sample the produce, it is almost all of it for immediate sale, and you can buy a trolley on-site to help you carry all of that temptation home with you should you give in.