This year I was invited along to the Brisbane Good Food and Wine show by both Barilla and by GF&W. I go to the show annually ever since I finished my undergrad as end-of-year uni exams ALWAYS clash dates with the Brisbane dates. I’d have been here even if I didn’t get invited. Bonus props to this blog bringing in fun opportunities I’d never try otherwise. Such as the breakfast cooking class sponsored by Barilla.
This year the show appeared to feature more workshops and classes covering everything from macaron classes with Adriano Zumbo and beer workshops to the all-day Barilla pasta Italian cooking school. A bit of something for everyone, from free (hooray!) to things at an extra cost.
THE COOKING CLASS
3 dates for the show but I find myself here for an 8am start. On a Saturday. On the day of my dinner party. This wasn’t going to be easy and meant I was going to have a short experience this year.
Squeezing into a packed pre-show session, Nic and I put on our aprons and listened to Sammy and Bella, from My Kitchen Rules. I never watched the show but they were going to teach us how to make seadas, a traditional Sardinian breakfast cheese pastry. Now I’m listening.
Without access to the more traditional goat or sheep’s milk, we settled for a light mix of ricotta, pecorino, lemon zest and orange zest. Similar to ravioli, we rolled out our pasta dough and sandwiched round cut outs of pastry, filled it with our cheese mix and deep fried it! Yes. Cheese, pastry, deep fried. For breakfast. It was drizzled with honey to serve. Heck yes.
It was a fun class with lots of assistants around. Luckily no one burnt themselves with hot oil because things can get a bit clumsy when so many people are packed in together. For $50, this 1-hr cooking class also included entry price for the general public and a whole heap of other goodies like a cooking apron and dried pasta and sauce to take home. Not bad. I’ve not partaken in many cooking classes and it definitely was something I enjoyed. I especially like the part where I get to eat and not have to clean up the mess in the kitchen!
THE EATING OF GOOD FOOD AND GIN
In the time before the doors opened to public, we had a few brief moments of blissfulness walking between stalls as stallholders were frantically setting up final touches and was able to quickly familiarise ourselves with the floor plan. A big bonus. Hot tip: get in early.
Walking quickly past the places serving food (this year there was a burger bar as well as multiple local food trucks (those food trends, man), we did a quick walk around of the stalls after I picked up my media pass.
Our first stall for the day, we filled up on beef jerky. Delicious, salty jerky from Springbok Foods (a South African foods distributor). A nice follow-up from the sweet breakfast earlier.
Look, I wasn’t in the mood for wine at 9am in the morning. But gin? Hit me.
I managed to try:
- Whitney Neill gin (an English gin on my to do list for a while now, it was not bad, clean, good juniper and citrus flavour, no overwhelming botanicals)
- McHenry dry gin (a really light-flavoured gin) and
- McHenry sloe gin (slightly astringency from the sloe berries) from Nip of Courage.
I loved that there was a spirits distributor at the show. Probably one of the coolest looking stalls that day too.
We very nearly spoilt ourselves with Mr Black, a cold press coffee liquer from NSW that was way more enjoyable at 9am in the morning than it should have been. Smooth, slightly bitter, much less vicious than most liqueurs. Perfect for espresso martinis, or starting the day as it was for us that Saturday morning!
Another great product I tried was lychee liqueur from Lychee Divine up in Tiaro (QLD) between Maryborough and Fraser Island. Surprisingly naturally sweet without being cloyingly, sickeningly artificial. Using real lychees, it was a bit acidic and refreshing on it’s own. They have other flavoured variations of their lychee liqueur (red dragonfruit!!) as well as a whole heap of interesting lychee-based balsamic vingegars and other sauces! John (the owner and farmer of the orchard) told us they even have lychee ice cream – but only available from their orchard doorstep! Road trip ideas are forming already…
You guys know how much I love butter. I had to try cultured butter from The Butter Factory (Myrtleford, VIC) in the famous Cheese Alley. We nibbled on some new buffalo milk cheeses, haloumi (sharp, tangy) and feta, from my favourite Olympus Cheese (which is luckily in the same suburb as where I live!). Time was of the essense and we didn’t bother pushing our way through the crowds that quickly formed around the other cheese vendors though. Sadface.
I tried some juices and iced teas from a brand called Ceres. My favourite iced tea flavour had some Scandinavian-sounding name, but basically it was elderflower. Light, floral, not-too-sweet. Not available yet in Brisbane. But they’re hoping to branch out to the market soon!
Sadly, I did not get to catch Matt Stone’s locavore talk on sustainable eating (it was in the afternoon). A topic that I’m deeply interested in but also because he’s quite attractive and is basically my not-so-secret chef crush! He’s a young, fantastic, innovative chef that cooks with an ethos that I respect. He was the chef of pop-up restaurant Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne in 2012 when I ate there! It was hella good.
Dang. Next time.
Next time I’ll plan to leave the whole darn day free so I’m not worried about dinner parties because the Good Food and Wine Show is a whole-day frenzy. There’s so much to try and do.
I walked out this year with no purchases. Although, not without discovering some great new products that I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for.
Time spent (not including cooking class): 1.5 hours
Money spent: $0
Samples eaten: countless
See you again next year, Good Food and Wine show. October 30 – November 1 2015.
**We were invited guests on behalf of Barilla (cooking class plus entry for Nic and I) and Good Food and Wine show and One Square PR (media pass entry)**