Friday, 18 July 2014

Already reminiscing The Good Food and Wine Show, Perth 2014

As a food blogger, I'm mostly reluctant to refer to myself as such. The term conjures up an image of a food and wine connoisseur, someone who can tell you the size of the very subjective 'pinch of salt' used in a slice of cake they eat. Your classic foodie.

Me? I pick up the same piece of cake and stuff it in my mouth, most likely not aware of what has gone into it. I'm your classic anti-connoisseur 'eatie' who gorges on anything that resembles food. I eat, I enjoy and I occasionally rave about it. But above all else, food makes me smile - because that is what it does; it nourishes, it satisfies and it comforts like no other.

I surprised myself then, when walking through the Perth Convention Centre, I realised this year's Good Food and Wine Show was the first I had ever been to. This national celebration of good food is one huge party bringing together the finest local quality produce for the people who are passionate about food and get excited talking about their next meal.
Good Food and Wine Show, Perth
Walking through the exhibition floor is navigating a huge maze of different producers that I had never come across before.
Different areas, exhibits and displays
Hundreds of exhibits and stalls are dotted all over the area, that you require a plan of attack to ensure you visit all of them. Walking up and down the floor is a sensory experience itself, with the many sights, sounds and smells that fill the area from the compact arrangement of stalls. There are chefs to see, the aromas of hot fresh baked rolls to smell, countless samples to taste, even more countless produce to empty your hard-earned cash on and even celebrities to crush on. Why did I not invite myself to this massive food and wine party earlier?!
"Oh we're famous!"
Wandering around the exhibition aimlessly, my legs eventually brought me to the smells and sounds of this particular stand. Here I briefly met Don Hancey, WA's proud food ambassador, who works closely with local producers to showcase the quality food the WA region supplies.
Menu from Linley Valley pork stand
There was a 3 option menu at the stand, all priced at $10 per item. The menu was simple but hunger inducing, and consisted of slow roasted and smoked pork, fresh apple and calvados sauce; a pork rillette bun, slaw and apple sauce; and a pork and Manjimup potato croquette with cidery aioli.
Making one-pan dishes extremely easy
We ordered a toasty hot and glossy bread roll, which was filled with a generous amount of pork which was first grilled in the pan before being carved and stuffed into the pillowy bun.
Hello, sexy!
Admittedly it was hard for whatever reason to get a decent photograph of this and it had cooled down considerably when I was finally satisfied with the shot after 17 or so different angles. Nevertheless the bun was satisfyingly fluffy on the inside with a tasty lashing of a rich gravy.
Roy, from the ever popular Jumplings and their fashionable head wear :)
I am a self-confessed Jumplings devotee and find myself craning my head high and low looking for the Jumplings van whenever I find myself at any food-related event or festival. The food we eat is very much influenced by the people behind it, their efforts invested in it and the passion they have for their product, and this very much rings true to what makes me so clingy with Jumplings' products.

Roy's philosophy to food, food trucks and business-related matters is something that shines through his venture. It always is inspiring to speak to people who love what they do, and there is nothing better than a warm, genuine smile that accompanies your order. 'Be happy' is Jumplings' current motto after all!
Jumplings with truffled ponzu
Jumplings is fast becoming a well-known name, with their established food truck stationed at different locations throughout the week. On the menu at the show is their signature slow cooked duck jumplings, chicken jumplings and a chilli crab jumpling option, all served with a cabbage and coriander salad, sesame sauce and truffled ponzu.
Innards of a jumpling
Chicho Gelato cart
Having heard of these guys but never came across them, I was excited to see them at the exhibition and finally getting to understand what all the rave was about. I'm ready to take on all the ice-cream I can.
Lemongrass and ginger gelato
I went easy and tried only three flavours (ha!) which all made it more difficult to decide. The banoffee pie flavour stood out like no other with its rich, sweet toffee and banana flavours but the ultimate winner for us that day was a refreshingly sweet lemongrass gelato with intense gingery tones that leaves tingles on the tongue. The ice cream is smooth, creamy and everything you would hope for and expect from a good ice cream.
Jalna Yoghurt stand
Yoghurt, yoghurt, yoghurt!
I've become abnormally addicted to toasted muesli and natural yoghurt lately and have literally resorted to having it for breakfasts, lunches, and as a dessert after many meals. I've even gone as far as having just that for dinner (it's what happens out of desperation and when the pantry is so empty it's embarrassing). I was very excited to taste the yoghurts from the Jalna stand with its abundance of different flavoured yoghurt samples, I practically pounced.
Yoghurt samples
I grabbed one (possibly more) sample of the natural Greek yoghurt before taking another one of their vanilla infused yoghurts. After licking the pots clean I can definitely vouch for the quality of these creamy, flavoursome yoghurts which are rich, thick and sinfully delicious. The vanilla yoghurt in will be in my shopping basket for many shopping trips to come.
Turban Chopsticks
The guys from Turban Chopsticks sell a full range of products from pastes and marinades to sauces and dips, right down to convenient meal kits with Singaporean, Indian, Malaysian and Chinese influences.
Turban Chopsticks food samples
There's always an awkwardness about grabbing your food samples, particularly when you have a genuine desire to try them all before deciding what to buy. Fortunately the lovely ladies at the stall handed me the samples I was so eager to try, which was a tasty chunky chilli sauce and rice. The two complemented each other well and I can definitely see how their products will fit right in with my busy lazy schedule, and how meal kits will be my one and only true best friends.
Rawsome chocolate caramel slice
Plain and chilli flavoured beef jerky
Droƫwors and Boerewors
Nougat Limar's extensive soft nougat range that melts in your mouth and came in flavours such as vanilla almond; vanilla pistachio, wildberry macadamia; chocolate almond and chocolate pistachio
Impressive macaron and tomato displays
WA Sandalwood Nuts stall, selling jars of dukkah and other products
"Did you get a photo of him?! You have to get a photo of him!"
I was attracted to the word 'bubbly' in these Luscombe drinks, all handmade in small batches. I ended up buying the Wild Elderflower Bubbly drink after tasting it for its slightly bubbly, pure and mildly sweet refreshing flavour. We downed this in seconds - food exhibitions are exhausting stuff!
Lemon, pistachio, blueberry, raspberry, rose, cola, vanilla, coconut, cookies and cream, salted caramel and chocolate macarons. Clearly people do not like salted caramel very much.
Laucke Creative Kitchen
I stuck around for a little to watch the making of radicchio pizzas and brioche beef sliders. This space is free for audiences to watch quick and easy cooking classes that use the products available from show exhibitors.
Riedel Wine Bar, a small intimate space offering wine classes
Riedel Wine Theatre, with free sessions to discover familiar and new wines with wine connoisseurs.
The Grazing Garden, a compact space featuring a selection of Perth's food vendors
Lil Tortilla Boi, with items such as Creole and coffee-pulled pork tortillas, curly fries and fried okra
Merrywell food truck, offering wagyu beef burgers, BBQ pork quesadillas and mac & cheese bites
Shak Shuka, serving authentic Moroccan cuisine to the many people I walked past with a vibrant plate of shakshouka in their hands and a vibrant smile on their faces
Nudie chill out area
The Good Food and Wine Show is an amazing way to bring lovers of food and wine together into one central location to celebrate everything that food means to every person. You'd have an amazing time if you are a foodie, but will get lost in amongst the activity even if you are just the kind of person who eats to live.

Personally I think the exhibition needed waaay more seating areas as you are forced to eat messily and leave a trail of crumbs behind you (especially if you lose yourself in the wine exhibitors section). Not that free classes, endless food samples and dizzying amounts of wine isn't enough, but by talking to and immersing yourself right into the passion of the producers who give everything they have to bring us the best products they can, makes the whole experience that much more meaningful. I'm ready for 2015 already, for a Great Food and Wine Show.

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