16 – 18 July 2010
Sydney Convention & Exhibition CentreDarling Drive, Darling Harbour
Food & Wine on mass
I spy with my little eye something beginning with free!
This is the first time I've visited this show and after paying $28.50 for an adult ticket (minus $5 for Entertainment Book holders) there was one thing on my mind — where's all the freebies. After spending 4 hours I found there to be quite a bit of food tastings to be found, some more generous than others, and after dodging through the large crowd with their Good Food Show trolleys, prams and show bag purchases I found the event quite enjoyable although quite tiring. One end was devoted to the majority of thirst quenching wine stands while on the other side the Celebrity Theatre was for the hard core devotees of celebrity chefs. In the middle was a mixture of food stands, wine stands, cooking demonstrations and informercial style product promotions.
In terms of the food offerings I preferred the freebie tastings at Taste of Sydney which were much more creative and gourmet. This event seemed to focus more on supermarket products with thankfully some boutique gourmet suppliers thrown in the mix. Seeing informercial products like the Super Shammy was a little weird but entertaining. The most out of place stand being the Free Instant Eyelift — what the hell has that got to do with food and wine? and the Shin Bio health packs — although these heat packs seemed pretty amazing. The most eye-catching stand for me was the Playboy energy drink — I'd try anything served by Playboy bunnies — yes I know, I'm such a boy.
My favourite highlights of the day were:
• Baileys Coffee sample
• Friendly WeightWatchers staff serving up generous tasty samples
• Free show bag of goodies from Simply Great Meals
• Delicious Birch & Waite egg mayonnaise tastings
• Generous chocolate tastings from Ritter Sport
• Free bottle samples of Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling
• Free tastings of all Ajitas Vege Chips varieties
• Challenging my taste buds to The Chilli Factory's hottest product of Devil's Delirium (Naga Jolokia Paste)
• Interesting sausage tastings of camel, venison and crocodile by Market Town Family Meats
• and of course visiting the visually appealing Playboy Energy Drink
Other food blog reviews:
PROS: Free samples of food products and wine, Discounted products in show bags, Cooking demonstrations, Undercover
CONS: Crowded, Have to pay to get in, People acting like seagulls around free food
MUST TRY: Everything that's free
Welcome (to the crowds)
The lineup was worth the free showbag, just have to sign up to newsletter. Tasting of gnocchi while waiting.
'Most visually appealing'
Playboy Energy Drink — that kid has the best job!
'Best dressed cakes'
Sharon Wee from Sharon Wee Creations
Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling
'Hottest taste bud challenge'
The Chilli Factory — Devil's Delirium (hottest product)
Other stand visits
Tefal ActiFry — 1 tablespoon of oil cooks 1 kg of potato chips in 35 minutes
Gabriel Gaté cooking up his blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous
Toby's Estate 'Woolloomooloo' coffee sample
Fehlbergs pickled onions and marinated garlic gloves
Pizza making station
Gloria Jean's Coffees 'Nicaraguan' coffee tasting
Creative Gourmet strawberry milkshake
Riviana Foods 'Always Fresh' — Beetroot jam and Chilli jam
Urban Thirst Mango Daiquiri
Bondi Chai — Vanilla Honey and Club Cinnamon
Casa De Sabor — Portuguese mousse — Yummy!
Jack Link's Beef Snacks
Sangria Mar & Sol
Australian Almonds — I preferred the Dry Roasted version
Lime Grove — refreshing cordial
Fresita — Sparkling Strawberry and Peach
Omni Sparkling — rebranded and lots of choices to try, I liked the Citrus flavour
Sence Rose Nectar — Nice packaging, looks like a perfume bottle
Tempus Two — nice designed wine bar
Calbee SnowPea crisps and Prawn Crackers
Grand Ridge Brewery 100% Pure Beer — they were too busy to try any samples but they looked very interesting
Super Shammy — Not one but two for $20!
Ezy-Aussie Prawn Peeler — 1 for $10, 2 for $15, 3 for $20
Shin Bio — you can't eat or drink it but it's quite an amazing product that heats up chemically
Where would we be without Tupperware — probably with more cupboard space
By Pure Pleasure candles — not really edible but smelt very nice
Taste.com.au cooking demonstration
Maria from Scandi Foodie and Me
Gabriel Gaté and Me
The crowds of people you'd just love to hate but have to deal with
Shopping trolleys available ($30) or BYO