I had a pretty good day today. First of all, I've won two tickets to go to the Good Food and Wine Show at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, and those tickets include entry to the exhibition as well as to the Celebrity Theatre session for Tobie Puttock and Matt Skinner at 3.30pm. I was quite excited! I hardly ever WIN stuff, so to win tickets to something I love.. makes it a bonus! It was very packed and there were lots of people... and you can pretty much sample most foods from most stall, and sample most wine / liqueur which could get quite dangerous considering we actually started drinking first before we had ANY food today, hehehee... but here I'd like to share my highlights of the day... :)
This was one of the first things we saw, it's called a "Twisto" and it's basically... well, a Twisted Potato on a skewer, deepfried and available in a variety of flavours. I had the "Chicken Salt" flavor and it was soooo yummy! It was so crunchy on the outside and still had the soft potato-ey texture on the inside. Any investors out there, I would definitely encourage the franchise option because this is going to be the new "Hot Chips". Believe me, again I will say, TWISTOS ARE THE NEW HOT CHIPS. You heard it from Kimba's World Kitchen first!!
We finally located the Restaurant area... and it's basically an area where food was served by renowned chef's restaurants e.g. George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan from MasterChef! So yayy finally I get to taste some of their food.
My friend had this amazing Beef dish from Shawn Bowles. She claims it was one of the best she's ever had... and it was so tender and full of flavor. Big thumbs up.
I had George Calombaris' Braised Chicken and Celery Fricassee. It was okay, I'm a little bit disappointed to be honest, Georgie. Not the best chicken I've ever had sorry.. the chicken was overcooked and dry, and the sauce was a bit plain and simple for me... it didn't have an explosion of flavor I really wanted :(
However, my friend had George Calombaris' Chocolate and Walnut Tart with Salty Caramel Sauce: it was absolutely DIVINE! But it was too rich she couldn't finish it.
I, on the other hand, had Gary Mehigan's Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Compote for dessert and it was definitely one of the best desserts I have ever had! The sauce was just MAGIC and the rhubarb, fresh and absolutely beautiful, and that panna cotta had the perfect texture and tasted AMAZING.. I was so happy with it. Easily finished it. Would have easily gone for seconds too, lol.
Speaking of Gary, he was there at the restaurant having lunch same time we did!! So I took some sad paparazzi shots... I admit I acted a bit stalkerish, lol. It was just so cool to see him there, just walking around being normal, and had a few people approach him to say hello. But he wasn't overly celebrity-like at all, he easily mingled in the crowd which I thought was really cool. Good ol' Gary & George.. down to earth.
Speaking of George, we also had short glimpses of his cooking presentations... :)
The Celebrity Theatre was a lot bigger than I expected, so it was a pretty impressive set up. Our 3.30pm session features Tobie Puttock and Matt Skinner and they are two funny blokes. Quite an entertaining presentation and easy simple recipes we can easily re-create at home. These guys apparently have worked with Jamie Oliver and I think Tobie now runs Jamie Oliver's restaurant in Melbourne. Overall, it was a great finish to our day at the show!
Actually, not quite finished yet. I wanted to highlight a few things I bought from the show, hehe. First I had the $6 sampler box of gourmet handmade pies from Boscastle. Lovely pies! I was very full by then though, so I took the pies home and let hubby devour them.
Then I was at Lush Desserts & bought a tub of Lemon Creme & Belgian Chocolate Creme... the lemon one is so refreshing and rich, and the chocolate one is pretty much a rich chocolate mousse! You can have it on its own, or use shell pastries to make dessert tarts. Yumm... that's what I'm having for dessert right now!
I also bought a $50 Sampler Bag from Luv-A-Duck. I love duck, couldn't resist!
Each bag contains a selection of ready-to-roast duck products and a Peking Duck Pancake Kit... excellent stuff! They are usually a lot more expensive from Coles, so I'm quite happy :)
I also discovered this amazing liqueur called Pama Pomegranate... drinking it now! 17% alcohol content, tastes like alcoholic ribena, mix with some soda water / lemonade and it makes a great cocktail!
I think that's basically it! My first time at the Good Food and Wine Show and I will definitely go back next year. Just wish it wasn't so packed. I would probably choose to go on a Friday next year so most people would be at work and can't come... I also wished I was a more serious wine drinker, to enjoy the wine components of the show - wine was everywhere!! But we didn't even manage to look at all the food stalls, let alone be able to go through all the wine samples! Plus, the fact that people were everywhere meant there were queues just to get samples, queues to order food, and very slow walking to avoid walking into people. I would also recommend you bring a TROLLEY to the show to carry all the stuff you WILL end up buying... because I had to spend $30 to buy a Good Food and Wine Show trolley but I didn't really mind because it was a pretty nice trolley and I would use it again for my market shopping, etc. Overall, a FUN day out! Very tired now.. so I'll sit back and enjoy my dessert :)