Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Wellington Food Show - part 2

Yesterday I showed you my favourite vendors from the Wellington Food Show - today you can look at my [reasonably poor] photos of some of the cooking demonstrations - and see just how much I toted home (I should say Mr Cake toted home, as he took most of it - after we had done a lap and visited most stalls Mr Cake headed for home, while I settled in for a couple of hours watching people flinging ingredients around and then did another lap - and he took what we'd bought home when he went (then I bought some more, but that's not the point!)).

There were some cool competitions - this one featured teams comprising two trainee chefs and a trainee server, who had to serve a meal to their 'customers' in a set time, maintaining high quality and keeping the dishes consistent for each 'customer'. Quite a cool idea, I thought.

There were also cake competitions, although the judging had already taken place when I discovered the competition area. These cakes look absolutely scrumptious...

And then there was the cake decorating category, with some very funky entrants. The winning entry was definitely my favourite, though:

So awesome! I don't even want to think about how many hours that took to make.

When we arrived Ross Burden was showing folks how to use olive oil and wine in cooking. We watched for a few minutes but empty bellies and the pull of many vendors offering free food meant we didn't have much patience - sorry Ross!

After Mr Cake abandoned me in favour of the gym I wandered back in and caught the last quarter of Richard Till's segment. I only really know him from the Countdown ads, which I don't like all that much - but he was brilliant, the highlight of the day for me. He's a bit cynical (and has a chronic case of potty-mouth), but it's hilarious. At this point he was displaying his vast tea-towel collection to the audience - he apparently battles for them on TradeMe. He also tried to let the audience taste his food, much to the chagrin of the staff, who rushed to get the food away from us lest we be struck down with food poisoning or somesuch - I bet if his mike had still been on he would have had something to say about that, too!

Next on the agenda was Peta Matthias, showing off her recipes from Marrakesh, where she takes culinary tours. The food looked yummy - the sad thing about the set-up was that it was very hard to see the food. Though they had a big screen and cameras filming the bench from either side, the cameras were not great quality and a bit too far away, so the pictures weren't great - and if you were close in the front you were below the bench so the view wasn't great from there, either. Oh well...

My last show for the day, before a quick return trip to the Lindt stall and a walk home, was the Masterchef show. Brett (who was the winner, if you don't watch TV or live outside of NZ) and runner-up Kelly each cooked a signature dish. Lauraine Jacobs, who featured on the series as well, acted as an MC while they cooked to get a commentary on what they were doing - it seemed a bit contrived, but was interesting.

I particularly liked Kelly's dish, as a) it's a dessert (!) and b) she essentially invented it. It was a raspberry version of the pineapple basket she made in the second to last week of the show, and I will try it sometime because it's easy and looks delicious. I am a bit skeptical about her proclaimed 'eating for health' mantra after seeing her load about four scoops of ice-cream into her single-serving basket, though! ;-)

So, it was a long day. I did come away with quite a lot, though - as you can see! The Lindt stall was definitely my big spend spot (their show specials are incredible - four 100g blocks for $10, when they're usually $4 (or more) in the shops. I got a couple of plain milk and a couple of plain dark chocolate for my baking shelf, and some other treats. ;-)

I got a mixed bag of fudge from The Fudge Cottage - though I actually think I would have been better off buying the normal packets, as the flavours in the mixed bag were unidentified, and I got lots of rum & raisin and coffee flavour fudge, neither of which I particularly like. The chocolate stuff is great, though.

I bought a bottle of chai syrup for Mr Cake and some caramel syrup to use for baking from Monin, and I also treated Mr Cake to a honeycomb, which he had never had before.

We went for ginger overload at Loaf, as both were exceptional. That 'explosive ginger' slice has already been gobbled up - and it was very good. The triple ginger loaf is safely stowed in the freezer for a day when we have recovered from our sugar overload!

We chose a bottle of Cienna ($12!) from Brown Brothers - very sweet and fruity, highly tolerable for a red (it's to be served chilled).

And we also bought these yoghurts and some olive haloumi from The Collective - the yoghurt is incredible, especially the apple crumble flavour (you'll notice we got two of those!). The yoghurt was $10 for all three - when we were getting the groceries today we spotted it on special for $5, so that was also pretty good value. The haloumi is likely to feature in our dinner sometime this week.

So it was a great day out - I look forward to next year! Did you go to the Food Show? If so, what was your highlight?


  1. Hi Rosa,we went on Saturday but had to leave early,so had less than 4hrs.Annabelle White did a 45min cooking demo which was worth the price of admission to the show.She was hilarious and loves a live audience,and on reflection hardly touched a pot.I scored 3 x bottles of avocado oil for $10,some Simunovich evoo,the same fudge and Lindt as you,a lemon loaf and my husband bought so much wine that he did three trips down to the car.I really wanted to see Peta Mathias,but no doubt she will be there again next year.
    Am really enjoying your blog.

  2. I was a bit sad to miss Annabelle White as she is very funny! The avocado oil sounds good - I think sometimes I am too much of a sucker for things I can eat straight from the packet and miss the good ingredients. We would have loved to have gotten more wine, too - those prices were amazing - but the half hour walk home was a good moderator!

    I'm so glad you're enjoying reading it - I enjoy your comments! ;-)


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