The Good Food and Wine Show is one of those events that I’ve always wanted to go to, but just never got around to. Strange because I am partial to both good food and good wine J Thankfully though the stars aligned this year. I was fortunate enough to receive a ticket from Devahasdin, so I took the Friday off work and I was ready! Excitement plus!
I arrived not long after the doors swung open so things were wonderfully fresh and there were plenty of eager, smiling folk around, keen to have a chat about their products. I wandered inside, bought myself a tasting glass and decided to go mapless and just loop my way through the different rows of exhibitors. It was wonderful! Around every corner was something different to try! And the added bonus of Friday meant it wasn’t quite as busy as I expected things would become over the weekend. I kicked off proceedings by trying Fresia, which is a sparkling strawberry wine. Very pleasant and something different. Across the way was Turkish Bakeries. Little did I know that this crew stocked their Turkish bread in many Perth supermarkets and I was confident I had tried it before. It was yum! They also had some tasty dips available and on sampling a really tasty tomato one I made a mental note to swing back past on the way out to grab a tub. Thankfully from there I wandered past the Chef’s Table, which throughout the day had an impressive suite of chefs taking guests through a few dishes. I had spied Manuel Maestro and Anna Gare in various laps throughout the day. Thankfully then I stumbled across a stand that was giving out bags. Very handy because I suspected I would be heading home with a few choice items J So with my bag in tow the exploring continued.
The Pop Chips crew had an impressively large sign and space for their recently released offering. Hard to go past and I’m particularly keen on salt and vinegar so I gravitated towards the bowl of those they had available for sample. Packed a wonderful zesty kick of vinegar – yum! So I asked them, “What makes these chips different from other chips?” and this is what I learnt….
Heaps of people have been asking what exactly is a popchip and what makes it different from normal fried potato chips? Well this is what makes us different! We’ve popped these chips using hot air as opposed to frying them in oil. The chips are then lightly coated with sunflower oil, applied cold, so you have none of the issues with rancid oil or trans fats. Things normally associated with fried snacks. The end result is deliciously light and crunchy but has 70% less fat than fried potato chips and less than 2 grams of fat per serve! They have no artificial colours or flavours, and certainly no MSG. We’re pretty happy with the result and we think you’ll be pretty happy too. Welcome to guilt-free snacking in a bag! Well I was sold and opted for a bag of the salt and vinegar. Figured GG wouldn’t mind them either. So the challenge was just ensuring that I didn’t eat them on the way home 🙂 Thankfully I did learn they are available in a few shops around Perth now in a range of flavours.
One of my favourite places at the GFWS was Cheese Alley. Just so many different cheeses available to taste! I was particularly smitten with the Yarra Valley Persian Fetta and also the Shaw River Buffalo Mozzarella and both of those found their way into my shopping bag J They also had a small cheese theatre set up where they did different sessions; explaining soft cheeses, all things blue, cheese and wine matching – both informative and delicious!
I tried a few different wines as I wandered through and it was really a case of being entirely spoilt for choice! They had plenty of local WA wineries with stands set up, with the major regions covered; Swan Valley, Margaret River, Great Southern, Blackwood Valley. And then the major regions from South Australia were also covered including McLaren Vale and Barossa, which was located next to the Riedel theatre where they ran through different tastings and food matching sessions. And if perhaps vino is not your preference, there were also some cideries in attendance, I also spied Grants and even Matsos, a Broome Brewery that makes the best ginger beer ever!
Now after sipping wine and snacking on everything from health seeds to chocolate to chorizo to cheese I was chasing something slightly more substantial and I had two stands that I knew were in attendance that I wanted to visit. First up I ventured into the Brookland Estate area. This was a new addition to the GFWS and was where you could buy a glass of wine and sit at one of the tables they had set up. If you were feeling peckish they had some great food vans set up as well. The one I had my heart set on was Butty’s. I’d heard many a good thing about their burgers and I happily bounded up to the counter and secured myself one of their Double Cheeseburgers.
On being presented with my alfoil parcel I reverently opened it and took my first bite. Butty’s burgers had been talked up for a reason. From the delicious, homemade patties, the flavourful sauce, the cheese, the soft bun, oh it all worked a treat. I suspect I would have knocked off another, but I knew that hiding somewhere among the aisles was Jumplings Dumplings and I wasn’t leaving until I’d had some of their duck dumplings. As it turned out they were actually really close to the Brookland Estate section and I wandered across and placed my order. I think their duck dumplings are just divine, but they did have some particularly lavish dumplings on the menu – scallop with shavings of fresh black truffle – oo la la! But I stuck with duck and patiently waited while the experts worked their magic. In such a confined little space they did exceptionally well to have so many hot pans on the go. From their stand you could actually see into Celebrity Theatre. You needed to get tickets for seats for this one, but from a distance you could see Maggie Beer on the big screen working her magic. Soon enough though I had my dish of dumplings and they were amazing. Five carefully crafted little morsels. Yum, yum, yum!
Now I’ll admit after eating a burger and 5 dumplings I was feeling more than comfortable, so I continued to wander and revisited a few stands to top up my shopping bag. Hans Chorizo had been delicious so I went and bought a two pack of that, I returned to the Turkish Bakeries stand to get dip and a loaf of Turkish bread and I headed back to Dowie Doole for a bottle of their Chenin. I was never going to be able to say no to Choc Mint fudge from Fudge-a-licious so I bought a square of that and just opposite was a stand selling spice mix packets so I added a No Worries Curry Butter Chicken mix to my bag.
As I wandered out it was quite the stash I had collected but I was so pleased to have been introduced to some really great new products and revisit a few old favourites. I’m so glad this event rolls into town annually, it really is wonderful and so well run.
My thanks to Devahasdin for my ticket. I definitely know I’ll be making a return visit in 2014!