Fine Food Australia is the nation’s largest food service tradeshow. In 2015 the event was held at Sydney’s Olympic Park. Across four days, chefs, cooks, bakers, students, bartenders, waiters, food technologists, consultants, baristas, butchers, managers, sales people and owners of food-related businesses, were given the opportunity to network, form new business relationships and discover market and industry trends. It was a show where people were coming together to appreciate and celebrate a mutual love of food.
This year the tradeshow had partnered up with the Royal Agricultural Society to host the Royal Award winners and a ‘talk ‘n’ taste’ stage where individuals were on hand to run through the processes they completed in order to win their prestigious award. Dairy brand Bulla, was also a platinum sponsor which played host to renowned chefs, Kirsten Tibballs, Marike van Beurden and Anna Polyviou, who demonstrated the art of making sweet and decadent desserts like chocolates, éclairs, brownies and tarts as well as some great dinner ideas.
The show had panels allowing visitors to “ask the experts” questions as well as product demonstrations and stalls which hosted everything from catering equipment, technological items and point-of-sale solutions, through to international food favourites and the best in meat, seafood, dairy, drinks, bread, confectionary and other items. Another drawcard from the event was the culinary art competition where chefs had competed to make things both mouth-watering and visually sumptuous.
The day also had some fun mascots and characters. At Superbee they had a dancing Santa and a Beezebo (think of a large gazebo for keeping bees) and Petey Pie celebrated our national food by posing for selfies. Miss Jay Jay celebrated our local beef industry and her decorations were determined by who was ‘The Archibull prize’ winner, which was won by from North Lakes high school. The cow’s design was fabulous and appropriated artworks by Picasso, Chagall and Warhol, to name a few. There were also contests like the ‘Great Australian Pie Competition’ and ‘Nestlé’s Golden Chef’s Hat Award National Final’.
There was an abundance of great food and drink on offer at the festival, but here are our top five:
1. Choco Barocco – is a Queensland based company where a designer, sculptor and pastry chef craft amazing 3D chocolate art masterpieces. These include souvenirs of Sydney and Melbourne, indigenous art creations and even the Mona Lisa, just to name a few. The sky is the limit for creating these wondrous delights which taste delicious too.
2. Sienna Desserts – this Sydney based business offers delicate cakes and fresh, modern desserts which are to die for. They’re light and flavoursome and will melt in your mouth (especially the flourless passionfruit and coconut slice).
3. Chulpi – a toasted corn maize from Ecuador. These crunchy corn kernels are versatile little parcels of golden goodness and can be used in a number of different recipes, whilst also making a tasty snack on their own. Yum.
4. Tea Tonic: – These teas are fit for a princess (Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge actually sampled this variety at the Royal Easter Show on her recent visit). The teas are fun, healthy and exceptional, and are the brainchild of founder and herbalist, Lisa Hilbert.
5. Vege Farm – This is a group offering soy-based vegetarian and vegan products. Some of the range includes black pepper steak and blue ribbon fish. This is bound to be a big hit amongst people who are conscious about not eating meat, but do not want to compromise on taste and nutritional elements.
Fine Food Australia was an informative and enjoyable event where participants learnt a lot about the food industry and new efforts being made to allow and compensate for food allergies and intolerances, etc. The trade show covered the full gamut of different things from talks, to interactive demonstrations, samples, stalls and more. This delightful show left patrons hungry to know and experience more about the wonderful wide world of food.
Originally published in October 2015 at the following website: http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/gourmet/issue/310/#25
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