It’s only year two, but I think that we might have created a tradition for ourselves already with visiting the Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show. The event was held this year on the 8-10th of November at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
An amazing array of food and wine creators, importers and distributors all get together under one roof for three days every year and share some of the most amazing produce on offer in Australia at the moment. What I love most is that there is so many small businesses starting up and introducing their wares to the throngs of people who make the pilgrimage to this show. If you want to get even more immersed in food there is a multitude of events planned in conjunction with this show including cooking demonstrations, cooking classes and master wine and cheese sessions.
I thought I’d share some of my highlights and tips for making the most out of this weekend. I should mention that the same show actually is taken on the road and probably hits its absolute high in Melbourne (unofficially the foodie capital of Australia) but I’m pretty proud of what Brisbane had to offer its visitors for the year of 2013.
This is what I’ll be hunting for in shops now I’ve sampled some of their goods:
( I should mention none of these suppliers have paid for these recommendations, all opinions are my own and the shared taste buds of our household!)
Fresh, flavourful and home grown, well kind of… Mt Zero hails from Western Victoria. Their produce is well crafted and worth purchasing if you come across it. We added a bottle of their Lemon Olive Oil to our kitchen as it was fresh and zesty and will be a great addition to roasted chicken or as a bit of zing in our salad dressings.
We’ve sampled dukkha and other spice combinations from these guys in the past at other home shows and found ourselves seeking them out when we spied a packet in someones handbag at another stall. Based in Victoria they have created a great variety of dukkha flavours, along with meat rubs and curry bases for you to get yourself one step ahead when you are cooking at home. We loved the new little gift packs they’ve put together this year with a bottle of oil and a bag of dukkha. Great as a gift when you are visiting someone for dinner or a drink, just add a fresh loaf of bread.
Maggie Beer is a bit of an institution in Australian food for anyone reading this who doesn’t know who she is. A cook based in the Barossa in South Australia, I remember tasting her pheasant liver pate when I was in my teens and she has gone from strength to strength in the food industry ever since, being an absolute asset and ambassador for good Australian Food. These days she has her fingers in many different foods including gourmet ice cream, olive oils, vinegar, fruit pastes and her iconic verjuice. Seeing her cook live was hilarious, but she is genuine as she is passionate. A real foodie without any formal training who plies her trade sharing the best of what Australian food has to offer. One of my food heroes. Having coveted a bottle of the verjuice for years it was something I had to add to my kitchen finally at the show.
No samples or take homes from these wonderful people, but they had an amazing stand and the coffee we sampled was superb. Real coffee, based on your preference, made from freshly ground beans to order. Based on Albert Street in Brisbane CBD I’ll be hunting these guys down next time I’m in town and seeking a caffeine fix.
Based in Northern New South Wales, we first sampled the cheeses from this wonderful dairy at the first show we attended last year. Needless to say we headed straight for their stand this year when we found ourselves running short on time but wanting to have some cheese to take home. Beautiful flavours and a broad range of cheeses if you happen to see their merchandise in your travels make sure you take the time to pick up a sample or three. My pick was the hard cheddar, but the other half went with the brie.
More cheese…well it is one of my favourite foods. This dairy is based in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and they have a great range of cheeses from fresh feta’s to stinky soft brie and a great vintage cheddar. Their signature cheese is a black summer truffle brie called St. Antoine which was amazing to taste, but you really would only need a sample as it’s incredibly rich. A perfect match for a glass of red wine or maybe even a nip of whiskey.
Unfortunately we didn’t get around to more of the cheese stalls as we ran out of time. You could literally spend half a day sampling what is in on offer as there is some seriously great cheeses being made in Australia.
Based in the Mclaren Vale I’m not really sure why I hadn’t tasted the wines of this winery before. I lived in Adelaide for 5 years and was either in the Mcclaren Vale or Barossa every few months and thought I’d done a pretty good job of learning about the gems these locations had to offer. Clearly a massive oversight as the Cabernet from this winery was divine. Needless to say we didn’t take much convincing when the guys manning the stand tried to twist our arms by saying we were saving two airfares by them coming to us in Brisbane and therefore we could at least afford to by some wine from them. Great sales tactic by the way and some wonderfully friendly wine guys.
Also based in the Mclaren Vale these guys I had heard of. In fact a visit to their cellar door about 6 years go turned my non-chardonnay drinking Dad into a convert after sampling their sensationally creamy pineapple to the palate style wine. It didn’t take much convincing that we needed to add to the cellar from this stand either.
Paxton’s is available in Australia via Dan Murphy’s and other bottle shops, but they only carry a select range so make sure you pop into their cellar door if you are ever in Adelaide. They are passionate about wine and whilst they don’t push it too much preferring to let their wine do the talking all their wine is certified bio-dynamic.
I’d like to say we visited more of the wineries from this region and also from the Barossa but we sincerely ran out of time!!!
Check out a post coming up in a few days time of tips for making sure that you get the most out of the show and don’t miss out like we did. Next year we might take a bit more of a planned approach or buy a weekends worth of tickets!
If you are based in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane and haven’t taken yourself along to this event I would highly recommend it as it brings a lot of what this country has to offer under one roof for you to sample and explore.
Happy Eating and Happy Sampling,
* some of the photo’s in this article are sourced from the supplier’s websites