Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Food and Wine Show Sydney 2011

What a show! Wow, this year was so amazing and I would have to say at least 10 times better than last year! Last year I had my baby son with me, which was a bit of a challenge, mainly because I found it had to manoevure his pram in and out the crowds and unfortunately some people weren't willing to giveway to parents with prams which was sad. This year, I came with my 10 year old daughter who is developing a foodie persona like her mum!! There was no prams required, so hitting the crowds to just a matter of waddling like a duck or penguin and getting through at a slow and steady pace!!

So what did I buy? Well I did only take a certain amount of money which I didn't want to go over, even though I did :P! Hey we are talking about food here. For some women its beauty products, for others its designer brands. For me, my weakness is food and finding great products to share with others. Before I start, I do want to appologise for not taking pictures. I was so excited when I arrived and how many exhitors there were and once I started talking to people I didn't think about getting my camera out.
[Note to self, arrive at show with camera in hand so I don't forget to take pictures!]

I have taken pictures of the products that I purchased, so you know what they look like. For products that I highly recommend, but didn't purchase I will provide a link for you to check them out.

One of the first companies I was so happy to see was a company that I discovered for the first time at the Melbourne Food and Wine show. Careme Fine Pastry, I am so in love!! I have never heard of pastry in different flavours and readily available. The owner, Claire Wood was there to talk about her wonderful product. Visually you want to envelop your best tasty fillings as soon as possible, but to then have a taste, you 'know' you have to use this pastry! I really wanted to purchase the pastry then and there, but unfortunately I wasn't going home straight after the show, and was concerned about how it would last until I got home. However, I do know where I can get the pastry from now and if you want to know too, here is the website link, CAREME PASTRY.  My two favourite products were sour cream puff pastry and vanilla bean shortcrust pastry. I can't wait to make my favourite, custard tart with the vanilla bean shortcrust. If you are entertaining and want your guests to have a lasting impression of your pie, sweet or savory, then Careme pastry is your best choice.

Sour cream puff pastry
Vanilla Bean shortcrust pastry

I then discovered a company by the name of Lakelands Olives. They are a biodynmaic organic olive oil business.  I was most impressed with their Lemon oil and Mandarin oil. This oil was amazing and the flavour of Mandarin so strong that I felt like I had eaten one! 
I was told that the flavour is so impressive becasue they use the whole fruit, skin and all also also because they use the cold press method. I am not 100% sure but I think they maybe at the Organic Expo in Sydney held in 6th and 7th August. Otherwise, check out their website, LAKELANDS

Sharing the same store with Lakelands, I learned about PUKARA ESTATE. They also had olive oils, but the most impressive products for me, were their vingears. Have you ever heard of Guava Vinegar?? I had never thought that a product like this would be possible, and taste so good!! The flavour is so amazing and as soon as my tastebuds got excited, my mind was considering all the ways I could use the vinegar in my cooking.  They also have fig vinegar, blackcurrant, and vanilla cinnamon to name but a few. But my heart was with the Guava vinegar and this was what I purchase.
If you are tempted to try this vinegar, here is their website, PUKARA.

My favourite purchase of the day was one I had waited 1 year for! I discovered these knives at last year's show and my mum ended up purchasing one and has sung its praises all year. These knives are at a bargain price of 50% off the normal retail price, so worth the wait!. I purchased the Titan 21 which is a titanium knive that needs sharpening at least once every 18months or so. Its is light weight which is such a welcome change to what I have been using. The knive that I currently use is good, but I need to sharpen it at least every second day in the week. So I am so happy I have a sharp knife that I don't have to worry about sharpening as often anymore.  For more details here is the website, FOREVERKNIVES.

This next product, was a real no brainer for me. If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know that I am passionate about food storage. You may also know that I am trying to update or modernise the concept of some foods that can be stored in your food storage long or short term. I am always looking at great products that can deliver a taste sensation but also be stored well. I am also becoming a bit braver in making Indian cuisine. I really like indian food but the books I have read and the shows I have watched have intimidated me a little. It looked like a lot of processes, and having the right ingredients to make sure your food tasted its best. So I figured I would only enjoy Indian when I was eating out. Since then, I have befriended some work colleagues who are from India or regions of India and have worked hard to convince me not to be scared of Indian cooking. When I found the stall, Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends, I knew it was meant to be!! I was even more excited when I was handed a sample of their butter chicken made from their butter chicken spice blend. It was so delicious and I never knew there was a spice blend for butter chicken. I have only ever used a sauce mix from the supermarkets. I enquired about a good curry mix that was not too hot, so my kids could enjoy it. The vegtable curry blend was the answer and the smell was sensational. No artifical colours, flavours or preservatives and with a shelf life of at least 12 months and each jar that I purchased would make up to 30kg plus of meat curries, I was sold!! Teh two jars I purchased caressed 300g of spice blends and cost $35 for the two jars. Check out their website for more info, MUDGEERABA SPICES

 I found the show was embrassing a mulitcultral flavour and this made me happy, because I think there are some amazing products out there that we can embrace in flavour and technique. I love researching different cultural cusines and adapting these to my everday cooking.  I discovered a new brand I had not seen before. Kuhne, with two dots above the u!! Kuhne have quality german products like mustards and a beautiful savoury cream for potato salads( the name has stepped out of my memory for the moment!) but they are just gorgeous and worth a try when you see them in your IGA supermarket.

When my mum returned from a trip to Indonesia some 15 or so years ago, she bought back something with her that I will be forever greatful for, Kecap Manis! What an amazing sauce! Kecap Manis is a sweet soy, so its thicker than normal soya sauce and has a sweet flavour. Its perfect for marinades, sauces, fried rice, to add to omelettes, to stirfries, there is many applications and I can guarantee, once you buy one bottle, you will keep buying. It will become a staple for your asian cooking. I purchased this bottle, as I know the brand and at $2.50, it was a bargain. I also like that the bottle was plastic and squeezeable. I have had bottles in the past that are glass, and you stand for ages waiting for the sauce to come out.

I chatted for a long time with Craig Lyon's wife Karen from Passion of Tahiti. The Bora Bora vanilla pods are to die for! If you like vanilla then you have to swing by their website and check out the beans they have on offer. The Bora Bora beans have a nice length but they are so plump and juicy and have an amazing width that I have not seen with a vanilla bean before. The aroma is mesmerizing. I have been told that some well known chefs are super excited about Craig's vanilla beans, so be sure to check them out. Be sure to take a look at the vanilla bean powder which is 100% vanilla seeds with no additivies or anything added like a paste has. The, product, however,  that has captured me more than anything else, even though I rave about the other ones, this particular product, really has captured me. It's the cold pressed vanilla extract that is not made with any alcohol at all! Never heard of such a thing until now! If you have ever purchased a good quality extract, when you smell it, it has a nice vanilla smell, but the alcohol does cut through and distrupts the vanilla note. Also if you ever accidently add too much extract to a frosting or cream, you will get a taste of the alcohol, which I really don't like. With cold pressed vanilla, there is no chance of this! Its all vanilla!  I can rave on about it all day, but I won't!! Pop on over to the website and see for yourself. The site is under a little bit of construction but I was told that purchasing would be ready as soon as possible, but you can contact Craig vie the e-mail address on the site with any queries.

Well as you can tell I had a great time. I enjoyed talking to people and learning more about their products and business and I am so happy to pass this onto you guys. Can't wait to see what is install for next year. I also hope I can work a bit with some of these businesses to bring some more amazing products to your kitchens.


Charissa said...

Looks like you keep an adventurous kitchen! Love it.
Thanks for the friend add on Food Buzz, I love meeting new bloggers who love food just as much as me! ;)

Emily said...

Hi Courtney,
I also went to the Good Food and Wine show last weekend, and am ashamed to admit it was my first time!! Been meaning to go since I first heard of it but sadly it would come and go before I knew it. Not this year though! I also tasted the Pukara Guava vinegar and thought it was divine!! Didn't buy it though because I couldn't think what I'd use it for, but if you have any suggestions I'd be grateful. Apparently you can buy them at a shop at Rouse Hill Town Centre too, and Castle Hill markets. I'm used to seeing Pukara in my second home known as the Hunter Valley (lol), but the last few times I'd been desperately searching for their caramelised balsamic vinegar but they'd been sold out :( I did get it at the show though!! It's awesome in salads and especially my famous bruschetta mix.

Emily from uni! (Racchi)

Karen said...

Hello Lovely Lady...this is Karen Lyons from "Passion of Tahiti" Supreme Vanilla Beans & Products. Thank you so much for your wonderful write up; both Craig & I appreciate it.
Our Vanilla sold like hot cakes at the Expo. After 3 solid days of selling we came away in a Vanilla daze :-). The Vanilla, as you know, is magnificent. Have you cooked with yours yet?
I wanted to call the business "Voluptuous Vanilla" ha ha ha which is appropriate BUT we will eventually be selling MORE Tahitian products - 400 years of secret family skin care products, vanilla seed soaps etc etc.
Again, let us thank you for your generous exposure :-)
Karen & Craig Lyons

Karen said...

Pls ring Craig on his mobile as he may like to offer you a bean or 2 for an upcoming for thought :-)))
His number is: 0405 770 737
Just tell him I threw him in the deep end :-)

FoodMuster said...

Will do Karen, thanks:)

FoodMuster said...

Emily, great to hear from you! I will be adding a recipe for sure in the future for the Guava vinegar. I'm thinking something with either fruit or maybe chicken. Thanks for comment and great to hear you enjoyed the show:)

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