Auckland Food Show 2011

The annual Auckland Food Show (28 – 31 August 2011) is a foodie-in-training’s little paradise. For the $25 ticket price (or $22.50 if you purchase online and bypass the queues), you get an invite (along with over 50,000 others!) to a world of new products, flavours and tips on how to expand your culinary horizons by over 450 exhibitors. There are multiple tastings at every stall, and some of the more popular ones had crowds of eager punters. I love that the artisan producers are out in force, and the gourmet food markets (Farro Fresh and Nosh) are supporting them to exhibit.

This year I made the trip with Mum and Little Z who asked to come along on our expedition. Little Z was a trooper, and impressed us with his palate, – he refused processed cheese (specially packaged for children) and meats, and asked for seconds of salmon gremolata and gourmet frozen yoghurt. I don’t recall being this ‘evolved’ at 4 ½ years old!

Being a teetotaler (completely due to my allergy to alcohol I assure you, not by choice), I merrily skipped past all the wine and alcoholic beverage producers (of which there were many) to the gourmet confectioners, seafood, meats, non-alcoholic beverages (to my happy surprise, there were many as well, – is my fantasy of Kiwiland becoming un-boozy coming true?), frozen desserts and condiments galore.

Some of the tasty offerings this year were:

The fantastic gremolata was from Salmon Man

Fresh baked baguettes and pastries from Paneton Bakery

Sublime chicken liver pate and duck liver parfait from L’Authentique (available from Farro Fresh)

Yassuo halloumi and fesca from Whangapiro Buffalo Cheese Co. (available at Farro Fresh)

Frying the Yassuo halloumi, – delicious and the fresca was fantastic as well

Sublime Cone King frozen yoghurt

Dulce As, – importer of Argentinian confections

Frusion drinks – the tropical guava is my pick

Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School is opening in Wellington (finally!) in mid 2012. How do I keep my day job (which I love) and sign up for this?

These Addmore Elderflower drinks are simply amazing!

as are bagels by Bagel Love

and some really good Pic’s peanut butter

Delicious Native Infusions drinks, – green tea infused with pohutukawa honey and fruit flavours

A plug for the Malaysia Kitchen programme

Adults only hot chocolate by Sims & Bosh

NZ’s oldest ice-cream maker, Rush Munro’s

Strawberry or banana flavoured tea for kids. Little Z liked the strawberry, ummm, me – not so much.

Listen to some jazz as you rest your weary feet

Colourful Day of the Dead decoration by an importer of Mexican fares

The cooking demonstrations were snappy and interesting, and I definitely learnt some hints and tips to use at home.

Julie Le Clerc demonstrating how to incorporate tea into your cooking and baking

Brett McGregor (winner of series 1 of NZ Masterchef) demonstrating how to make a Thai inspired salad

Next year I’ll take a day off work and come for the Preview Day which is limited to 4,000 visitors, a more comfortable level compared to the 12,000+ the show gets on a weekend day. The Auckland Food Show is a brilliant day out, and an absolute must-do if food is your raison d’etre.

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