Sunday, July 15, 2012

Food, Fun and Sisters…


A popular French style shop in Perth


My sister and I had a great day on Friday.  We went to the Perth Good Food and Wine Show…a showcase of the best of Australian produce, wine, products and celebrity cooks.
We took the bus into the city…or the Green Mercedes as she calls it!  I rarely use public transport here in Perth, but with the skyrocketing price of parking because of the overall lack of parking spaces it was an obvious solution.  And a great opportunity for one of my favourite past times, people watching.

$5.00 Australian = $5.12 US &  €4.20. Not cheap!!
The show was well patronised, even on a Friday.  It is school holiday time here and so there were families as well as foodies like us.After tasting some wonderful local olive oils and vinegars we felt ready to start sampling the wines.  After buying tasting glasses which could hang around our necks we headed to the Barossa Valley, South Australian wine stand to start with Australian sparkling wine…a great choice at Grant Burge.

My sister signing up to receive "special offers"
From there we became more adventurous and sampled some Keglevich Vodka and Pesca mix which was accompanied by Prosecco to make a Bellini cocktail. Lovely, refreshing but I’m sure very alcoholic.

And then it was time to join a Celebrity Chef Masterclass with Manu Feildel from L’Etoile restaurant in Paddington, Sydney.  I have dined there with my daughter and her fiance and after enjoying a stunning meal I then shared a conversation with Manu after the meal while we had a cigarette.  Oh, the good old days before I became a nicotine free zone! Manu was hilarious in the Masterclass.  He played up all the clichés about being a Frenchman…the sexiness, the accent, the joie de vivre – all of which I found very amusing having recently come out of a five year relationship with a Frenchman.  And he cooked a lovely meal and I was able to take away some tips even from his simple Coq au Vin recipe.

Manu in action...
Then it was back to the wine and food tasting…some lovely Rosé wine from Western Australia, South Australia and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales;  and an absolutely beautiful salt infused with truffle.  I have already tried it with a chicken dish I cooked yesterday – c’est magnifique!

Western Australian truffles...most of which are exported to France!
After some tasting of Asian inspired dishes we headed back to the Celebrity Chef theatre to watch the presentation by Ainsley Harriott, the English chef.  He too was hilarious and called up from the audience a gentleman in his late 60s named Mike, who was a great sport and joined into the spirit of the event.  It was great fun although I felt the recipes could have been more imaginative…fish cakes and chicken on puy lentils were not inspiring for me.

Ainsley and Mike...
There are always "characters" at these shows, and these men were no exception.  They were showcasing a machine which can hold 3 litres of any sort of drinks, chilled, on tap.

"Characters"...make the world a better place!

Also, this woman exhibiting a new style of vegetable peeler made me laugh when I saw her standing on top of an "esky cooler" in her Australian Ugg boots.

It was cold in the exhibition hall...Ugg boots required!
After buying a trolley on wheels between us it was time to go on a shopping spree.  Salt, aged balsamic vinegar and fruity extra virgin olive oil for me, with a few wines as well;  and kitchen gadgets, wines, and other produce for my sister.  We then staggered out with all our “goodies” to find a taxi.

Additions for the pantry...Australian bush tucker salad dressing, Maggie Beer apricot paste, Verjuice and Tomato Sauce, Whittington's truffle salt, Keglevich Bellini mix and  Pukara Estate  balsamic vinegar 
All in all a great day. Especially the many laughs my sister and I shared.
I am a great lover of shows and expos.  Some years ago I regularly visited fashion expos in Hong Kong and the United States with my girlfriend and business partner, Christine, when we had a fashion manufacturing and wholesale business..  Exhausting days but they were always a great incentive for creative inspiration. As was this expo.  I returned home keen to try my new products…and spoil my family and friends with my experiments!

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