Highlights of The Good Food & Wine Show
I’ve had a fabulous couple of days at the Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg, all thanks to the organisers of the show for the media extension.
This was the first time I’ve ever been to a show this large in South Africa. I had thought that it would be a small set up of food stalls. But once again, I’ve been surprised in Johannesburg with one of the largest food shows I’ve ever been to. The entire convention hall was filled with exhibition booths, cooking studios and chef demonstration theatres. This was no casual set-up. Some of the biggest culinary brands were present.
Being a food lover, moving around sampling all kinds of local delights was heaps of fun. The exhibitors were there to introduce their products to the public so everyone was generous with samples. I gorged myself with fudge, chocolates, biltong, pizzas, all kinds of sauces and sampled lots of yummy wines. Some of the food was so yummy.. like the chicken curry being promoted at an Indian spices booth. It was so good that I had gone back for seconds. All that while pretending that I’ve never had Indian food and chatting up the lady boss on what garam masala was. Haha! Yes, I am that cheap. Sometimes.
The highlight of the Good Food and Wine Show was most definitely the Masterchef experience. I was given the opportunity to do a “Masterclass” with the winner of Masterchef Australia All Stars 2012, Callum Hann. And it was heaps of fun!
It was intimidating to stand in a studio with a live audience, camera crew and the chef himself. AND have to cook up a meal. I created a huge mess in minutes.
The recipe sounded simple. It was a spice-rubbed beef with home-made tahini and coriander cous cous. Callum would cook at the same time and all we needed to do was follow his pace and cook at our own bench. VERY Masterchef-ish. Heh heh.
The only problem was when I couldn’t catch up. One of the steps involved grinding toasted sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste and I couldn’t get that going. At one point, I even asked Callum if I could bring out the food processor from underneath the bench and use that. Wahaha!
I decided that I could use a bit of (grainy) texture in my tahini and didn’t bother to get the seeds crushed into a smooth paste. And the rest of the steps was a breeze. My plating skills needed A LOT of work though.
Although this was a dish that was very easy to prepare, it was REALLY delicious. Like SERIOUSLY GOOD. I was so impressed, I have locked down Callum’s technique of spice-rubbed meat and home-made tahini in my cook notes. He’s only 22 years (gosh, I am OLD next to him), but he is incredibly talented. Not only did he share a beautiful dish with us, he also taught us several good tricks in the kitchen on how to tell if a steak is done on the grill, how to segment oranges and how to use a mortar and pestle properly.
When cooking, remember you are not saving lives. So don’t be scared to experiment! – Callum Hann
It was a huge privilege to have the opportunity to wear the Masterchef apron and cook with a celebrity chef. An experience I will always cherish.
The other attraction of the Good Food and Wine Show I really liked was the Chefs In Action Theatre. It was a theatre set up for cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. And being the media, my friend and I got front row seats! After a few hours of walking about (okay, and eating), it was relaxing to sit back and watch the big boys cook some of their famous dishes on stage.
Adam Liaw, winner of Masterchef Australia Season 2 is one of my favourite celebrity chefs because he’s half Singaporean. Heh heh. Here he was, showing us how to make a home-made teriyaki sauce, which he used to cook teriyaki beef with in his demo.
It was definitely less intimidating to sit in the audience and watch someone else cook. But the hands-on experience was really a once in a lifetime one. So I highly recommend it if you’re visiting the Good Food and Wine Show this weekend. There are still 2 more days of the show.
Stay tuned for my experience with the Mystery Box Challenge. Yes, I did take part in it in the end. But I have to admit that I did think about feigning illness and skipping the challenge at one point because I had no idea how I would be able to present a dish in 30 mins and not slice off a few fingers in the process. But I survived! More later..
The Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg will be held from 21-24 September 2012 at the Coco Cola Dome.
Come to the show for a food extravaganza, as well as the opportunity to meet and learn from overseas celebrity chefs like George Calombaris, Adam Liaw, Callum Hann, Levi Roots and Anjum Anand, as well as local SA celebrity chefs like Benny Masekwameng, Andrew Atkinson and Sue-Ann Allen.
For details on the event and activities, click here.