I blog about knowing the provenance of my food. I like to trace the food I eat back to the source. I love a brilliantly made gourmet meal and appreciate fine food. But what I believe in, is uniting the pleasures of food with responsibility, sustainability and making a connection to the community and the environment. I want to inspire people to think about where their food comes from and what the real cost is.
I can get a bit skeptical that food festivals are just a commercial grab for the burgeoning foodie market, that is booming with popularity thanks to Masterchef. I can’t help it when I see big corporate business alongside local sustainable food producers. But being slow to judgment is a good quality to have. So, in a few weeks I am going to check out the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show, held on the 4-6 November 2011.
Large crowds, queues for the toilet and persistent thermomix sales people are probably unavoidable at these sort of events. But at its core the show is a celebration of good food, cooking and Queensland produce. All things I love.
According to Claire Back, the exhibition manager, this year has the highest number of local exhibitors taking part in the show. In addition, the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) has partnered with the show. Approximately 60 stalls will feature as part of DEEDI’s ‘Celebrate the Taste of Queensland’ pavilion, which will celebrate the recovery of the local food industry (in the wake of the floods and cyclone) and the wonderful produce the state has to offer. A number of Regional Councils are also involved including Gympie, Sunshine Coast and the Lockyer Valley.
I have been reading the press releases and rummaged through the list of exhibitors. This list is available on the website but I’ll share with you quickly the exhibitors I intend to make a beeline for:-
- Suncoast Limes (Tandur) – Limes, Lime Salt, Fresh lime cordial, Lime juice, preserved limes, dried limes, lime marmalade. I am intrigued by the Lime Salt, which according to their website has taken years to perfect and each 75 gram jar contains 7 limes.
- Tomarata Orchards (Pomona) – Lychee growers and product manufacturers. They grow four types of lychees on their property. The Lychee Sweet Chilli Sauce sounds divine, perhaps drizzled on a summer salad.
- Emmo’s Fine foods (Thornton) – Cow and goat dairy products. I will be lining up to try the handmade Gelato.
- Seaton Fire (Murphy’s creek) – Master chilli chocolatiers. The chilli packs a kick to each bite and prevents me from having a binge. It is weird and wonderful all at once. The chillies are organically grown, chemical free and handpicked. Each chocolate bar is made by hand.
- Blue Hills Poultry Stud (Grantham) – These guys sound interesting. Their collection has been sourced from around Australia over the past 10 years in earnest upon realising that so many breeds, varieties and colours of fowl were disappearing at alarming rates. This farm was severely affected by the floods but they are doing their best to rebuild and re-stock.
- Noosa Chilli (Perigian) – All natural, handmade sauces and chutneys. They grow their own chillies organically on an acreage property on the Sunshine Coast. All other produce is sourced locally. I am going to have a look at their smokey barbeque sauce. It is hard to find good sauces that are not packed full of food additives.
- Blue Sky Brewery (Cairns) – Yes I am keen to try their Indian Pale Ale at a wine show 🙂
- Olivfresh (Coominya) – Products include Ligurian Style Olives, Arbequina Black olives, Olive and Fig Tapenade Dip, Green Olive and Avocado Tapenade Dip, Green Olives and Sun Dried Black Olives. I have already tried quite a few Olivfresh products and have a big tub of Ligurian olives in my fridge right now. Olivfresh runs an interesting program where you adopt an olive tree at the Olivfresh Olive Estate. This means amongst other things, you get invited to the annual harvest.
- Silverwood Organic (Longreach) – A family farm that sells organic lamb meat packs online with home delivery.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Queensland exhibitors but it is what has caught my eye so far.
I am also going to see what Tobi Puttock has to say. This will be my first celebrity chef experience. As for all the hype about popular cooking shows at least they have inspired a resurgence in home cooking and making things from scratch!
With an audience of food lovers, the show is a great place for exhibitors to sound out new ideas/products and test market interest. The best part is they are keen to listen to customer feedback. Consumer demand has pulling power and I firmly believe that we as consumers help shape the food industry. I am passionate about food but equally so about the story behind it. The more we ask for organic, sustainable, local options, the more we can expect to see.
When I think of good food, it is nutrient dense, ethically sourced, seasonal, natural, unrefined, organic, local and full of flavour. I really hope to find a bit of this kind of good food at the show.
If not, I guess I will have to jump off my bandwagon for the day and simply enjoy being out with my sister, drinking wine and eatin
* Update – the free ticket giveaway has now closed and the winners drawn on 25 October 2011.
Free Ticket Giveaway
Now for the fun part. I have two double passes to the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show to giveaway.
They are general admission tickets that can be used on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday (4-6 November 2011). The Show is held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center and runs from 10-6pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10-5pm on Sunday.
How to Enter
This giveaway is open to anyone in Australia but please bear in mind the tickets are for the Brisbane show only.
- Leave a comment below telling me about your favourite Queensland food experience; or
- Like my Small Town Chutney facebook page.
Heck you can put an entry in both ways to increase your chances if you like!
Entries close at 8pm (Queensland time) on Tuesday 25 October 2011, so get in quick you only have a week.
Two winners will be drawn at random (each winner gets a double pass) and will be notified by email. It will also be announced here and on my Small Town Chutney facebook page.
The tickets will be posted to the winners via Express post.
This is my first ever blog giveaway so please don’t be shy.