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Jun 7, 2008 05:41 AM

good food & wine show '08?

anyone go/going?

melbourne was last week, perth is next week. I'll be at the sydney show in two weeks.

anyone else?

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  1. Yep I'll be there. And excited that we just managed to get tickets to see Gordon Ramsay (the first round sold out in a few hours i think)...should be fun! Hope it's great.
    Haven't been before. i hope it's not just a million products being advertised.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hank64

      I don't make it every year, but try to. it's a good overall wander thru suppliers of food, produce, wine, cookware etc.

      it's great for checking out the latest providores firsthand and have a chat (blessed are the cheesemakers... heh...)

    2. Alright call me a snob but I'm going to have a whinge. Went to the Sydney one last weekend. Never going again. Wayyyyy too many people. I'm really happy that interest in good food is becoming increasingly mainstream but fighting crowds to try a spoonful of this or that is not my idea of an enjoyable day out at all. Or was it just the Gordon Ramsay factor?? Anyone been in previous years?

      I was also hoping to see more artisan and small-scale operations showcasing specialist produce but I felt the show was quite dominated by big commercial operations. "Noir" chocolate? Microwaved frozen dumplings? Kahlua? I can get that stuff in Coles. Why would I come here to try it? Where were the game breeders? Where were the independent coffee companies? Where were the mum-n-pop cheesemakers? A bit disappointing.

      Maybe I'm being too harsh and expecting too much from such a large expo. Anyone else get the sh*ts?

      15 Replies
      1. re: Tsar_Pushka

        Well since you asked......I totally agree with you. Where WERE the cheesemakers at all? All I saw was the Binnorie Dairy with their (delicious) Labna..but nothing else.The pasta makers were probably the highlight, and i liked the Pitango tasting (even though i already buy that stuff at Macro) but I was expecting a lot more tastings like that. And while you're whinging i'll also say how disappointed i was with the Delicious (magazine) stand. The only thing you could do there/get there/buy there was a subscription.And i already have one of those.And SO many people it was like being at Myer on the first day of the Clearance. I actually thought it was just one big piss up where 50,000 people were just running from one wine tasting to the next filling that glass around their necks. I haven't been before and not sure i want to go again.
        So....thanks for asking! I agree! Think i am much happier just walking around the Fox Studios markets on a Wednesday morning.
        But Gordon Ramsay was quite interesting to see "live"!

        1. re: hank64

          Yes, there was some good stuff -- just not enough of it. Having said that, I am guessing exhibitors had to pay to exhibit, in which case who is really really surprised it turned out like it did. Shame, I'd rather have paid a bit more and gone to a "exhibitors by invitation" kinda thing that's mediated by quality and interest rather than highest bidder.

          I agree with you ... I'm just gonna stick to popping down to the Pyrmont Good Living Markets and Fox Studio etc. Except I wish that cheese guy at those two markets would lighten up a bit. He always seems grumpy. Someone get him a coffee or something stronger.

          PS. Yeah I heard Gordon Ramsay was entertaining. Wish I had tickets.

          1. re: Tsar_Pushka

            I've already posted my personal rant on my blog, but since y'all bring up the subject..... :)

            fully agree with the comments above, it was poorly organised and executed this year. it may well have been the 'gordon factor', but there were far too many people, far too little room and not enough exhibitors of true value.

            trying to get into the stands to see anything was worse than a rugby scrum. oddly, furi knives were major sponsors but had no stand presence. as mentioned, most of the exhibitors' goods could be had at any coles or woolies. I picked up a couple of showbags and struggled to find the one door that had been designated an exit.

            the ms. really wanted to see ol' gord, so we hit the first session on saturday. again, the theatre area was hastily expanded to capitalise (and I do mean $$) on gr's popularity. hence, most of the seats had very poor line-of-sight, and the video screens were sadly inadequate. but gr, along with mark sergeant, was funny, charming and even a bit inspirational - and not a single f-word dropped.

            see y'all around pyrmont markets, at least one can relax and enjoy those.

              1. re: kmh

                Nah the one that sells Italian and French cheeses ... Formagi Ocello i think it's called.

            1. re: hank64

              I never go to these things - I find them cringe-worthy for all the reasons outlined on this post.

              I'll go to restaurant 2008 after going last year, but this is an industry event. This is where the innovative products are - game farms, olive growers, cheesemakers...

              Anything at darling harbour is going to be too expensive for innovative or small businesses - and if you're one of those you'll know how hard getting things churning over are, not to mention the time it takes to wear a rainbow of hats.

              There is some good stuff at pyrmont and a few goodies at fox - if you can get there early enough. But at fox has anyone noticed how much stuff is recycled from the morning markets at flemington (including snake beans from china)? They're not all growers!

              1. re: kmh

                Restaurant 08 sounds more like what I wanted to see ... Thanks for the heads up, I might try and go. I'm not in the industry though, my interest in food and cooking is only a hobby so I guess I'll have to walk around pretending I'm a restaurateur so they'll let me sample stuff!!

                As to recycled produce, yeah, this is so true of some "farmers market" fruit and veg. Generally if they're not advertising the fact that they're growers or local specialists, then one should definitely wonder where it's from ....

                  1. re: kmh

                    Is restaurant 08 something that would be of interest to us mere foodies if we are not in the business end of restaurants (just in the eating end!) ? i get that there are all the producers etc but is it really aimed at restauranteurs?
                    Speaking of restauranters...and Damien Pignolet....Am i allowed to ask a cooking question on this board? is anyone a fan of his cooking? I tried to make his twice-cooked chocolate souffle tonight (from his french book, andi thought it would look like his onion souffle at Bistro Moncur, escept in chocolate) and it didnt turn out as i'd expected...has anyone made it? Or even a twice-cooked souffle of any kind?

                    1. re: hank64

                      hank, it is squarely aimed at "industry". Whilst there are some lovely comestibles there, there are also furniture, napkin, liquor etc...

                      As restaurateurs seem to set the pace and trends I can understand why new artisans are keen to break this market. Going into the retail market is prohibitive for most small businesses.

                      Having said that, not all of the product there is exclusively used in the food service industry, but that's where it's aimed.

                      I go, because I think that there is a market for domestic consumers to get the quality produce available to professionals.

                      as for the souffle , sorry I can't help you.

                      1. re: hank64

                        I haven't been to Bistro Moncur yet, but I went to one of his cooking classes the other week and also have his book. So far everything has turned out. In fact with this pinchy weather I've decided to make his daube de boeuf tonight ... Though really, compared to a souffle, a beef stew is pretty hard to mess up : )

                    2. re: Tsar_Pushka

                      Hey Tsar i know this is the wrong board but...just looked up your bio and saw that your fave meal recently was Teatro del Sale in Florence. I was put off because of the Theatre part of it. We are going next week and i have spent months (OCD for sure) looking at all the restaurants...can you please tell me your faves anywhere else in Italy?

                      1. re: hank64

                        Truth be told hank64 I'm no expert as I only spent a week in Italy, so my advice is limited. All my pre-travel restaurant research focused on Florence because that is where I was on my birthday so we had put aside some euros to blow on dinner.

                        You don't have to stay for the theatre part at Teatro del Sale if that's not your cup of tea (in fact, we didn't -- no time). I wanted to go to Teatro mostly because I wanted to eat classic Tuscan cooking in all its peasant glory and it was simply wonderful. You never know what dish Picchi is going to send out next either, and jostling for a serving at the buffet table scrum after he's yelled out the dish from the kitchen is all part of the fun. It's a great atmosphere and I thoroughly recommend. With unlimited vino de casa and then dessert thrown in, it's a pretty good value deal too -- with or without the theatre.

                        The previous night we went to La Giostra (I'm sure that name has also popped up in your research), and that too was fantastic. Again, rustic and hearty food exploding with flavour -- in massive portions. (We ordered carpaccio, pasta, mains and sides -- oh dear, big mistake ... all that beautiful wasted food!) Other than that, in Florence I got addicted to the little boiled beef rolls from Nerbone (it's a little stall inside Mercato Centrale). Three euros of breakfast awesomeness ... How could something so cheap and simple taste so good?!?!

                        I went to Rome and Venice too and gorged without prejuduce, but hadn't done my research so it was all roulette. Unfortunately I struck out and while it was all very enjoyable, I can't name any places I went to as particular standouts.

                        So yeah ... If you've spent months on your research I reckon it will pay off and you are in for some really good eating! Enjoy your trip, and give us a report when you get back.

                1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                  The Melbourne one wasn't any better, but with what they charge to hire the Exhibition Centre it's only the biggest companies that can afford it. The cooking theatre is usually pretty good but this year the line up wasn't as varied as in the past. Way too many Corn Chips and useless Kitchen gadgets.

                  1. re: bramsey

                    in a previous life in the music industry, we held regular trade shows at the exhibition centres. about ten years ago, a smallish stand cost $8k, which I'm told was about the norm across industries.

                    add a decade's inflation, plus hotel, travel and staff costs, and it's clearly a huge financial investment for smaller businesses. sadly, for us.

                    the next restaurant 08 in sydney is 11-12 august. I've been a couple of times before, they're definitely more, uh, civilised affairs... heh.