I went to the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show with John and Rob. It was my first time at the GF&W and imagine my surprise when person after person walked through with a granny shopping trolley.
I went in with Rob so we could use the elevator while John parked the car (4 hours @$40!) and grumbled that we didn’t bring anything to carry our goodies home in. Rob offered his basket under his walker and that would have to do.
Within the first 11 minutes we’d filled that so we bought another cart. Every family needs two, right? By the time we got to the car we had Rob’s seat filled, the shopping cart filled AND we had a zipper chiller case filled with cheese. Yes, that’s John and yes, the cart’s nearly full.
Right away we met Fe and Maria from the Andes Mills quinoa company and they were all decked out in their Peruvian costumes. Of course I didn’t have the camera out by then – we’d just walked through the door and I hadn’t gotten my pass yet. For some reason I had to have a press pass in order to take photos.
I had a big smile when I walked up to the Morris Wines stand. Meet David Morris, an award winning, 5th generation wine maker. Morris Wines have been around since 1859 and that probably explains why they win so many medals at the wine shows.
When we moved to Wodonga in Victoria, one day John said, “Let’s take a winery tour today and get away from the computers.”
Morris Winery was our first stop. This was nearly 20 years ago and we were driving down a one lane road (it has two lanes but only one lane in the middle was paved) and then we pulled off at what looked like a country farmhouse.
Down the back there was an old shed with the door open – and I followed John in. There were huge barrels everywhere and in the middle was a glass tasting room. It was my first taste of muscat and I was in love.
Another memory stall was the Milawa Cheese Company. Milawa is in the middle of nowhere in Victoria but it’s a big foodie place with Brown Brothers winery and restaurant, the olive shop and the mustard shop and then it’s Milawa Cheese. It’s a family business and at the stall in Brisbane I’m greeted by Ceridwen Brown daughter of company founders David and Anne Brown.
She’s got the most beautiful smile and when John said he wanted to buy some Ceridwen (ashed goats cheese) she said, “That’s the cheese that’s named after me!” When we lived down south we used to buy cheese and eat in their restaurant often.
If you’re in Australia, are you in love with Pukara Estate oils and vinegars? We found Renee Johnston, Pukara Estate’s gourmet goddess who handles all their Connoisseur Club Soirees. She’s going to do one at my house soon, want an invitation? I could drink their red wine liqueur vinegar by the glass so imagine my joy when Renee said, “Want an explosion in your mouth? Try one piece of bread dipped in the red wine liqueur and one piece of bread dipped in the herb olive oil and eat them together.”
I already had some red wine liqueur vinegar in my pantry but I bought another bottle and a bottle of the herb olive oil too. She was right. I cracked open the herb oil tonight and drizzled it on some sliced potatoes and then sprinkled some dried herbs on top and baked them. I’ll show them to you soon.
Tell me you wouldn’t want some of this guy’s pastries? Ilias the Greek was so much fun. He would have posed for me forever I think. Any man who’ll wear wings has to be okay in my book.
Ilias was born in northern Greece and moved with his family to Adelaide. He’s been an auto racer, opal miner, private pilot, restaurant owner and now makes the best Greek sweets around. If you don’t believe me, ask him! He offers Baklava triangles, Lady finger baklava (Floyeres), Nougat (Mandolato) and Honey Puffs (Loukoumathes).
If you’re in Australia and you love food, then Maggie Beer has to be on your top ten list of food mentors because she’s certainly one of mine. She gave several demonstrations today and all eyes were glued on her every move and nobody missed a word she said, even though she had a lot of noise to talk over.
Maggie Beer is a cook, passionate promoter of Barossa Valley produce and has her own line of food products. What I like best is that she’s real. She cooks like we do – only better. She’s not afraid to fail but I suspect she rarely does.
I met so many new people, it’s not possible to share them all with you – like this guy from the Smelly Cheese Club who invited us to taste every cheese on that table. I know I want one of the fancy smokers from Bradley Smokers. My son keeps saying, “Mom, you don’t have a smoker??” I want to visit the wine country on the Granite Belt. I want some lemon myrtle infused olive oil from Fat Hen Farm. I want to offer a cheesemaking class at home by Mad Millie.
I must shut up now or you’ll be bored. I think I want too many things. Do you go hog wild when you go to a food mecca like the Good Food and Wine Show?