Sunday, November 11, 2012

The 2012 Good Food and Wine Show with George Calombaris in the Celebrity Theatre

GFAWS 2012 Brisbane

I hear about the Good Food and Wine Show every year but I'd never been before. This year, I figured I'd ammend that and purchase some tickets to see what the deal was. I went with my mum and dad on Sunday, which was the last day the show was on in Brisbane.

The GFAWS was held in the Convention Centre in South Bank, taking up exhibition halls 2 and 3. We got there at about 9:30am and queued up before we were let in at 10. There were quite a lot of people already waiting in line.

I didn't have any set expectations about what the show would be like. When we got in, I was reminded of a dental convention that was held in the same building. I suppose when it comes to exhibiting things, there aren't that many ways to do it. There were rows and rows of stalls with folks ready to provide samples and explain their wares.

Even though we got there early, plenty of people were starting to mill around the stalls, toothpicks in hand, trying different products. The stalls were roughly arranged with similar merchandise close together. I noticed plenty of cheese, preserves, wine, organic foods and meat stalls.

I had arranged seats for us to watch George Calombaris in the Celebrity Theatre. His show started at 10:30am so we didn't have long to look around beforehand.

George's show ran through several 'chapters' of significant moments in his life, tying them back as inspirational sources for dishes. He showed us his olive oil and chocolate mousse, sesame bars with cured tuna, twice cooked pig nipples with apple puree and finally, a crazy dessert garden complete with passionfruit snails and chocolate doggy doodoo piles.

I found the show to be personable and educational. George is a natural at speaking on stage - engaging, genuine and funny. It was worth it just to hear George say "Braise the nipples down until they're soft and gelatinous". Plus, it was a delight seeing one of the stars from my all time favorite TV show Masterchef.

After the Celebrity Theatre, we all headed back into the exhibition to try more food. The place was fairly packed by then and it became more competitive to procure samples. Since it was lunch time, we revisited one of the stalls we tried earlier to grab something more substantial.

Spicy German sausage hotdog with sauerkraut

We each had a German sausage hotdog with sauerkraut. Mine was the spicy one... delicious! Dad also picked up a bag of olives and some salami before we went home.

All up we spent a fun couple of hours immersed in food and wine, viewing and tasting. I enjoyed the Celebrity Theatre because I've never been to a live cooking demo before. It was a cool experience and something different to what I normally do on the weekend. I noticed plenty of kids around so I think this would be a nice family event.


  1. I go to this every year and have found if you want to have an afternoon with a group of friends and some nice wines and nibblies, Saturday is a good day for it. If you want to have a proper good look at all the smallholder offerings and do some non-competitive tastings and take advantage of show specials on purchases, go Friday or go really early on the weekends. Last year we did the Saturday afternoon and by the end of the day there are some pretty crazy scenes with really tipsy (drunk!) people being obnoxious and annoying, people making out and just general craziness. Bizarre what some people consider acceptable behaviour in public. Overall though, I love this event and totally recommend the Lifestyle Chef's table event for next time!

  2. Hi Anonymous...

    Thanks for your insight! That's funny what you saw on the Saturday. I went Sunday morning and didn't see anything like that but I suppose it was still early lol.

    I was interested in trying the Chef's table but the one I wanted was booked out. Gotta try earlier next year, it seems.

  3. i went on saturday late afternoon, and it was really fun. like anonymous said, towards the end there were definitely some interesting characters about, including couples having domestics and abusing staff. nonetheless it's always a fun event :)