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Reviewer  Daniel Janks: actor, creative director, writer, cynic, father, husband. He was born in 1977 and has still not died. He loves many things, chief among which are his mythic wife and odd girl-child.  Visit his website

An afternoon’s worth of free fudge, but not much else

The Good Food & Wine Show at the Coca-Cola Dome is chock-a-block full of stalls selling everything from avocado oil to zoo biscuits. If you’re looking for some speciality ingredients for baking or cooking, wanting to stock up on larny utensils or kitchen appliances, or fancy seeing a cooking demo by some great international chefs, then head to the Dome.

For the beginner cooking enthusiast there’s a lot to see and a lot to buy, but don’t expect to gorge yourself on endless free tidbits or try any gear. It seemed to me, a dedicated foodie, that the show’s emphasis is firmly on allowing exhibitors to try and sell as much stuff as possible, rather than trying to give the customer the best experience possible.

There’s the usual supply of homemade fudge and marinated olives. But with the growing foodie focus in most of SA’s supermarkets and the emergence of gourmet markets in most big cities, there’s little a show like this has to offer real food lovers and serious cooks. 

Having said that, I did manage to catch Adam Liaw’s hour-long cooking demonstration, and it was great. Adam is the winner of the second season of the Australian MasterChef series and he’s a great mix of humble, whip-smart and a great cook. He showed the audience how to cook some quick, easy Asian stuff and shared some of his philosophies and cooking knowledge. The food looked, and smelled, amazing and I learned a good few things I didn’t know before. Who knew it was so easy to make teriyaki sauce?

A definite plus to this year’s show is that any old body can watch the cooking demos for free. Your general admission ticket will get you into the Samsung Chefs in Action Theatre on a first-come-first-seated basis. You may have to do some queuing, but it’s well worth it.

So, my conclusion? There’s lots to see and buy. Some of it interesting; most of it not. If you’re a foodie you probably know where to get most of the stuff already and a trip to a Neighbourgoods Market and an outing to the Culinary Equipment Company may be more up your alley (and easier on your wallet). But if you like exhibitions in general and you’re looking for an afternoon surrounded by food, wine and LOTS of people, check it out.

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