This year's Good Food and Wine Show was even bigger than previous years, if that was possible. I have attended previous years, 2012, 2011 and 2009, missing out on 2010 when I was overseas on holidays. This year's show follows a similar format to previous years, with some additions to improve it. One addition that people have loved is Cheese Alley, and it's even bigger and better this year. The other new addition that I'm sure is going to be a big hit is the Fisher and Paykel YUM Kitchen, where people got hands on experience to cook some dishes. The kitchen looked amazing and the people taking the classes looked to be really enjoying themselves.
As usual, the show was full of so many things to see. The Celebrity Theatre was as usual really popular, with lots of people sitting in on various sessions to listen to their favourite food celebrities talk about different food topics, such as the Maggie Beer session I witnessed. Everyone absolutely loved her and she had the crowd in the palm of her hands with her charm. This year though, a new addition is Michelle Bridges, of The Biggest Loser fame, to discuss healthier aspects about food. I love Michelle as she is not only extremely fit, she also seems like a really determined person and I admire people like that. I guess with everything, you need a balance. So you can eat some of Maggie Beer's butter and verjuice roast chicken sometimes, but you should also eat some roast Winter vegetables on quinoa as that can be really tasty too when done right. As our nation is getting fatter and more and more people are becoming obsess with our sedentary lifestyle, we need to be more conscious about what we eat and drink as having a balanced diet is the key to staying healthy. There is no way you can exercise enough to negate the effects of eating 6 pieces of KFC with a tub of ice cream afterwards.
With the introduction of Michelle Bridges to the line up, the Good Food and Wine Show are acknowledging that the health aspect is very important too and they are now catering for that. There were a number of stalls that were focused on healthy food options, amongst them FIJI Water. As we all know water is essential to our survival and well being. I'm hardcore about drinking lots of water everyday and even though I know there's no definitive scientific evidence to say we need 2 litres of water a day, I use it as a guide to keep myself hydrated as I feel much better when I do drink more water. Whenever I drink less than about a litre of water a day, I feel really awful. Whether it's physiological or psychological, I don't know, but I do know I can prevent that terrible feeling by just drinking lots of water. I drink a mix of tap water and bottled water, depending on what's available and what I want at the time. I like the taste of bottled water actually and it feels really refreshing. I drink FIJI water sometimes and the water itself tastes good and I really like the unique design of the bottle. As the name suggests, the water is from FIJI, in a place called the Yaqara Vaelly of Viti Levu. An underground acquifier houses the water that's used for the FIJI bottle water.
As part of the FIJI blogging team, I sniffed my way around all the stalls and below is a few of my favourite photos from the show. There was a mixture of healthy food, and some a bit less healthy. But you know, life is about balance, and you can have some unhealthy things in moderation. I also got to visit the VIP lounge, which was really pretty and I enjoyed a glass of wine in there and some canapes.
If you're going to the show this year, here are some tips for you.
1. Get in line early for the free Celebrity Theatre sessions.
2. The Nespresso class is free and worth doing.
3. The Barilla pasta class says it was $15 but today I just walked in. Do it anyway if it does cost $15.
4. Cheese alley is a must.
5. Get the $3 wine glass to taste all the wines. Don't get smashed, as it's a really bad look.
6. Violet chocolate from ChocoMe, get onto it. Violet is so underrated.
7. Salami Shack, hello cured meats.
8. Passionfruit curd from Unforgettable Products, mmmmm.
9. Samples, samples, samples.
Overall, as usual there was so much to see at the show. There's something there for everyone. There were many interesting things and I really loved Cheese Alley as I'm developing a taste for all sorts of cheeses now. My highlight of Friday's session was seeing Maggie at the Celebrity Theatre. I was waving at her like mad, but so were 500 other people so she didn't see me unfortunately. My secret wish that she would spot me in the audience didn't come true, but her class was still excellent. Normally, if I wasn't going away on holidays, I'd come back on the Sunday afternoon session. A good tip for you, come on the last day to pick up some awesome bargains as the stalls try to sell off everything. I picked up these amazing caneles one year for 50 cents each when they're normally $3.50. I love delicious food, and it's even better when it's a bargain. Till next year's show, eat up.
This is a sponsored post from FIJI Water and I attended courtesy of FIJI Water.