It’s so close I can almost taste it – this weekend my favourite annual foodie event opens at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The Good Food & Wine Show runs from 21 to 24 May 2015 and brings to us a feast of flavours and edible experiences.
In the decade or more that The Good Food & Wine Show has been dazzling us with the collective consciousness of culinary minds, the show has had different meaning for me. In my mid 20s I was somewhat dragged around the expo by well-meaning parents. A little later in life I found out that the GF&WS is rather a festive meeting place to sample a fair amount of wine with friends. As a chef student in my early 30s I worked behind the scenes and discovered the hard working wheel that keeps an event of this magnitude turning. Finally, as a professional in the food industry, the GF&WS is my opportunity to see the fruits of other people’s food dreams come to life.
For me, the joy of visiting the Good Food & Wine Show is to talk to the manufacturers, see new and innovative products on offer, and to be immersed in a world focussed on the positivity of creation and healthy consumption. This is one of those weekends that takes you away from your reality, reignites your passion and tells you that everything is going to be ok. For a short while we are all united in a food dream bubble.
At the same time as playing the role of chef, I also play mom to my young son. Last year I won tickets to the Good Food & Wine Show through the lovely Hila Jonker of the food blog Add To Taste. Even as I drove my dad and my son to the event, I wondered if I was doing the right thing taking my then 5 year old to a building filled with adult entertainment. I am one of those people who spend hours at the Good Food & Wine Show, easily a full day. I knew my dad was sure to have the same modus operandi as I would have, wanting to casually meander through the crowds seeking out gems of interest. Would this be possible with a potentially bored and whinging little person in tow?
I needn’t have feared. We started our time at the show in the chef’s theatre, and even my son was mesmerised with Gennaro Contaldo’s upbeat and fun performance. Then Gennaro chose my son to win a Robertson’s Spice sponsored prize, the first thing he had ever won, which made our day! I’ll never forget the moment my son looked into the bag and, seeing the wooden spice rack with spices, said without hesitation “This is for you, Mom!” My foodie friend, Jackie Buss of Inspired Foods, and I also got golden tickets to meet with Gennaro after the cooking demo, so we had a few quiet moments of book signing while my dad walked around with my son. The calmness of the private golden ticket moment did not last long. As soon as I was reunited with my son, my dad drifted off into the crowds and I was left to experience the GF&WS through the eyes of a 5 year old.
It didn’t take my son long to have us both seated in front of Katy Ashworth, busying ourselves with a bit of baking and cookie decorating. I’ll post a couple of pics of this adventure on my facebook page! From tasting oysters together, to drooling over the food trucks while eating Las Paletas ice-creams, this visit to the GF&WS with the most important person in my life proved to be my best experience yet.
Even though this year I may not be able to take my son to the show, because I am attending the Food For Thought Conference before I go to the Good Food & Wine Show, I was interested to see what was on offer for the younglings in 2015. In this year’s show there will be a ‘Clover Kidz’ area where Stretch-n-Grow will be offering a fun health and fitness program for young kids to enjoy. This will include organised dancing and bootcamp type exercise classes for kids from 3 to 6 and 6 to 10 year olds. The perfect way to move off that excess excited energy!
While I, with my increased interest in how food and health is connected, love it that at this year’s Good Food & Wine Show there is an effort to encourage healthy activity from a young age – my son might just think that baking biscuits with CBeebies’ Katy Ashworth was a highlight he’s glad he didn’t miss out on.
Disclaimer: I blog when I feel like writing. Often I attend events – which I love doing to meet fantastic foodies, talk about food, learn about new food trends and products, and be exposed to the brands I love and admire. My blog is about me and the things that turn me on in the food world. I will always comment on an event on my facebook and twitter pages at the time, and eventually I will possibly mention an event I’ve attended in a blog post. If I am ever paid to attend an event and write about it, it becomes work. Once it becomes work you can guarantee you will get my account on the event in a timeous manner (always personal and honest, I do not copy and paste press releases). My blog is my happy place, I only share what pleases me.