I’m not much for the hustle and bustle of busy events but the Auckland Food Show is one I look forward to. Having worked at the Food Show before, I loved the high energy between the exhibitors, sneaking exchanges of laughs and food during the rare lulls in the day. Now back as one of the mass, it’s nice to meander around to meet the faces and personalities behind the new brands.
This year was different for me, I had a plan of attack to hit up two classes.
I’m one rare teacher who doesn’t drink coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee but it peaks my heart rate with an emotionless energy spike. Knowing this, I still went to the Nespresso Discovery Session. We enjoyed three coffees paired with a coffee Bluebells Bakery cupcake. Based around the three moments in the day: morning, afternoon and evening; we made a long black, a macchiato, and a decaf.
During the session I learnt that:
- The crema on top acts as a lid that seals in the aroma of the coffee
- Their decaf is made using a Swiss Water decaffeination process where the caffeine is extracted without using chemicals
- The capsules are recyclable so keep them and send them back in the freepost courier bag!
Needless to say, I was pumped for the rest of the 4 hours at the Food Show.
Next up on my hit-list was a cooking class with Barilla. The warm and charismatic executive chef of Barilla, Andrea Tranchero demonstrated how to cook penne rigate pasta with porcini and mushrooms in a bolognese sauce. After that, we dived in and cooked our own pasta.
He shared some tips for cooking pasta:
- Never add oil to the water when cooking pasta. It floats to the top and is useless. It also coats the pasta so the sauce isn’t absorbed as fully.
- Don’t rinse pasta after cooking, it removes the layer of starch from the pasta.
Some show favourites are:
– Jenny’s Kitchen Tamarind Chutney: Soo addictive, I’ll be having this on my Huntly & Palmers oat crackers and on my pizzas. Show special: 2 jars for $20. (Retail price: $14 each)
– Fix & Fogg: because Honey Peanut Butter! Both retired lawyers, the husband and wife team makes the peanut butter from start to finish in Wellington and their newest product Honey Peanut Butter was a collaboration with J.Friend & Co. Grab 2 for $10 which is a great deal as it retails for $9 each. I already have baking ideas with both of these combos.
– Fresh As: I always stock up on their freeze dried fruits and powder for my baking. They also launched their new panacotta powder mix for 4 for $10. There are two flavours – Doris Plum and Raspberry and each packet makes 2-4 servings.
– House of Dumplings: Absolutely love their chilli oil and Mum’s sauce. I have two bottles at home already but highy recommend grabbing both for $25.
There are plenty of other freebies so make sure you visit these stalls:
- New World: If you have a card, you can spin the wheel and get anything from lunchbox containers and chocolates, to glassware sets and cookbooks.
- Countdown: Guess the number of beetroot and take home a packet of beetroot and sweet corn – both so good!
- Tip Top sandwich thins – delicious like pita pockets.
- Barilla Cooking class: I took home a goodie bag filled with a box of pasta, sauce and a tin box. You also get to keep the apron you used.
There’s still one more day of the Auckland Food Show so remember these special tips and head on out – it’s worth it.