Monday, March 21, 2011

Fine Food Western Australia – Eat Drink Perth 2011

Fine Food is Western Australia’s largest food and hospitality exhibition held at the Perth Convention Centre. There are over 150 exhibitors showcasing products and services for the retail, food service and hospitality industries this year from 20-22 March.

When I first heard about this event I was quite interested in attending to check out kitchen gadgetry and the goods and services on offer for restaurants. However, you can only register if you work in the retail, foodservice or hospitality industry.

Fortunately, these days food blogging counts as industry.
Matt@abstractgourmet had been informed by Fine Food WA that they would register food bloggers, so I provided Matt with my details and upon entry I was presented with my own special pass.

The set up of Fine Food WA is quite similar to the Good Food and Wine show which is held every year in July at the Perth Convention Centre. The floor is decked out with many stalls grouped into different categories.

There are lots of industrial kitchen equipment on display
Huge dough mixers
Industrial ovens with demonstrations
Machines to help ease the workload of chefs by doing all the mundane tasks like chopping vegetables finely
The chopped vegetables were then put into little cups and cones for people to consume
You could find everything that you would ever need if you opened up your own restaurant/cafe
Cupcake patty pans in all sizes and colours 
POS systems

I think that this kind of event is targeted for people who run little cafes, lunchbars or have a place in a food court as there are a lot of pre-made, pre-packaged frozen products on offer.
Asian fingerfood
Pre-made pastry shells
Dips and condiments
Coffee beans
Popcorn and frozen drink machines
Pagers - often used in food courts to page you when the food that you have ordered is ready. It always feels like a ticking time bomb on your table as you never know when it will start beeping and it always takes you by surprise. I have never seen a pizza shaped one before.

What was also great to see were quite a few stalls promoting organic, free range produce and environmentally friendly packaging and waste management.
Machines that compact your waste disposal
Free Range Pork

At one end there was a huge space set up for the Oceanafest International Chef’s Competiton with teams from South Korean, Thailand, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia compete alongside each other in a series of structured cooking activities. You can watch all the action for free or purchase seats in the restaurant to try the results (for $50).
There were food displays of the dishes the competing chefs would be serving up. I thought that they were fake plastic foods but was told that it was all real and had been painted with a glaze for show.
Along one wall there appeared to be a wedding cake competition with some beautiful cakes on display with some really intricate details and trimmings.

And of course a food exhibition would not be complete without some free food tastings!

The first thing that I had was some hot chips
BBQ duck, smoked duck and duck sausage
Got Balls? - Garlic chicken ones...
Minced chicken meat, extruded into balls, injected with garlic butter and coated in batter and crumbs. I'm not a fan of processed fried foods, interesting idea though and there was a big hit of garlic flavour when you bite into the ball.

Not quite a cake and not a cookie they are a soft dense cakey-cookie with a fluffy creamy filling.
I was told that Whoopies are huge in the US and are trying to crack into the Australian market. I personally found them too dry and sweet for my liking but I think that people who are into sweet treats like donuts might like a Whoopie. 

I got to sample three different types of beed - grain fed, grass fed and wagyu 
Ice cream…so much icecream
Frozen yoghurt in a mini cone
Freshly squeezed orange juice from Juice Box

Overall, I enjoyed my time at Fine Food WA, wondering around and checking out all the products on display, it was interesting to see what was available to the food industry and it was also an educational experience. And who can pass over an opportunity for some free food tastings?

The event is free if you register online. Tickets at the door cost $20. Although admission is restricted to professional people working in the food or hospitality industry, I overhead some uni students talking to one of the exhibitors and they were there because they worked part-time in a café so it appears that they are happy to accept anyone who is linked to the food industry in some way…even food bloggers!

Fine Food WA continues today and tomorrow.


  1. So when are we going to open our restaurant together so we can use those pizza buzzy things???

  2. I think that we should each get a pizza buzzy thing for communication with each other. Whenever you are out somewhere you can buzz me and I will join you for surprise, impromptu food feasts.