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May 27, 2013

My Good Food & Wine Show experience in Instagram

Gordon Ramsay puts his tarte tatin together in the Checkers Celebrity Chef Theatre at the 2013 Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town. All photos by Allison Foat

I confess this was my first visit to the Good Food & Wine Show in a long time.

With more than 200 stands in the vast  Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) venue over four days from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 May, 2013, I was amazed at the event’s growth over the last few years. The stalls, some far more fabulous than others in both product and appearance, offered everything from food and wine to everything in between that relates to the home.

My highlight was definitely watching celebrity chefs in action at the Checkers Celebrity Chef Theatre, with the charismatic UK gourmet star Gordon Ramsay creating a sautéed squid and crayfish salad and tarte tatin; the charming master patissier Eric Lanlard whipping up salted butter caramel biscuits, and the delightful Bliss twins, 15-year-old Sofia and Isabella, winners of Junior Masterchef Australia in 2010, whose chocolate chestnut ravioli looked totally irresistible.

A marvellous creation by master patissier Eric Lanlard (@eric_lanlard) of Brittany, also famously known as Cake Boy

I'd have loved to have seen one of our own junior food heroes strut his stuff at the Theatre as well, like 10-year-old Josh Thirion, whose book Cook With Josh won a prestigious Gourmand Award this year.

Junior MasterChef's Isabella and Sofia Bliss chat about their chocolate chili ravioli onstage at the Checkers Celebrity Chef Theatre

In between these theatrical culinary presentations, I browsed around the vast venue, where well-known foodies and bloggers were sharing their expertise, among them Nina Timm making marvellous soups with fabulous Philips gadgets, and Sam Linsell showing aspiring chefs how to make a Moroccan serpent apple pie at the Woolworths Real Food Theatre. The key comment throughout from these big names was "use the best, freshest ingredients at all times for the best results" – a mantra by which to abide if you are aiming for optimum results in your kitchen.

Pick n Pay promoted growing your own food – urban farming

I'm a "green" girl, so anything with an eco-conscious and urban agriculture focus is key for me,  like exhibits created by Pick n Pay and Food and Trees for Africa, and the Woolworths venue that looked at the latest trends on responsible growing, eating and blogging.

Karen Slater of Curds & Whey from Stellenbosch makes delicious 100% homemade organic yoghurt, that is stabiliser- and preservative-free

I’m always seeking out organic foods (this is the GOOD food show after all), so it was great to meet Karen Slater from Curds & Whey and taste her amazing homemade yoghurt (stocked by Melissa's), free of stabilisers and preservatives.

Lady Bonin's Tea Parlour stall was beautifully put together – she outdid herself and I noticed that not many stands went to this much trouble

I had an outstanding seared tuna kebab with dill mayonnaise at the Halaal Tunisian Delights stall; sampled some slightly bitter chocolate chili spiced tea at Lady Bonin's beautifully styled mini-parlour, and enjoyed a very well brewed cup of organic fair trade coffee from Satemwa, a Malawian blend.

Jenny Morris, the Giggling Gourmet, made delicious desserts at the Pillsbury/ Haagen-Dazs Decadent Desserts Theatre stand

On the confectionary front, I loved Sweet Temptations' soft caramel gourmet toffee and Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris' red velvet cake at the Pillsbury and Haagen-Dazs Decadent Desserts Theatre.

On the wine front, there was an impressive choice of bubbly and blends, from new estates like Baleia Bay, just four months young, to the more established brands like Morgenster Wine Cellar and Solms-Delta.

On the whole I enjoyed the 2013 Good Food & Wine Show. It's a chance to "explore your inner foodie'' and see some of the world's finest chefs in action, and it gives South Africans the chance to promote necessary everyday products and showcase some of the finer fare life has to offer, created locally and proudly by talented artisans. You could say it's a case of so much food, so little time.

The annual Good Food & Wine Show was presented by Fiera Milano Exhibitions at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. For more information please visit www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za or www.fieramilano.co.za, or follow @goodfoodsa on Twitter.

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