Wandering past the Good Food School, visitors were greeted by the mouthwatering smell of lamb cooking and the sizzle of vegetables hitting hot oil. The Discovery Zone hosted various sessions, the most tantalizing of which covered wine pairings with chocolates and cheeses, but the crowd favorite of the convention-sponsored exhibitions and master class areas was undoubtedly the Cheese Alley. The Good Food and Wine Show took place at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre this past weekend, and from Friday to Sunday, it was foodie heaven on earth. Everything from family owned, farm fresh produce to local and international wineries to international household brands of soup bases could be found here, and nearly (if not all) every single one of the vendors were there to boost their brand exposure – meaning that visitors were encouraged to try some of the tastiest samples in the country.
Johan Axlund of Elk was offering samples of traditional Swedish cider. “Saturday is the big day,” he said. “This [exhibition] is more of a marketing exercise than a moneymaking one.” It certainly works; this year marked Elk’s fourth appearance at the Good Food and Wine Show, and several local Melbourne establishments stock the crisp, refreshing Swedish cider. Mother and son duo Josh & Sue create handmade, gourmet preserved goods and sauces; Sue Campbell, the owner of the company, mentioned that she and her son tended to find lots of new retailers and individual customers at exhibitions like this one, and there are quite a few returning clients after three exhibitions at the Good Food and Wine Show.
The Good Food and Wine Show is an epicurean paradise. Nearly all of the vendors were started in or based in Australia, and many of them were local to Victoria. Frequent market-goers would recognize many new faces cropping up every year in the annual exhibition, giving them the opportunity to support local businesses that are guaranteed to be good. After all, it is the Good Food and Wine Show.