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SYDNEY…

Fine Food Australia took place in Sydney at the ICC between 11 – 14 September, and will return to Melbourne in 2018

Words by Daria Kill-Smith

A fine day in Sydney found this correspondent at Darling Harbour International Convention Centre for the equally Fine Food Australia Expo, with exhibitors from around the world.

Stands represented:

Turkey (dried fruits – of course); the USA (yes, they had S’mores); Belgium (the best beers); Fiji (smoked fish); Austria (the Trade Commission AND horseradish?); Germany (beer, sauerkraut and gherkins – we’re in heaven now), Thailand (coconut and rice based products, naturally); an untold amount of provinces in China (with EVERYTHING); Pakistan (collared the market on dates!); Korea (instant coffees and teas); Vanuatu (pure water); Taiwan (candies and snacks – insert WASABI PEAS); Samoa (tropical fruit jams and spreads); Canada (that liquid gold – maple syrup); India (pickles, pastes and chutneys); Spain (the preserve of preserves); Cyprus (haloumi, sooo much haloumi); Niue Island (vanilla bean); Italy (the best goddam sexy hot wine, coffee, pasta, gelato stands – as only the Italians can). And that’s without getting to PNG (coffee), Solomon Islands (ngali nut), Mexico (more coffee), Greece (currants and olive oil), Peru (faro), and from INNER MONGOLIA…sunflower and pumpkin seeds!

Coconut chips

What about Australia? Well, Australia had … EVERYTHING! The range of products included Seaweed cleverly turned into fettucini…Phettucine, paired with herbs and spices and used like dukkah…Pukkah, and SeaC’s (seaweed chips).

Milks: camel, almond, walnut, pistachio, soy, dried, and full-cream full-fat. Phew.

Rice: black, red, gluten-free pasta rice; as well as spirits, wines, juices, and smoothies. Coffees: organic cold brew, turmeric infused, or with coconut.

Teas: chai, black, green, white, chai, oolong, rooibos, fruit, chai, exotic, herbal & organic. Did I mention chai?

And the enduring favourite – COCONUT – all kinds of coconut: oils with vanilla, chilli or garlic; chipped, grated, powdered and floured; water and cream; even coconut vinegar!

Coconut vinegar

Oh … SO. MANY. STALLS.

But wait, there’s more: exhibitors catered for supermarkets, hotels, bars, restaurants, cafes and airlines. Equipment stands showed off juice presses, waffle irons, coffee machines (dozens of coffee machines), packaging and containers, industry specific clothing and shoes, crockery and cutlery, point of sale equipment – everything but the jumbo was there. And who knew sushi came out of a machine?? There were not for profit organisations, logistics organisations, marketing and sales organisations, importers, exporters and distributors.

So the season’s next big thing? Matcha tea, beetroot chai, limoncello gelato. And coffee is going nowhere. Don’t know how the pizza cheese flavoured fish snacks, activated charcoal wafers, or green tea almond spread will go; but I hear the glow in the dark vodka energy drink is already a hit! Yes, you can get it all. But no, I didn’t get to sample it.

947 exhibitors. No wonder this was a 4 day expo.

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Images Courtesy of Diversified Communications Australia & Daria Kill-Smith

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag

READ ON FOR THE WRAP UP OF FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA 2017 and additional pics…

SYDNEY’S FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORDS

Sydney has welcomed Fine Food Australia back with open arms, reporting the largest number of exhibitors ever, and initial attendance figures also indicating the show was the best attended in the city for 8 years.

Showcasing a host of new concepts, Fine Food Australia took place at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour and, for the first time, co-located with new show Commercial Drinks. Dedicated to the country’s $16bn on-premise liquor industry, the launch of Commercial Drinks was the perfect complement to Fine Food Australia, which services the nation’s $170bn foodservice and food retail industries, and foot traffic across both shows over the four days of the events was evidence of their success.

Also new on site was a Healthy Living Zone, highlighting the ongoing rise of the organic, natural, free from and healthy trends that continue to sweep the nation and that transcend product category; a Fit Out and Design Zone, dedicated to the important role that design plays across the industry; and a Start Up Zone which gave emerging businesses the chance to showcase their products and services to the visitors of the country’s biggest foodservice event.

Another opportunity for emerging businesses to showcase their ideas took place at the highly anticipated inaugural Lions’ Den. In front of a standing-room only crowd, 6 new businesses pitched their concepts to a panel of seasoned industry professionals. The winner – The Australian Superfood Co. – walked away with entry into the incredibly valuable FSAA Understanding Foodservice Program.  Another new competition to hit the floor was Worldskills, which showcased a range of Chefs’ skills under pressure including cookery and butchery, and kept participants and spectators alike glued to the action.

Regular and much loved show features also returned in 2017 including a compelling line-up of free education and inspiration sessions that spanned three stages on the Fine Food floor, and a fourth dedicated Commercial Drinks stage, covering every imaginable aspect of the industry. The nation’s best were also highlighted and named during the likes of the Official Great Aussie Pie Comp, the Tea Brewers Cup, and the Australian arm of the World Pizza Championships. In addition, the ACF Culinary Challenge, Bake Skills Australia, Nestlé Golden Chefs Hat Award, and the Live Bakery also added some extra heat to the fantastic kitchen that is Fine Food Australia.

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Event Director Minnie Constan said of Fine Food Australia, “The 2017 show was an incredible success, with a level of attendance and support from Sydney that we haven’t seen for years. We strive to set the benchmark for the industry when it comes to the opportunity to do business, learn, and be inspired, and the preliminary results from this year’s event proves that we have absolutely done just that.”

Fine Food Australia took place in Sydney at the ICC between 11 – 14 September, and will return to Melbourne in 2018.

Information Courtesy of Evil Twin PR – Jane Stabler