The Auckland Food Show started today, and it’s a really good excuse to put on those comfy shoes, stretchy pants and do a bit of grazing. If you’re planning on checking it out over the next couple days, I’ve got a few helpful tips and some of the best bits of the show below.
Food Show Info:
Runs: Thurs 30th July – Sun 2nd August
Times: Thurs – Sat (10 – 6) and Sun (10-5)
Where: ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane
Dolla Dolla Bills: Earlybird can be purchased until midnight Thursday night for $26, otherwise $28.
Buy tickets here.
Food Show Hacks:
– If you know what’s best for you, go early in the day or later in the evening. The crowds can get manic and seem to balloon near lunchtimes.
– If you want to save a bit of money, you can buy a half day Friday pass (valid from 2pm – 6pm) for $19.00. Online only.
– Save yourself $10 and park outside the showgrounds. If you’re early or late, you should be able to grab a space on the road behind the grounds or near Cornwall park and it’s not a huge walk. I visited on the preview day which isn’t very busy and the carpark was full the entire time.
– Time your visit to match up with the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre sessions you want to attend. I went to Satchie Nomura’s demonstration, but also recommend trying to see Kyle Street (on Friday @ 1:30pm) and Ben Bayly (on Saturday @ 11:30am).
– Bring a bag that’s big enough to store your goodies and comfy enough to carry. If you’re hardcore, bring a wheelie trolly but that’s a whole other category of foodie for me. You can buy bags there but I’m sure you already have one lying around. It seems to make more sense to spend your money on food, rather on bags and parking.
Fresh As are serving up the best samples of the Food Show with generous mini cheesecakes topped with freeze dried raspberries and mandarin. They also have heaps of recipe ideas and Food Show specials, like $10 for 3 packets of freeze dried herbs or $20 for 3 packets of freeze dried fruit. I have used the raspberry powder before and can vouch for how yummy it is. And no additional ingredients: just raspberries.
Mahurangi Oysters. 4 shucked for $10 or grab two dozen plus a shucking knife for $30. Just don’t try and grab one for free like the lady in front of me did. These ain’t samples.
I spent a lot of time hanging out at The Glenbrook Cheese Company and speaking to Lyn who is their Artisan Cheesemaker. She’s lovely and really knowledgable about her cheeses. And I like cheese. So it was a really good place to rest my weary feet, and eat all the cheese. I think I sampled them all, and walked away with a Glenbrook Gold and a Camembert for $10. They haven’t put the stabilisers in the brie and camembert they’re selling at The Food Show, like they need to do for the products they ship to supermarkets, so you’re going to get a nice yummy gooey round if that’s what you prefer.
Bach Brewing is a super cool local craft beer company that started up a couple years ago. I tried the beer flight (tough job), and there’s something for everyone. Really tasty, and come on – the nicest looking beer on the shelf by a mile.
Harney & Sons make some of the loveliest teas and they have really great Food Show specials going on as well. I bought a tin of Lapsang Souchong loose tea for $10 which is a really good deal. I love tea sooooo much.
Cloudy Bay Clams are so delicious, shucked fresh with some lemon or cooked up in a Spaghetti Vongole. They were pretty generous, letting me sample a couple as well.
If you’re not familiar with Kombucha, definitely visit The Good Buzz Brewing Company. It’s a fermented drink that is super healthy and full of enzymes, vitamins and probiotics and also tastes pretty nice. They have a few flavours on offer and can answer all your “booch” related questions.
Black Stag Deli has yummy German sausage samples or buy an entire dog to enjoy. They were really tasty and if you’ve read previous blogs, you know I’m a bit of a hotdog enthusiast. More info can be found here.
The Whirlpool Cooking Theatre is where the cooking party is at. Check out the Food Show website for a list of all the demo times, and make sure you get there early. They pack out fast. I watched Satchie Nomura (from Satchie’s Kitchen) cook a Tom Yum Goong and a Deep Fried Snapper with Sticky Tamarind Sauce and they both looked so tasty.
Just before leaving I grabbed a black vinegar braised pork bao from Judge Bao which is part of The Street Collective stand. Ermagerd. I think $8 bought me the nicest bao I’ve ever tried, and that’s a pretty big call. I will definintely be checking these guys out again when they’re next in Ponsonby.