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Masterchef Live 2011

November 7, 2011

Believe it or not, this year was the first time I actually watched Masterchef the whole way through for reals! (Usually I just watch the finale so I don’t get left out of conversations at work the next day). Bad food blogger! I don’t watch much commercial tv these days, but I knew I had to change my ways once I heard that the amazing A Table for Two was a contestant!

I got hooked in no time… and before long I was angsting over elimination challenges, lego-heads, ill-timed fireballs and blatant shows of contestant favouritism to my heart’s content.

So I was kind of surprised to hear about Masterchef Live. A live show? But it’s over!! Hah apparently I missed out on the memo last year, but Masterchef live isn’t a live show of Masterchef… nope… it’s a great marketing idea! A 3-day convention for “foodies” and Masterchef aficionados, a chance to get up close to our beloved contestants, rub shoulders with famous chefs and bask in the reflected glow of a televisual phenomenon.

Masterchef Live
Look! It’s Adam Liaw! At the Spiral Organic food stage… where small children cooked for our entertainment

For a $30 ticket, it promised the “ultimate foodie event” – with free workshops, cooking classes and panels. Lucky for me, my friend had 2 complimentary passes from her work – so at the last minute we arranged to meet on Sunday outside the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries.

Masterchef Live
Delicious looking CHOCOLATE RATION from the Armed Forces stand

The place was MASSIVE. And so incredibly packed with families and kids. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was a kid – the height of gourmet for me was choosing TWO sauces to go with my chicken mcnuggets (sweet & sour and bbq) – so it was actually quite heartwarming to see kids take such an interest in good food. (No doubt influenced in small part by the popularity of the Junior Masterchef franchise!)

Speaking of Junior Masterchefs, the winner of the last series (according to wiki… “12-year-old Isabella Bliss”) was there too… and my gosh she is TALL! It’s one thing for those kids to cook so much better than me, but for them to tower over me as well… that is just double depressing. They seem so small and cute on tv…

Masterchef Live
Curry powders at the Curry Traders stall. I bought a few prepackaged curry mixes to try out…!

I have to say that for all they advertised the chef demonstrations and panels, we didn’t have much luck attending any. After craning our necks trying to catch Peter Gilmore’s talk at a tiny stage – and finding ourselves not being able to see or hear a thing, we decided that much more fun was to be had just walking around and looking at all the interesting food stalls (read: eating all their samples). THERE WERE A LOT! I was super impressed that the majority of stalls seemed to be small independent and owner-operated outfits, as opposed to large corporation-owned stands. Of course there were a few, Ayam, Tefal and Pataks were a few that I remember, but they were the exception not the rule… which was refreshing. And it was fun to talk people who were so passionate about their products and livelihoods.

Masterchef Live
Cube food

We tasted a whole range of interesting stuff, including but not limited to: blueberries, cherry tomatoes, chicken curry, Maggie Beer’s Sparkling Ruby drink, Birch & Waite gourmet mayonnaises, Agape ancient breads, choc chip cookies, pickles, a wide assortment of breads, jams, crackers, chocolates, pates, olive oils and vinegars and pastizzis. Who needs lunch!

If there’s any criticism I could make with the selection of exhibitors, is that there were SO many different bakers and cake stalls – and not much savoury stuff at all.

Patisse Pear Tarts
Beautiful pear tarts from Patisse! As featured in one of the Masterchef masterclasses! (see..! I was paying attention!)

Speaking of sweet stuff, check out this amazing poodle sugar sculpture from Sweet Art!

Masterchef Live

Amazing.

The highlight of the day would have to be the Brasserie Bread baking workshop – which I’ll cover in a future post (too much to talk about here) – so I’ll end with the second best thing of the day… MEETING PAT FROM PAT & STICKS!!

Pat & Sticks

Like I said in my post about Stitch bar, I loooove Pat & Sticks icecream sandwiches. So it was supremely exciting for me to realise the nice man I was talking to at the Pat & Sticks stand was none other than Pat himself!! (I twigged when I realised he had a strange similarity to one of the men in the logo). I was so startled I actually dropped my icecream (still in its packet, and unharmed thankfully) – which caused Pat to ask concernedly if I wanted another. SO HE MAKES GREAT ICECREAMS AND IS TOTALLY NICE TOO!

We chatted a little about how much I loved their icecreams, and how one of my friends bought a whole tube of them for me to eat as a gift for my 21st birthday. He said he loved hearing about people buying their icecreams as gifts!

Pat & Sticks
I bought a caramel pecan, and a chocolate lace

So all in all a great and food filled day! But workshop aside (which I would have been happy to pay $30 for alone) – I’m glad we had free tickets. There is such an emphasis on stalls – and the capacity of the workshops and the talks were just so small that there’s no way you’d be able to attend a good number of them without spending half of your day waiting in queues. In the end we decided our time was spent best looking at all the stalls… which was great fun, but kind of like paying $30 for the privilege to shop.

Patisse Pear Tart
The Patisse tart I got was delicious!

Masterchef Live was held from the 7th-10th October 2011
Hordern Pavilion & Royal Hall of Industries
Tickets were $30.

If you liked this post you might enjoy my other post about Masterchef Live:
Masterchef Live 2011 – Brasserie Bread Artisan Baking Workshop

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2012 9:04 am

    This looks like foodie heaven to me 🙂

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  1. Masterchef Live 2011 – Brasserie Bread Artisan Baking Workshop « crunchytiger

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