Tag Archives: The Food Show

been | The Food Show

Walking through the showgrounds in Greenlane, your nostrils are hit with a combination of meat, cheese and spicy fragrances; and you can hear the sizzling of oil in pans – The Food Show has come to town.  Forget about the 6 am gym class and bring out the elastic joggers; you’re eating this weekend!

Not having luxury of time, our strategy was clear, visit as many stalls in 2 hours – not clever, as we could’ve easily spent a whole day there.  One tip, before you start open, the booklet and map out your route!

The floor was filled with sample trays. Along with our best loved brands, there were new brands showcasing their products to our fellow foodies.  There was a sample for everything, from cheese and crackers to naturally produced fizz, veggie crisps, turmeric based drinks, delightful kombucha mixes and the freshest baba ghanoush.


Aside from sampling relishes, condiments and award-winning spirits, there were several food prep and utensil exhibitors, including the most delightful hand-manual chopper.  We’ve never had the urge to make salsa by hand before!


Some of our favourites included chocolate flavoured gin, Black garlic Aioli, Carrot, orange and turmeric juice and Jersey Cow milk.


There were cooking demonstrations, shows and cooking classes.


To ensure you make the most of your food show experience, book-in-advance  to the Berlina cooking class, where a famous italian chef will teach you how to cook pasta the italian way, giving his cooking tips, all in under 15 minutes.


To make the best of your day, maybe get a lift or taxi in – there are plenty of alcoholic  drinks to sample, and you will surely be over the driving limit.


Top tips to make the best of your day:

  1. Get in early
  2. Take a large empty bag
  3. Take some cash although most places have eftpos machines
  4. Open the booklet and map out your route!

Check out our photographs and recommendations for the day.  All photos were taken on a #HuaweiP10NZ.

been | The Food Show

The Food Show returned to the ASB Showgrounds from 31st July to 3rd August. This event is described as an all day long tasting affair where foodies spread their wings and what’s better than learning from some of NZ’s best chefs while getting fabulous deals on yummy things.

To us, it was a journey of taste in an arena where we felt most at home – among our foodie compatriots. A lady from Bennets of Mangawhai smiled at us kindly and offered a free sample of their beautifully handcrafted chocolate. Another, from 100% Nutz tempted show-goers to try a delectable range of peanut butter from sea salt, natural, chocolate to LSA flavours. J Friend Honey and Co. charmed everyone with a generous sample of their panforte, which was just as delicious as it sounded fancy. We found ourselves wandering from one stall to another, smiling back at fellow gourmands, cheeks hurting but taste buds excitedly satisfied.

Amongst the sampling, the event promises enough spectacle to keep you entertained. Pizza dough tossing from the European food stand; expert oyster shucking demonstrations from Mahurangi Oysters; school girls rushing past you to accost Simon Gault for his autograph.

Multi-talented Brett and multi-talented Mushrooms

And then there are The Food Show deals: we ran into friends who couldn’t contain themselves letting the secret out on $5/kg Littleneck Clams from the Southern Clams stall. The Consulate of the Republic of Korea stall was selling their Kewpie Mayo for $3 a bottle, while Te Mata Figs would give you a fig stick with any purchase so you can grow your own fig tree. We didn’t trust our green fingers enough to take on this deal, but those figs were mouth-wateringly delicious

Nod - the Muhurangi Oysters shucking expert

Nod – the Mahurangi Oysters shucking expert

Words cannot describe everything that went on and is still going on at The Food Show tomorrow. Come on down and reward yourself with a truly unforgettable experience – be it a surprise to your taste buds or enriching your forever hunger for culinary knowledge. And as they say it in the culinary capital – Bon appétit!

 By Lily Lai & Anh Doe

1DP | Day 10 of 100 Days, 100 Lives

With an uncomplicated food philosophy, Julie Le Clerc’s food is partly inspired, partly invented but essentially based on fresh, natural, accessible ingredients cooked well to deliver honest, vibrant tastes that are simply made to be shared. Julie is a former cafe owner & chef turned (award-winning) cookbook author, food writer, TV cook and photographer (phew!).

You can catch her live at The Food Show this weekend but in the meantime, here are a few of her favourite things:

What’s at the top of your playlist right now?

I find it hard to think of one favourite, as my likes change with my mood of the day. But Crowded House songs of my youth always stay with me, so I’ll go with ‘Weather with you’. I love the quirky, seaside video clip of this song, it reminds me of family camping holidays when I was a kid. And now, as an intrepid traveller, ‘everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you” seems like an appropriate anthem for me.

What’s your favourite meal or something amazing you’ve eaten recently?

I’ve just come home after three months travelling through Spain, Turkey and Greece and so I have some very vivid food memories of meals eaten. One dish that really stands out is this authentic Paella, which was made by some local women where I was staying in Andalucia. It was a taste sensation and textural delight – truly flavours of the sun.

Paella - #FoodPorn

Paella – #FoodPorn

Describe your outfit today or one that always sees you right….

Last year I spent 6 months working and travelling in India (I worked as a consulting chef to The Lodhi – a 5 star hotel in New Delhi). While in Jaipur, I bought this wonderful silk dress from a shop called Rasa. It’s light and easy to wear, works for day or night, and looks great even after it’s been crushed up in the bottom of my suitcase for some time.

Julie Le Clerc - #OOTD

Julie Le Clerc – #OOTD

Connect with Julie on Twitter & Instagram.

The Food Show Auckland is on from July 31st – August 3rd at ASB Showgrounds, and will showcase celebrity chef demonstrations from the likes of Julie Le Clerc and many more, not to mention hundreds of exhibitors showing off delicious food, tasty drinks and the newest in kitchenware.  Find out more about what’s on show and buy your tickets here.

Last year we set out to discover your story – everyone has one to tell, and we told a hundred. This year, we’re changing it up and we’re curating your favourite things. We want to know what you listen to (#NP), what you wear (#OOTD) and what you eat (#FoodPorn).  If you can share it on your socials, we want to share it on ours! Follow our project here.

win | The Food Show Auckland

The Food Show takes over Auckland from the 31st of July – 3rd of August (yup, at the end of this month!) and we have a double pass to giveaway!

Watch your favourite celebrity chefs (including Ray McVinnie, Peter Gordon, Julie Le Clerc, Nadia Lim and others) cooking live in the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre, challenge a New Zealand celebrity as a contestant on the New Generation Game, enjoy lunch in the Pop-up Eatery or chill out in the Good Magazine Healthy Living Zone.

Chelsea Winter

Chelsea Winter

There’s something for everyone!

You still have time to buy your tickets and this year, you have three levels of well, awesomeness to choose from:

Preview Day

Get the first bit of The Food Show.  On Thursday 31 July you can enjoy the you show in a more relaxed setting by purchasing one of only 4000 preview day tickets.  The advantage?  The feeling of being a member of an exclusive foodie club, enabling you to shop, chat, stock up, and discover new things with plenty of elbowroom (trust us, it’s a good feeling).

Purchase adult tickets online using promo code FSA46 to receive a $3 discount.

General Admission

From Friday 1 to Sunday 3 August, your general admission ticket includes free entry to Whirlpool Cooking Theatre, access to hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of products, plus amazing show features including the Kenwood’s New Generation Game, Good Magazine Healthy Living Zone, The Craft Quarter, special show-only prices, competitions, and more.

Purchase adult tickets online using promo code FSA46 to receive a $3 discount.

VIP Premium Experience

This is a new ticket option and is only available to 200 visitors per day.  As a VIP Premium ticket holder you have access to the Diners Club VIP Lounge, which includes complimentary foods and beverages, private celebrity chef meet-and-greets, and so much more.

Julie Le Clerc

Julie Le Clerc


To go into the draw to win a double general admission pass to The Food Show Auckland.  Head on over to our Facebook page and tell us the name of any one of the NZ Chefs you can see over The Food Show weekend.   Winner announced 25 July, 2014.

*You must like the page to be in the draw.

Check out our reviews from previous years:

2012 | 2013

1DP | Day 53 of 100 Days, 100 Individuals

Food man Mark Southan is a chef that’s been around.  After training in the United Kingdom and at many Michelin star restaurants in Europe, he embarked on his culinary tour down under.  He worked at one of Australia’s finest restaurants before falling in love with our shores.  He is undoubtedly one of the finest chefs in New Zealand brining a lovely blend of ‘elegance and sophistication‘ to his dishes.  As executive chef at The Foodstore, the challenge Mark takes is to present the best food everyday, and it’s a challenge he exceeds.  We talk to him on Day 53 of our 100 Day project.

What’s your purpose in life?
To cook amazing food for people who appreciate good food.

What are you passionate about?
Food, obviously being a chef!! But i love to hunt and fish too, it’s a new skill I am learning and the new TV show – Foodstore Gone Wild, has definitely helped as I got to try lots of different types of hunting and got some tips from the pros.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Gracie our 10 month old daughter, that’s when she wakes up before me because she sometimes likes to have a lie in.  She loves her sleep just like dad!

Everyone has a dirty little secret, what’s yours?
I will eat and taste pretty much everything, always on the lookout for new tastes/cuisines, like snake and different shell fish from around the world but I Hate with a passion CARAWAY SEEDS!!!! I still try them now and again but still not keen on them.

If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?
Go to Barcelona and eat and drink all day from dawn till dusk, it’s such a magical city and is passionate about food, you can get pretty much everything you can imagine.  I would start at the Boqueria markets for breakfast, the tapas for lunch, then for an afternoon snack I would go to one of the many jamon bar for a selection of iberico ham/chorizo and a san migel, then after all that eat at the current number 1 restaurant in the world – El celler de can roca, with a perfect wine match from Josephs 30000 bottle celler and then on to bar 41 to have some amazing cocktail.

What is your happy place?
You can’t just pin point one spot but anywhere in the great outdoor around New Zealand, especially on top of the Remarkable when snow capped, near Queenstown – bonus, there is no cell reception.

What will you be doing for the rest of 2013?
Half way through the year and still a lot to do, I will be at The Food Show, involved in a little exciting project at Taste of Auckland, start writing a cook book and my daughter’s first birthday –  I will make the cake!


We have a double pass to give away to The Food Show which is taking place in Auckland this weekend.  All you have to do is head to our Facebook page and tell us which Auckland restaurant Mark Southon is executive chef at.  We’ll announce a winner on Thursday.

been | Caffeine, cupcakes, cuisine, go!

The Food Show, Auckland edition is here again!

Thursday morning Meenal and I set out for the ASB Showgrounds to treat our taste buds at the pre-show. A seasoned attendee of this expo I was armed and prepped with my trusty chucks, cash and extra carry bags. Meenal being a first timer, wasn’t. Luckily I knew the what to do and had a mental list of who to see first up and where to get my supplies from.

As it was barely midday we were in dire need of caffeination and headed for the nearest, recognisable coffee stand. There were a plethora of caffeine vendors vying to lure you in with their aromas. As luck would have it, Atomic Coffee Roasters (stand B16) caught our gaze first and upon ordering were offered, almost serendipitous, a $1 off voucher each for Whoopie (stand N9); which was on my list of exhibitors to hit.

With coffee in hand we set off to make use of those vouchers. Whoopie pies for those of you playing at home, are the cross between a cake and a cookie. Meenal and I both picked up a whoopi each.  Shortly after, we came across this amazing faux meat vegetarian option by Vegetarian Delights Ltd (stand G17) that could end my meat eating days, that good!


Next stop was The Collective (stand D30) with their delectable range of dairy. Great deal with 3 for $10, includes most of their products. We also spotted Miss Melicious (stand 174A) and her scrumptious cupcakes! I had to have one of her chocmint cupcakes.


The next two stops were the main reason I wanted to come to the Food Show. The smoked garlic infused sea salt has been a culinary staple in my pantry for several years now, it is the single most important seasoning you should have. I recommend getting the show bag for $20, you will not regret it! And secondly Pic’s really good peanut butter (stand B10) – is just that – really good!


After all that shopping we were due for another round of coffee. Nespresso by Nestle where showcasing their machines and coffee capsules (stand G2, G4). Check out how it all works and get a free coffee while you’re at it. We then headed around the corner to the next section and we came across my recent obsession, Jed’s coffee (stand H5). Worth buying a bag or two to try, either whole bean or plunger and the numbers correlate to the strength.


We browsed for a while and eventually came across Frappe Vino (stand N4) – possibly the most innovated product I saw at The Food Show. And naturally there are lots of NZ wineries exhibiting particularly big contingencies from Kumeu Valley and Hawke’s Bay. We sampled quite a few, and at the end of the day it comes down to personal taste. And with that in mind Meenal’s pick of wine was the Savee – sparking Sauvignon Blanc – by Mount Riley (stand G24), Marlbourough, apparently first in NZ to make a sparking Sauv.


Tucked away in the corner (stand L41) was this little gem, Lewis Road Creamery, they makes real butter. And lastly my best find was body and laundry cleaning products by Earthwise Group (stand G32, G34), $5 per product. Great fragrances, gentle on the skin, gentle on the earth.


Some other buys were extra hot chilli sauce from Gringo Killer (stand L13), five Sauces for only $ 20.00 from West Indies Spice Traders (stand K17) and Tip Top Bakery (stand E14) have some new loaves to sample and purchase.

But you’ll miss it all if you don’t head along today/tomorrow!

Buy your ticket now

$23 for Adults

$15 for children under 12

Not Your Average Bartender

From his humble beginnings where he started off mixing drinks found in his father’s liquor cabinet to traveling the world and mixing for the likes of Macy Gray, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Branson, Bono, Oprah, and various members of Royal families, to name just a few.  Hayden, ‘(call me) Woody’ Wood, is not your average bartender.  I caught up with the seriously fun personality that is Woody as he got ready to head over to New Zealand for The Food Show which takes place in Auckland this week.

From setting me straight about not being a mixologist to coming full circle at The Food Show, here’s what went down during our highly entertaining conversation:

How different is a mixologist to a bartender?
Well I’m not a mixologist, plain and simple.  (Right, there goes the interview out the window.)
A mixologist is a niche of bartending and I guess a sub-category of the molecular mixoligst.  Molecular mixology is like molecular gastronomy, the same principles apply but you apply them to drinks.  Mixologist is just a term bartenders use to coin themselves with a bit more cred when they should really just be calling themselves a bartender.  We’ve been discussing my actual title because I do so many different things.  My title has been changed from ‘bartender’ to ‘person of interest’.

And what does a ‘person of interest’ do?
Well I’m currently producing a documentary series.  I write books; I’m a publisher; I organize events; open hotels; I produce live theatre in the States and I do all sorts of different things with brands.  I don’t think you can really technically class me as a bartender for much longer.

So how would you describe a day in the life of Woody?
Well let’s just put it today… today I was putting the finishing touches on a tropical pineapple recipe.  I developed a whole lot of recipes for tropical pineapples, in food and in beverage might I add.  I just had a conversation with one of my crew about an event called ‘Battle Shots’ which is like Battleship the game but twenty times bigger and the ships have shots of rum in them so when your ship gets hit you have to do a shot of rum. That’s touring around Australia currently.  (It’s a dangerous game!)  Ah, it’s wonderful!  It’s a spectator sport from my perspective; I don’t really get involved in playing.  And this morning from 6 o’clock ‘til 7 o’clock, I was on a phone call to New Orleans talking about products and developing a new series about bartenders in America.  On my drive from when I first spoke to you (technical difficulties meant we delayed our initial conversation by 40 minutes) to here, I was talking to some other people about a series I’m producing over here (Australia)… so there’s a lot on my plate.  And I’m going to New Zealand to rock it out with you guys!

You’re from New Zealand originally aren’t you?
Yeah, I was born in Napier.  Born and raised.

(So do you consider yourself a Kiwi, an Australian, or are you a World Citizen?)  Funnily enough there’s this new citizenship available during the Olympics called ‘Nowhereisand’. It has been created by a Swedish artist who has put 600 cubic tones of soil off the coast of Weymouth (South West England), you can become a citizen online and start creating a constitution.  I think basically you are a citizen of where you belong and not necessarily where you come from.  Yes, I have a New Zealand passport but I spend a lot of time here (Australia), in the States and  in the Middle East.  I love Australia though… and I love New Zealand, what do you say.

You were quite young when you made your first drink, was this something you wanted to do or something you just fell into and did you ever think you would come so far?
In terms of mixing drinks, I think it was kind of a fun night on New Year’s Eve when I was eight years old in my pajamas when I made that hideous drink that was Whiskey, Sherry and Port.  (Sounds ummm… delicious?)  No, it was awful and I nearly vomited.  Things got better from there I must admit. (phew, you had me worried for a second.)

When I was a young teenager, I threw my first cocktail party at fourteen and then another one at fifteen for eighty friends.  So I was really in the thick of it, really inspired through my high school years by a local bartender who had been running Rumors bar in North London and had come back to run what was then the Iron Pot Café’in Napier.  So I was getting inspired by that and really applying it to what I did.  Technically I should be a farmer; I come from a farming family like most people in New Zealand.  It was in our blood but I just decided to break the mold and go for gold in something else.  I was big in art in my high school years and my dad told me that ‘you’ll never make it as a painter’ so I just applied my artistic abilities somewhere else, in creating flavours and fun and events and things.

If we’re going to focus on the bartending side of Woody, what’s your signature drink at the moment?
Everyone’s asking me, what are you making?  They’re asking me for recipes and ingredients lists before I get there (festivals, events, trade shows, etc.)  and nowadays I just rock up, I’ll take a day to walk around the stands, or something like that and I’ll find some interesting products and I’ll mix something together. And then I’ll do that in my demo.  So, the short answer is that my signature drink is ‘Improv’.  It will be using basic principles that you can find in the book (The Liquid Kitchen)… but it will be using ingredients that you can find around you.  Like anyone does, they go home, they go to their pantry or their fridge and go, what the hell can I open up and celebrate life with or get wasted on, they’re not going to have the exact ingredients so it should be improv.  One of the biggest brick walls that I’m up against is that all of my buddies who are high-end, crazy ass bartenders, using like one of four hundred different spirits found in their bars.  I’m limited to sort of like four ingredients in a drink because the audience that I play to, that is The Food Show audience, that’s all they’re going to respond to.  I have to be creative within those boundaries.

Do you have any tips for mixing/creating at home?
Don’t put up too many boundaries and don’t listen to necessarily exact measurements.  In baking exacting is important but in drink making. Often new drinks come as a result of wonderful mistakes that are then blessings in disguises.  (So put it all together and hope for the best?)  And remember, it’s supposed to be fun, don’t take it too seriously.  People take it way too seriously sometimes and it’s not about that.  If we’re talking about roast duck, that may be an exact science by now but if we’re talking about how to talk about a fun, flavored Margarita… well sure, we’re going to need limes and tequila and something sweet to go with it but within those boundaries, let’s find something that works, that’s what I’m talking about… have a little more freedom with it.

So, what are you going to be doing at The Food Show?
I thought it would be fun to bring the live food theatre show that I’ve been touring in the States.  The Food Network teamed me up with Guy Fieri, he’s all about Rock n Roll and all American food.  I was his opening act on tour.  I’d produce his show and I’d piece together his whole thing with the production crew and then I’d step back from it to be the opening act.  It was fun and it was a really nice dynamic and so I want to bring that to New Zealand.  It’s ten years to the date when I started doing this.  I started in New Zealand at The Food Show, on that stage ten years ago… and so this is full circle, it’s a decade.

You’ve met some amazing people through your work, what are some of your best memories?
One of the funniest ones and the best stories is of Quentin Tarantino getting lathered up on my Tarantino Martinis and deciding that the ice sculpture of Pai Mei, who’s like the old wise guy with the white beard that trains all the ninjas in Kill Bill needed a little bit of work.  He took this 5th generation ice carving sword from Kenji (Ogawa), this world-champion ice carver and started smashing the ice carving and in the process he broke the sword in pieces because he was using it totally incorrectly. And then he turns around, I hand him another drink, he sinks the drink and says, “Fetch me my cheque book” and proceeded to write Kenji out a cheque for however many dollars it cost to replace it… it obviously was irreplaceable.

It’s funny because there’s ridiculous name-dropping in this world, it’s not about celebrities.  I’m lucky enough to hang out with people who are very talented at what they do and that’s the way I look at it.  I get to meet interesting people but the very last thing I’ll ever do is treat them like a celebrity should be treated and that’s probably why I’m invited back to have a party with them.  I’m just going to treat them like a normal human being because that’s what they are and they actually really appreciate that and that’s why they do loosen up a lot because when people pander them, they tend to close up a bit and be a bit stupid.  What goes on at the party stays at the party. (Here he proceeded to tell me a few party stories but unfortunately they’re all ‘off the record’ of course.)

And finally, what’s next for you?
You’re probably going to see less of me in this light as a fanatic, crazy bartender.  I’m kind of putting it on the shelf for a while after this show to be honest.  I’m focusing more on producing and directing documentaries, they’re all food and beverage related.  I’m also focusing on producing events which are really interesting.  I’m also looking at moving into the movie space, with a webisode series.  It’s so much more powerful, I can reach the world… I don’t have to have support from a channel, I don’t have to have censorship and a title and all other things that networks require of me.  I can produce web series for the net that everyone you’re speaking to can actually tap into and see.  I can produce live TV that I can broadcast to the globe and that’s such an interesting and exciting space… that’s the space I want to move into.

I think I’ve done all I set out to achieve.  If I imagine my dreams when I was a teenager, if I remember from those days and what I thought I could achieve from being a bartender, I think I’ve achieved it ten times over and then some.  I’ve shared the same stage as The Foo Fighters, I’ve played in the same theatres The Who and The Beatles have played in, I think that’s as good as I imagine it will get.  I’m in my thirties; it’s time to change it up a bit.  (That’s amazing, not a lot of people can say that they’ve achieved what they always dreamed.)  I don’t want to try and better it because I might be here for another thirty years and I don’t want to get bored of it.  I may as well shelve it for a while, while I’m in a space where I think it’s as good as it’s going to get and I’m just happy with my achievements and move on and try and achieve something else.

You can find out more about Woody and his Liquid Kitchen adventures on his website.  If you’re heading down to The Food Show this week, don’t miss out on what will surely be a highly entertaining Masterclass hosted by the man himself.