One of the brilliant things about being single with no kids is the ability to wake up and decide to do something on the spur of the moment. Without imposing on others or having to be somewhere else. Sunday was one of those spur of the moment days. Twitter informed me that it was the SBS Food Journey festival at The Royal Exhibition Centre in Carlton. And so after a shower, some chores and a small fill of petrol (have you seen the ridiculous price?!?) I set off to the festival.
What a beautiful day! It got rather hot for me so I was pleased to sit in the shade watching cooking demonstrations.
I went to the ATM at the Melbourne Museum and saw this – so cute! I think it was a van that delivered flowers in wartime.
The Food Journey festival was packed with stalls selling delicious foods, and offering free tastings. When I say free, I mean the tastings were covered by the entry fee ($18) which I thought was a little expensive since no other freebies were given out. Anyhow, I tasted a lot of food, and saw a good share of cooking demonstrations.
There were so many cultures and food-types showcased – Indonesian, Indian, Italian, Spanish, and seeds, fresh produce, cheese, wine, sauces and icecreams.
There were spicy sausages from Dunav Butchers and Smallgoods in Springvale
That guy in the red shirt is Bo – he had the gift of the gab.
And tasted fantastic too! I had a plate of ribs – juicy and flavoursome.
I was desperately seeking shade, so for most of my time at the festival, I sat at the Outdoor Entertainment stage. It had a real garden feel – with plants provided by Chisholm Tafe.
Tony cooked a vegetarian meal on a BBQ. He was a great presenter, and the meal was very attainable.
It was corn on the cob and a salad of quinoa, raddicchio, raw pumpkin, red onion and toasted seeds.
He encouraged us to improvise – that’s what makes cooking exciting – making up your own recipe.
We all received plates of corn and salad when he had finished cooking.
So tasty! And he served the corn with my favourite Thomy mayonnaise! Yum!
Next up was Costa Georgiadis, the passionate gardener.
Costa had a lively stage presence – darting and running about so much.
He spoke about the importance of sustainable, ethical and socially responsible eating. Dead against the big two supermarkets (apt considering the current milk wars), genetically modified foods and rushing through the world, Costa encouraged buying locally and taking care with what we eat. It was really interesting, and I am now glad to have recently shifted from buying my produce from supermarkets to the local grocer, butcher and deli strip.
I deviated from Costa for a short time to see French chef Gabriel Gate.
He was talking about how many meals chefs cook through their lives. And that if a chef couldn’t cut an onion by the end of their career, they are ‘retarded’.
The crowd became vocal, Gabriel tried to laugh the slur off, laughing at the camera, and then saying it’s difficult to be politically incorrect in Australia. And at that, I left. He hadn’t won me over.
I went back to Costa. I loved his passion about good sustainable food. I had a chat to Costa after his presentation. He was so lovely and friendly, and may well read my blog!
I am so glad I went to the SBS Food Journey festival. Melbourne is such a fortunate and diverse city – I love where I live!
I was so inspired to cook a fresh and healthy salad when I got home. And so I did.
I dry toasted some pumpkin and linseeds with salt and smoked paprika.
It took about five minutes on low heat.
The linseeds popped like popcorn in the pan.
Next in the pan was one chopped eggplant, a cooked sweet potato and some garlic.
I also added some leftover chicken to the pan – and a generous splash of olive oil.
I cooked up frekkeh – a grain my Mum introduced me to.
It’s like burghul. I love frekkeh and it’s easier to cook than quinoa.
The salad was finished with feta and a good splash of raspberry balsamic vinegar.
Ta-dah! Thanks Costa and Tony for the inspiration 🙂