Why Fine Food is in fine form this year

07 September, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

Boasting the biggest footprint in the show’s history, Fine Food Australia is back for another year, with a packed schedule of much-loved industry competitions, business seminars and networking opportunities.

Taking over the Melbourne Convention Centre from 12-15 September, Fine Food Australia 2016 is the industry’s largest trade event for the hospitality sector, showcasing new products manufactured both here in Australia and in 45 different international markets.

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The annual show attracts over 1,000 exhibitors, giving visitors the chance to network with industry peers while scoping out the latest developments in point of sale, kitchen equipment, food safety, fresh produce and restaurant design, amongst others.

This year, Fine Food will welcome a new addition to the format, Roaster’s Alley, which will cover both tea and coffee in a series of masterclasses and tastings, alongside expert seminars discussing current trends and industry predictions.

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Familiar favourite reappearing at Fine Food in 2016 include:

  • Nestle Golden Chef’s Hat competition – Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs. Since its inception in 1965, the program has been dedicated to helping junior and apprentice chefs develop their cooking skills and broaden their culinary horizons, with this year’s winners earning themselves a culinary trip to North America.
  • Official Great Aussie Pie and Sausage Roll competition – Open to all pie making professionals, this annual event attracts thousands of entries from bakers across Australia. The competition is judged over a four day period by a team of 16 judges from the baking industry, with categories including plain, poultry, game, seafood, vegetarian, gluten-free, breakfast and apple.
  • Bake Skills Australia – Apprentice bakers from each state (forming five competing teams) compete in a live bakery challenge across different product categories on the show floor. Categories include specialty and artisan breads, baguettes, pretzels, croissants, pastries, macarons and gourmet pies.
  • Bulla Pastry Stage – Hosted in Bakery World, the Bulla Pastry Stage will feature a range of pastry chefs conducted masterclasses on creating various desserts, while also discussing current industry trends. Liz Bawden of the Bakes Eleven will present sessions on naked cakes and how to cater for gluten-free and vegan consumers, while also discussing the growing interest in matcha. Sessions are free to attend and no bookings are required.
  • Fonterra Foodservice Battle of the Pacific – Chefs will compete to showcase their talents and will be judged by a panel of international, interstate and local judges. The competition sees teams of three competitors from each state battling it out in a live kitchen. Chefs, trainees and apprentices will have the opportunity to pit their skills against each other and against the clock, competing for a share of up to $20,000 in cash and prizes.

nahji.jpgNahji Chu

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  • Women in Foodservice charity event – Now in its third year, the Women in Foodservice morning tea brings together leading ladies from across the industry for a morning of inspiration and networking with industry peers. Hosted at 61 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf from 10:30am – 12:30pm, tickets are $85, including a Champagne brunch and a goodie bag for each attendee. This year’s presenters include Alla Wolf Tasker, executive chef and co-owner of the acclaimed Lake House in Daylesford; Nahji Chu, founder of Vietnamese street food concept, misschu; and Phillippa Grogran , owner of Phillippa’s Bakery. The event will be facilitated by Gemima Cody, chief restaurant critic for Epicure at The Age, food and drink writer for Good Food and creative director of Good Food Month.