Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Competition Time - Enrich Brisbane

Roll up, Roll up - there's a new food/wine/lifestyle event coming to Brisbane in late March - Enrich.

Luckily for me, they've planned it so it runs over my birthday.  For the rest of you, food bling Brisbane is offering a few free tickets, so you can enjoy it as much as I will.

So what exactly is Enrich?

If you enjoy entertaining family and friends, nourishing your body with the tastiest, most wholesome food matched with premium quality wine and filling your world with the latest innovations in an at-home fun and relaxing environment, Enrich Brisbane is for you. Come along and interact with and be entertained by some of the nation’s best-loved food personalities, stars and other extraordinary Australians including Alastair McLeod, Ben O’Donoghue, Frank Camorra, Ian Parmenter and Lyndey Milan.

Over the course of the weekend there will be sessions on lifestyle, food & wine.  A few of the sessions which caught my eye were:

  • Sustainable Seafood - Australia's seafood is unbeatable; we have access to an abundance of fresh fish, shellfish and crustaceans sourced from pristine waters. Here we have a look at Australia’s seafood sustainability and fresh cooking ideas to make the most of this wonderful and nutrient-rich resource. Hosted by Fast Ed (Ed Halmagyi) and featuring demonstrations by Lyndey Milan and Alastair McLeod;
  • Two Great Loves - Wine and Lindt Chocolate - Through decadent, expert matches discover how the right wine can bring out the best in your favourite chocolate. Featuring a range of Lindt chocolate, this fun and interactive event will have you discovering a stellar line-up of Australian wines and their ideal chocolate match. Get ready for some delicious results.  Hosted by Michael Quirk, with panel members Thomas Schneltzer, Nicole Gow & Chris Barnes.
  • Being Alternative? New varieties for new climates - Discover a diverse collection of wines as we explore and taste the future of Australian wine; new varieties, emerging regions, organics, biodynamics, climate changes and trends shaping what we taste in the glass and the future of wine. It promises to be a very eclectic and exciting tasting experience.  Hosted by Max Allen, together with panellists Tony Harper and Christian Gaffey.
  • Something about Spain - The impression Spanish culture has had on Australian food is amazing and the cuisine is definitely growing in popularity. Come along to taste and talk about Australia's love affair with Spanish food and culture – from rich tapas to intense paellas. Plus, learn how to inject a little Spanish into our lives. Hosted by Ian Parmenter with demonstrations by Frank Camorra and Pablo Tordesillas, this will be one of the hot sessions for the weekend.
As you can see, some of Australia's leading food & wine personalities will be lending their expertise to Enrich over the weekend, including Alastair McLeod, Anna Gare, Ben O'Donoghue, Thierry Galichet, Lyndey Milan, Frank Camorra, Pablo Tordesillas, Max Allen and Tony Harper.

To be in the running for a double pass, all you have to do is let me know your most enriching food or wine experience.

It's always impossible to pick just one, but to get the ball rolling, here's one that always sticks in my memory.  We went to Morocco for our honeymoon, and one night we set out on camels from our kasbah in Hassi Labied (Kasbah Mohajut) into the amazing dunes of Erg Chebbi, in the Sahara. 

We headed out late in the afternoon, just as it started to cool down (relatively speaking - it wasn't actually cool at all).  We had the full "Lawrence of Arabia" look going on, with scarves wrapped around our heads to try and keep the sand out.  After a couple of hours of riding through the Sahara, our trusty camels brought us to a small Berber camp, which was literally in the middle of nowhere. 

Apart from one other couple and our guide Mohar (that's him leading the camel in the picture), we were the only ones around for miles.  It was an amazing feeling, and so quiet.  We got to watch the sun set over the dunes of the Sahara, which is one of those moments I think I'll always remember - the dunes and the sun kept changing colour every few minutes - pictures just don't do it justice...

While we sat on the highest dunes watching the sun go down, Mohar worked his magic.  There was a tiny little hut with a two burner gas stove on the edge of the camp.  Mohar had disappeared into it, and to be honest, we didn't know what we'd be eating for dinner.

We walked back to the camp just as it got dark, sat on a giant rug and watched the stars light up the sky.  While we were being mesmerised by the stars, Mohar brings over mint tea and freshly made popcorn, as pre-dinner snacks.  So far, so good.  That was followed by a beautiful vegetable soup, that he'd managed to whip up.  But, not to disappoint his visitors, he then brings out two tagines with rice, including a meltingly tender lamb tagine.  We had some great tagines while we were in Morocco, but these two were right up there with the best.  I was completely amazed that he'd been able to make such a fantastic dinner with such limited cooking resources.  Going to sleep out under the stars in the middle of the desert was the perfect way to finish off a brilliant Moroccan experience.

So that's one of my amazing food experiences that I'll never forget - a memorable combination of a completely unique location, amazing hospitality and wonderful food.

For your chance to win a double pass to Enrich Brisbane, let me know your most enriching food memory.  Either post it up as a comment, or email it through to ricardogardiner[at]gmail.com.  Winners will be drawn on Sunday, 25 March. 

I'm looking forward to hearing about them!

Enrich Brisbane
Friday 30 March - Sunday 1 April 2012
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Corner of Merivale & Glenelg Streets
South Bank
W - http://enrichbrisbane.com.au/