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/


Mel Kettle said...

Wow that sounds incredible! I really want to go to Morocco one day. Mine is far less romantic!

I've always loved food but it wasn't until I went to Greece when I was 21 that I really realised how amazing it could be. Just a simple bit of fresh bread, locally produced fetta, salami and locally grown tomato as I sat in a park with an incredible view over Athens. The flavours, especially of the tomato just blew my mind. I can still taste it and it's been over 21 years. My only regret is that I hadn't yet developed a taste for olives...

It's time for me to return to Greece!

Danika said...

In 2008/2009 when my partner and I had been together for six months, we travelled to Japan for our first holiday as a couple. Being vegetarians, we knew that food was going to be a challenge at times. There were a couple of times, early in our trip, when we had to resort to cereal in our hotel rooms. After a week or so, when we had mastered enough Japanese to be able to communicate with the staff and order from "hole in the wall" places the food was out of this world. We ate in bigger cities, where ordering was easier, but also in smaller towns, like Takayama, where few people spoke any English. We met up with a colleague who teaches Japanese and went out to eat with her a couple of times and our adoration of the food of Japan grew.

We grew closer as a couple, got out of our comfort zone and our taste buds were glad of it. The satisfaction we felt at managing to order food that we could eat was a close second to the food. We are always on the look out for the next "legit" Japanese restaurant in Brisbane, we fell in love with Japanese culture and food. We can't wait to go back!

joyjoyc said...

My spring trip to Europe last year introduced me to a whole new food experience:

- Snails in France
- Pretzels in Germany
- Pizza and gelato in Italy

Sure I have had European food here in Australia but nothing beats the real experience of it all - ordering in that language (well at least trying to), smelling the fresh and real ingredients, seeing the different ways in how different cultures eat/share their meals and of course the hot hot European waiters!

Taryn said...

My most enriching food memory would be my visit to Poland introduced me to some amazing food including Pierogi!
I ate my through some amazing hearty dishes including hunter's stew, goulash, pork knuckle. Amazing!
I have been searching Brisbane for more amazing Polish food and finally found the Polish club in Milton. They serve fantastic authentic Polish cuisine including Pierogis!

food bling, Brisbane said...

Mel - I know exactly what you mean. I also have great food memories of simple ingredients in Greece, especially the fantastic feta! Would love to go back to Greece again soon.

food bling, Brisbane said...

Thanks Danika - sounds like a great food trip. I've only spent a few nights in Japan, so can't wait to properly indulge in their amazing variety of food.

Anonymous said...

I could tell you many stories about the glorious experiences I have had in my travels over the years. Ramen in Japan, Hot Soup at a secluded mountain lodge in Canada etc etc. However you asked for most 'enriching'.

So for me the most enriching moment has been on home soil, here in Brisbane. Several years ago I was injured in a workplace accident. After a long and ongoing recovery, I wanted to thank all the people who have helped me gain confidence and stand upright again. So I hosted a Christmas Feast for all these wonderful people in my life. My love of cooking (hobby, not career)allowed me to express my heartfelt thankyou. Watching people that have at times put their lives on hold for me laugh, smile and enjoy themselves was more enriching than any of my other experiences...

Stu. said...

India 2008. 4 friends, 2 living in Australia and 2 living in the UK. India was pretty much 'in the middle'.

Many shared experiences. The 18 hour train journey to Jaisalmer - the bhajis, samosas and Pakoras providing the sustenance required, the perfect accompaniment to the the Chai and kopi the Wallahs bring around.

Jaisalmer itself, the desert fort city, staying in accomodation just outside the walls...a rooftop restuarant our home. One of our party was a vegetarian, the beautiful Thalis made this a shared experience for all - not groans from the four of us as we dug into 'snake beans', washed down with local beers. The coolish desert nights a welcome respite from the heat of the day.

Moving on to Goa, a secluded coastal resort, hidden behind sand dunes - our daily snack of 'synabites' - cheese filled peppers, the sand beneath our toes. Whole baked snapper, fresh caught that day. Enriching the friendship.

food bling, Brisbane said...

Thanks everyone for your entries! Great to read so many terrific stories about your favourite food memories. The winners will be posted up tonight.