19 Nov 2012

Taste of Melbourne Food Festival

Hi everyone!
Yesterday my friend and I went to Taste of Melbourne Food Festival at Albert Park (it was my first time visiting Albert Park after 2 1/2 years living in Melbourne!). I was excited because I've always wanted to come to those fancy food festivals.
The ticket price was quiet pricey ($30 on the spot) , and we also need to pay if we want to buy something inside. That's why Marsha and I spent a lot of time making sure that we sample each and every interesting food and drinks inside. Haha! True story.
We tasted tons of different things from chocolate, ciders to caviar. I've never tasted caviar before, so we bought a tray of canapes from Yarra Valley Caviar stand and I actually enjoyed it very much. It's like tasty salty mini bombs exploding in your mouth. We also watched some cooking demonstrations which were very interesting!

L: tickets !
R: Yarra Valley Caviar & Salmon Canapes

happy camper :3

Marsha with her zucchini and pistachio cupcake

samples after samples after samples

The first cooking demo we watched was Chef Scott Eddington from Mamasita who prepared a taco made out of goat's cheek, tongue and brain. Oh yes. The demonstration was indeed a bit sadistic and gore with a few goat heads laying on the table and Cheff Scott ripping apart the meat from its cheeks, cracked its jaw to get its tongue and forcefully opened its skull to get the brain. Hhhmm.. And I was sitting at the front row. You can imagine my face going "dayuuummm" everytime he did something to those poor goat's heads.
It's amazing to see how much meat he got out of that goat's head! I mean, people usually throw away that part of animals right? What a waste of meat.
 He only tossed those meat (which already been boiled before hand) onto a hot grill, season it with salt and pepper and voila. It's done.
We got to taste the dish afterwards and to my surprise, the meat was very tasty! It was tender, juicy and flavourful. I finally know how a 'melt in your mouth' kind of meat taste like.
He said the meat around the jaw of animals like goats are very tender because all they do is chewing and eating all day long thus the muscles are working 24/7. If people are always going for parts of cows that are moving constantly to get tender cuts, they certainly should not waste their cheeks.
I would love to cook cheeks but there is no way I'm going to boil a whole head of goat or lamb at home. My vegetarian housemate will kill me.

After that we came across Malaysian food stand and watched Chef Poh Ling Yeow (runner up on Masterchef Australia) cooked prawn and pineapple curry. When she cooks, the whole area smells so good, it kind of reminds me the smell of my kitchen back home since Indonesian and Malaysian cooking shares similar spices and ingredients like shrimp paste, lemongrass, all that very Asian-y goodness.
Too bad I only got to try the sauce and 2 pieces of pineapple because the prawns were all gone! Luckily my friend shared her prawn with me. The prawn was really good and juicy meanwhile the sauce was a bit too sweet for me, but still good though.

As we were walking, surprise surprise... I saw a very familiar symbol on a stand that says "B&P", Awww yyiiiiisssss!!!
I was jumping up and down when I saw the Burch and Purchese stand. I just went to their store last week and was hooked! As expected, their stand was very crowded. Probably one of the most crowded stand apart from Mamasita and Movida.
The sous chef of B&P was giving samples of their salted caramel (which by the way, heavenly good without being too sweet). I didn't expect the sous chef of B&P would be a tattoed dark-skinned Asian dude. He almost look like Dougy from The Temper Trap, only if Dougy is chubbier and makes kick-ass desserts like he does.

The genius behind B&P was there too! Mr. Darren Purchese himself! I was excited to meet him in person. I wonder how a very successful person like him can be so friendly and humble. Definitely  a role model.
He had a cooking demo at 3.30pm and the place was full even 35 minutes before it starts! This man got games.
He made 2 components of B&P's award winning salted caramel chocolate mousse cake, the mousse and the chocolate glaze. I tried to write down the recipe but I gave up halfway because it's too complicated for my brain to digest. I just sat there and watched him work his magic. He is very knowledgeable and creative, no wonder he's so successful.
Ah, one audience went home with the finished cake that he made. What a lucky lady..
After the demo we went back to B&P's stand to grab their banana ice cream (because one of the lady in the audience said it's really good, and she was right!), and my friend also bought Darren's cookbook. I was temped to buy it too but I was running out of money. Besides, the recipes are quiet complicated and my small kitchen wont be able to recreate those beautiful edible arts. But who knows? Perhaps one day my friend and I can recreate one of their cakes. I joked with my friend on our way home that we might need a whole week to create one dish from that book, since one dish have more than 4 different components in it! Gosh.

B&P's banana ice cream

We end the day with Mamasita's grilled corn and braised ox tacos. Hhhhmm...

with Chef Darren Purchese ! 

look at that glossy chocolate glaze!

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