Star-struck by Luke Nguyen:
Managing to seize a photo opportunity with Luke Nguyen, of Red Lantern, before he was rushed off to his next demonstration.
Getting to Hordern Pavilion was simple enough. For those friends travelling in by public transport - just take the train to Central Station, cross the road to the bus stands on Eddy Avenue, and take the 391, 339, 374 or 376. Ask your helpful bus driver when to get off to reach Hordern Pavilion, or simply follow the continuous tide of people making their way there :D
There was some initial lining up, but I managed to get in in time for the first session of the Cheeky Food Group Flambe School.
This was one of the Masterclasses that was relatively easy to get into, mainly because it was so early in the day. I was not able to get into any subsequent Masterclasses due to the limited spaces available and the ginormous queues; more on this later. For now, check out my Flambe work station!
We pan-fried some chorizo sausage over high heat, then added the sherry and set the whole pan on fire! Too bad I was busy trying not to BBQ my face to take a picture of my glorious flame. No need to be scared - there's a professional literally holding your hand during the whole flambe. We added in some kumato, parsley and sun-dried veggies once the alcohol had burned off.
The final product, which we got to eat! Pretty good :D
Unfortunately, this was the only Masterclass I attended on the day. Getting into any of the other ones (especially cake-decorating with Vincent Gadan) proved to be near impossible. I overheard the staff member overseeing the Patisse Masterclass saying that some people, including mothers juggling young kids, waited in line for more than 2 hours just so they could get a ticket into one of the later sessions for the day. As a result of this, all the sessions were booked out way before the actual session times. Whilst I understand the logistical difficulty of organising enough places in the classes for every single person that comes to Masterchef Live on the day, I have to say that I was very peeved at the fact that the Masterchef LIVE website made minimal mention of the limited spaces available. For example, I was under the impression that the bread-making sessions would accommodate a lot more people than it did.
Oh well. No used crying over spilt milk. All the free time gave me the opportunity to roam around more, and try more free food samples. Here are some of them:
Absolutely loved this pumpkin bread made from spelt flour, courtesy of Agape.
Black sesame ice cream from Serendipity. Wow, this was so creamy. Wish I'd brought home a tub.
A slice of VERY cheesy pizza from Dr. Oetker.
A ricotta-filled pastizzi. Apologies to the stall I got it from - I didn't note down the name!
Coffee from Caffe Moda.
There was heaps more to drool at. The pastries and cakes from Patisse and Croquembouche Patisserie, for example!
"Food porn cabinet" from Croquembouche Patisserie :D
Macarons, also from Croquembouche Patisserie.
This is going to make me sound like a total cheapskate, but due to filling up on all the sourdough and cake samples, I only ended up purchasing two food items, hehe. I got a small tub of Mini Melt ice cream:
And satay chicken and coconut rice paper rolls from MissChu to take home for dinner:
Hmm, what else? Oh, that's right, the celebrity chef sightings! There was Dan Hong, of Ms. G's and El Loco fame:
Jay and Michael from Masterchef Australia 2011:
I was blushing badly, can you tell? :P
Mr. Adriano Zumbo:
And, of course, Luke Nguyen, demonstrating how to make fish sauce-based dressings and assisted by Dani Venn of Masterchef:
Overall, this was an awesome experience. Never mind the missed Masterclasses; just walking around and being surrounded by amazing looking food made this foodie a very happy lass. And, I shall leave you with a picture of the gorgeous cake creations from Sweet Art:
(And one more picture of Vincent Gadan):