I will be honest with you guys, originally I wasn’t even going to go to this event. Sure, I love watching MasterChef on TV, as do a lot of people, but the program line up for this event didn’t really get my heart racing to part with cold hard cash.
Tickets available are as follows and the event has been on all weekend, Josh and I went Friday, and is on again tomorrow;
VIP $120: Includes premium seating in the theatre and access to Jaguar VIP lounge in the festival before and after the show. Jaguar VIP Lounge is an “exclusive” lounge where VIP holders get to have a comp glass off wine and relax. Plus access to the festival.
Gold $70: Premium reserved seating and access to the festival.
Silver $55: General unreserved seating at the show, plus access to the festival.
Family Pass: $170
Festival only pass: Adult $25, Junior $10
I received an offer via email for 2 for 1 tickets, gold and silver only to Friday’s show. I decided Josh and I may as well go and see what it was all about. I went for the Gold tickets, 2 for 1 at $70.
We scooped parking easy enough at the Entertainment Quarter car park and headed over to the massive line to get in. I hate to think what it is going to be like to get in over the weekend when they are busier, but today was a little painful.
The line to get in to the Horden Pavilion, where the 1 hour MasterChef Live show was being held, was the biggest joke on this planet. Unorganised, people jumping the queue left, right and centre and it took a good 5 minutes to actually work out where the end of the mess, I mean queue, was.
Once in we needed help to find our seats as the seating was a little confusing. What made it even more fun was the tickets I had been supplied with were for seats that actually didn’t exist, oh yay. Plonked up at the back on the end of a row, we were told to wait there while our usher went to talk to his supervisor. Eventually he came back with other tickets for horrid seats, not what I would call premium, for us to use if somebody came to claim the seats we were in.
Have I mentioned unorganised?
The show itself started 15 minutes late, no biggie. It was fun and light hearted, and basically what we see on TV during the season. There was a master class where 4 members of the audience were pulled up to have a go. Marion and Adam made an appearance as well as Donna Hay. There was talking, cooking demos and audience participation for an hour.
Basically it was like a smaller version of Good Food & Wine Show. To be honest MasterChef Live is the Good Food & Wine Show on a smaller more expensive version involving different cooks in the show at a higher price to attend. There were about 100 exhibitors. An organic section and a gluten free corner. There are opportunities to get hands on, watch cooking demonstrations, get to listen to some well known chefs, book signings as well as meet past MasterChef contestants. There is also an area called “The Park” whichh as a few restaurants and some more exhibitors. We actually missed this completely.
I mentioned that it reminded me of Food Food & Wine Show. It does on a smaller scale, there are just over 100 exhibitors, but also they are what I consider boutique exhibitors that pride themselves in their product. Not saying that the Good Food & Wine Show does not have high quality exhibitors, it does, but it also jam packed with exhibitors that products are commonly available in the supermarkets which we know very well and already use.
Today I discovered a few that I hadn’t seen before and that was a nice surprise.
Poachers Pantry – Stand 89
Was thrilled to find these guys as on my recent trip to Canberra their address did not show up on either of the GPS systems we had. They have wonderful smoked meats. I ended up purchasing their Thai smoked chicken thighs and Sicilian chicken breast, traditionally cured and smoked. The flavours are incredible, I highly recommend stopping by for a taste test, you will want to take something home being so close to Christmas, their range is perfect.
Pilpel Fine Foods – Stand 17
Joseph is obviously very proud of their product, lots of tastings available. We purchased their Lima Bean Egyptian & Lemon Mertyle dip and Chickpeas Persian dip both made by Pilpel, and Gazpacho (chilled soup) by Darikay. I strongly suggest you ask to try the Gazpacho, oh yes, it is fantastic. This is coming from a person who does not really like to buy premade soups.
Whisk & Pin – Stand 45
Yes I have heard of these guys before, wasn’t born yesterday. Have never tried their Snowy Road, perfect for Christmas, a block came home with us.
Saltt Trading – Stand 8
I have wanted a salt block to cook on for a little while now and having it right in my reach was a purchase too hard to avoid. The salt block is made from Himalayan salt, you can also pick up Himalayan coarse salt, fine salt and salt chunks. Stay tuned for my cooking adventures with this one.
Wild Sugar – Stand 46A
I have been following Skye since she finished up on MasterChef, was aware that she has started her own business and has been selling her range of whole food desserts and ice cream at markets etc. Saying that, had not had a chance to track her down to try her creations. We picked up finger lime tart & coconut cream and chocolate avocado mouse & raspberry cream.
Captain Coffee – Stand 102 (they are not listed in the program)
Coffee and chocolate coated coffee beans. We picked up the chocolate chilli coffee beans. Three of my favourite flavours all wrapped up in one, awesome, plus milk chocolate coffee beans.
Duck Creek Macadamias – Stand 53
Great range of macadamia products including macadamia nut oil. We picked up roaster garlic macadamias, which have just enough garlic to make them moreish and not over powering. We also picked up a large jar of Supremes which are macadamia nuts that have been honey dipped and then coated in dark chocolate, Josh fell in love with them.
Herbies Spices – Stand 16C
Okay again not a new player, I love and use their products. Found something new to me, large cinnamon sticks, looks a little different to quills, nothing like what you find in the shops and you just crumble off what you need. They last a long time as the cinnamon flavour and smell is only active when you crumble it. Small $1.20 or large $3
Flying Fish – Stand 30
Flying fish are there showing their food range which includes their highly addictive chilli salt that they use on their chips in the restaurant. Drop by and check out their range, how about black pepper caramel. We found Denea Buckingham, AKA Jess Rabbit, manning the stand. Denea is the Editor of Gourmet Rabbit, you can also pick up a copy of this great foodie mag.
Patisse – located near the Sunbeam Creative Kitchen
Ever wanted to eat Kylie Minogue, okay take that anyway you want. Drop by and pick up an éclair (truly delicious) with a picture of Kylie on white chocolate as its decoration. Available for $6 each or a box of 3 for $15, 10% of your purchase goes to Kylie’s favourite charity, the Breast Cancer Foundation.
It was nice to find some exhibitors I had not seen before and discover some new products. Really enjoyed listening to Kyle Kwong and Neil Perry and having the opportunity to ask them questions in a small group atmosphere.
I am glad I didn’t pay full price for my tickets, if I had I would have felt very ripped off. Today there was free entry to the Festival, which I think was a good thing otherwise I believe it would have been dead as a dog for the exhibitors who paid good money to be there. I already feel paying $70 for both Josh and I was not great value. If I had gone for a VIP ticket? Nope, sorry again not worth it. Was it worth $55/person for the show and festival, I have to compare it to GF&W and no it’s not.
I am sure it will be held again next year as it is revenue for the MasterChef brand. Would I go again, probably not, I felt it was way too expensive for what you got. I would also not recommend anyone purchasing anything more than the Silver ticket if they did want to go.