This month’s Fine Food Queensland exhibition has been declared a smashing success by exhibitors and over seven thousand visitors.
This popular trade event is staged every second year at the Brisbane Convention Centre. It is aimed at food and hospitality outlets throughout Queensland and Northern NSW. It features a full range of food, drink and equipment.
Exhibition Director Timothy Collett said this year’s show was particularly well received. He attributed this to a healthy local economy and excellent range of exhibitors.
“There is no doubt the market is growing and that consumers are more demanding than ever. If there has been a drop in confidence then it was not reflected here. It has been one of the biggest and most vibrant shows we have run in Queensland.”
Michael Skerl of Smart Candle said “Having exhibited at both national and international hospitality fairs, Fine Food Queensland was an event which provided not only seamless running on a operational perspective but also a targeted deliverance of guests relevant to our industry.”. Michael Luxmore of Simplot said “Exceeded our expectations…great quality buyers…..sampled over 2000 end users so far and we still have a day to go”.
The show attracted a total 7,626 visitors. These included 603 interstate visitors and 67 international visitors. Some of these were brought out by Austrade. Sunday proved the most popular day especially for country buyers.
Visitors gave almost universally positive feedback. Jillian Kath from Brisbane said “We have just visited the exhibition held in Brisbane and found it to be fantastic and we are very interested to go to the Melbourne exhibition in September.”
The only negative commentary was around the difficulty of parking. This is highly unusual for the Brisbane venue. Organisers blamed the huge amount of construction and road works taking place in the vicinity and said it was an unfortunate but once-off occurrence.
Something that was noticed was the lift in stand quality. The major equipment suppliers such as Comcater, Moffat, Lennard, Stoddart and Spillsbury and all had large interactive displays. Food companies both large and small had their product on display and available for tasting.
The winners of best stand in the food section were Hakka and Harrogate Teas. The winners in the hospitality section were Dudson and New International.
One of the most popular features was the Queensland Restaurant of Champions. This new competition saw eight restaurants prepare a meal for 30 covers on the show floor. They were judged on food quality and kitchen efficiency.
After three days of competition Bruno Gentile from the Australian Culinary Federation announced the team from Room 81 as the overall winner. Sous chef Paul Smart accepted the medals and $5000 in cash. Gold medals also went to the team from the Brisbane Convention Centre.
The winner of the Great Queensland Pie Competition was a tie between Alvon Sundowner Bakery from Haigslea and Beefy’s from Sippy Downs, Queensland. The winner of the Gourmet Pie Competition was Denmark Bakery from Western Australia.
Competition at the Dairy Farmers Best of the Best Pizza Challenge was fierce. Salvatore Mazzullo from Arriva Italian Restaurant in New Farm was declared winner of traditional. Chris Symons from Vitto Caffe Ristorante at Pacific Paradise was winner of gourmet. They now go to Melbourne for the national final.
The next Fine Food exhibition will be the national event to be staged in Melbourne from 22-25 September 2008. It will have almost 1000 exhibitors. Fine Food Queensland returns in March 2010. For more details visit www.finefood.com.au