The events of 2 – 4 June weekend still has my head spinning. With so many things to see and do at the Good Food and Wine Show, its hard to decide where to start. I needed more than just a moment to orientate myself. There were so many stimulating things happening that it wasn’t possible to keep up, yet I was still all over the show not wanting to miss a second! I would definitely consider going multiple times just to feel satisfied.

The numerous programmes taking place simultaneously required a person to prioritize – excluding Chefs Table, which took place at a separate venue and required advanced booking with an additional cost. You got to choose from Chefs Open Theatre, Cooking With Chefs, Eat Well Live Well, Baking Theatre, Wine Theatre as well as the Book Signing/Meet & Greet, each section with its own programme and a rotation of headlining chefs. There was also the M-Net Theatre, Cake Deco Lab, and Kids Deco Lab. Some theatres were hands on creating a fun learning experience while others were there for you to sit back, relax and enjoy the shows. There was something to interest everyone in the family, even the smallies were included and had their share of the fun. Having attended the Chefs Open Theatre for Marco Pierre White’s final programme, I can comfortably say that a minimum hour camping out at the queue is necessary for decent seats. Hearing from other guests, the other shows were harder to get in. On Saturday morning I attempted to attend the first show but before the doors of the show were even open the queue to enter extended right out of CTICC.

I’m delighted to announce I had my Moment with Marco when I got to ask him a question, I had stage fright in the audience (can you imagine?). His presence is larger than life and as terrifying as his presence may be (in the best possible way of course), he does not view himself as a star, he is humble with an overwhelming soft side and he is tremendously family orientated and motivational. I’ll need a whole article just to discuss him!

This year’s focus was an excellent initiative to reduce food wastage. The growing concern about environmental and economic costs, hunger and resource conservation associated with food waste have raised public awareness of food loss globally. Reducing food waste is environmentally important as it keeps food out of landfills, makes economic sense by lowering household food bills and by reducing disposal costs for restaurants, processors and farmers. And,finally, reducing food waste is socially important when the rescued food is redirected to emergency food providers working to eliminate hunger in our communities. Every consumer can contribute by doing his/her part to make a difference.

The exhibitors were not short of traffic as well. The sections were divided to make it easy to navigate and visit the sections that interest a person the most. These included Baking & Cake Décor, Beer & Spirits, Gourmet, Lifestyle, Food Trucks, Market, Street Food, Wellness, Wine, and a Kids Area.

There was food that would satisfy any taste buds, international trends and cuisine, the best local produce on offer and diet friendly options as well (including Halaal, Vegan & Vegetarian). I was personally drawn to the different homemade chilli sauces available as well as the many stalls with artisanal chocolates. Don’t forget to take extra spending dollars as you won’t be able to control yourself with all that is on offer!

A mind-boggling display of the world’s largest Elephant cake demanded special attention. Hard to imagine it was all edible yet there it stood. It was in aid of amazing conservation efforts and all funds were then donated to the International Fund For Animal Welfare. To help raise funds visitors could make donations at the display, get a professional instant photograph taken with the Elephant Cake or purchase a limited-edition T-shirts amongst other options.

With all the above and much more, can one possibly allow this opportunity to pass without taking full advantage? I think not! Johannesburg and Durban, are you ready? The show’s headed your way!