I don’t know about you, but every year I get VERY excited about the Auckland Food Show, mainly because it is the biggest foodie event in my calendar! Held at the ASB Showgrounds over four days (Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July), this event showcases the best in food and drink from product owners around the country.
I love it because it gives you the chance to try and buy new and existing products, meet the owners behind all your favourite brands, and EAT, EAT, EAT (definitely recommend having a light breakfast!)
I generally visit The Food Show on the weekend, but this year, I attended the ‘Preview Day’, which usually falls on the Thursday and is limited to only 4,000 people (as opposed to 20,000-35,000 on Saturday and Sunday!) I was instantly surprised at how much bigger the event was compared to last year. I was also excited to see that many new companies have popped up over the last year, which gave me a chance to talk to the owners about their product, which is what I really love about The Food Show. My new favourite products that I tasted included olives and green peppers from The Olive Lady, the Buckinis chocolate clusters cereal from Loving Earth and to top it all off, a vanilla coconut soft serve with black doris plum sorbet topped with cacao sauce, cacao nibs AND raw chocolate caramel slice from Minty B Ice Creamery – EPIC!!!
Ticket entry also includes watching all your favourite New Zealand chefs in action, cooking mouthwatering dishes at the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre! Check out the timetable here. There will be 18 demonstrations over the four days, and also many show specials on products and kitchen equipment. Also, don’t leave without buying/renewing a magazine subscription (I love Taste and Dish) which usually includes a wonderful goodie bag and sometimes, a delectable treat!
Check out my list below for my favourite zones of the day, stands and show specials, along with a string of photos! If you have any questions about the products, feel free to ask! If you are heading to the show this weekend, have a fabulous time!
Street Food Alley – the newest zone this year, and also my favourite. It is a foodie’s paradise! We stopped here for lunch and tried most of their delicious offerings, including:
– Akemi’s Gyoza, which serve authentic Japanese dumplings. I loved their pork and garlic chives combination the best!
– Nanam Eatery – you will probably recognise the name – they are the popular Filipino eatery in Royal Oak. I have still not been to their restaurant (crazy I know), so I was really excited to try out their food. Especially their TacoPao! Sticky pulled pork, carrot and peanuts served in ‘Nanam buns’ shaped like lips! Loved them.
– Ripe Deli, another popular eatery in Auckland, famous for their salads! Which by the way, are amazing. If you are looking for a healthy option for lunch, then definitely head here.
– Minty B Icecreamery, serving vegan coconut soft serve. How have I not tried them before? So delish! I had a regular scoop of their vanilla coconut soft serve, swirled with their black doris plum sorbet, and topped with cacao sauce (which had gone hard, yay), cacao nibs and a huge slice of their homemade raw chocolate caramel slice. Absolute heaven.
Cigna Healthy Hub – always one of my favourite zones at the Food Show, featuring wholefoods and healthy products. A highlight was seeing Ceres Organics again – they have great show specials (see below under ‘Specials’) and many tastings! Stands which I also loved include Dr Feelgood (iceblocks), Cyclops Organic Yoghurt, Little Bird Organics & Unbakey, Loving Earth (vegan chocolate and amazing cereals), and Tom & Luke (three words: peanut butter balls!)
Countdown Fresh Market – if you love fresh fruit and vegetables, then definitely check out this zone. You will find the Countdown stand (recipes and tastings), King Avocado, Leaderbrand Produce beetroot and Meadows mushrooms. But my favourite stand was the Kaipara Kumara – their ‘chips’ were delicious!!!
Other stands which I loved (not mentioned above)- there were over 260 exhibitors!:
- Little Island Coconut Creamery – try one of their coconut drinking milks (I loved the coffee one) and a hot chocolate made with coconut milk – delish!
- Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney – one of my favourite NZ products. I love spreading it on pizza, adding it to my meals and just eating it out of the jar. This is a must try at the Food Show!
- Zebra International – selling Freshpak Rooibos, which is my favourite tea!
- The Baron – highly recommend their ‘Beer Nuts’ (sweet and salty goodness).
- West Coast Cocoa – hot chocolate and chai. I bought their chocolate caramel flavour – perfect for winter! ($10 per 250g tube).
- Lewis Road Creamery – serving their ever popular caramel milk, butters and their ice cream, including the limited edition rose ice cream, which tastes just like the real thing!
- Fresh As – freeze dried fruit and herbs. Forever love their freeze dried raspberries and strawberries and don’t forget to pick up one (or five) of their recipe cards.
- House of Dumplings – I first tried these dumplings at the Seafood Festival last year. They are all handcrafted and taste heavenly. My favourites were the Korean Sesame Beef Sprouts and Nepalese Spiced Lamb! ($2.50 each).
- Heilala Vanilla – my go-to favourite for everything vanilla – extract, paste, beans, sugar and syrup! Try a piece of their amazing shortbread and also highly recommend picking up one of their show specials (see below).
- Taste Magazine – I always update my annual subscription for Taste at The Food Show, because it is a great deal (6 issues for $29) and this year, they had a ‘Spin to Win’ – I ended up with a whole tin of Billington’s baking goodies!
Below are a list of my favourite show specials for some great products:
– West Coast Cocoa are selling their 250g tubes of hot chocolate and chai for only $10!
– The Olive Lady is a new exhibitor at the Food Show, selling jars of green olives, Kalamata olives, and green pickled peppers, plus olive oil, all made in Greece! Special: $5 jars or $15 for two jars and 1L of olive oil – what a steal!
– Blue Coconut (coconut oil) is now selling single serve coconut sachets – perfect for travelling! Special: 10 x 20gm sachets for $10.
– Taste Magazine (my favourite foodie mag) is offering a great deal on their subscription- $29 for six issues and also a spin to win – I picked up an amazing Billington’s baking tin filled with goodies!
– Dish Magazine is also offering a subscription show special, which comes with Opawa wine and a wonderful goodie bag.
– Ceres Organics (a show favourite for me) offers a range of specials, including: 3 packets of rice crackers for $5, 3 packets coconut smiles (I love these!) for $5, 3 packets of seaweed for $5, and so much more!
– BeeWrapt! is NZ’s original beeswax food wrap – it keeps food fresh and we particularly like wrapping it around our cheese. Special: if you buy 3 x everyday food wrap packs, you receive a 250gm jar of their Kamahi and Rewarewa honey, made from their beautiful bees.
– Heilala Vanilla – 2 products for $15 (includes 2 vanilla beans, 50ml vanilla extract, 250ml vanilla syrup and 200g vanilla sugar jar).
– And last but not least, one of my favourite NZ companies, Little Island Creamery, has some great show specials: Hot coconut chocolate $4, Small bottle of coconut drinking milk $4, 1L coconut milk $9, 1L chocolate milk $8 and 2 x 1L either coconut or chocolate milks $10!
The Auckland Food Show
Dates: Thursday 28 July to Sunday 31 July
Hours: Thursday to Saturday (10am to 6pm) and Sunday (10am to 5pm)
Venue: ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane
Tickets: $26-28 (online or at the gate)
Parking: $10 at the gate (cash only)