Eat or not to eat, there is no question

VIC blogger Chantal discovers the perfect ingredients for a successful day out in Melbourne: TV chefs and tasty treats.

A culinary delight to the senses, this year’s Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show was a decadent and indulgent journey that got my belly grumbling and my mouth salivating.

Far from merely satisfying my hunger, the show reignited my love for the kitchen. And how could it not?From sweet to savoury, spicy to salty, my senses were in overdrive and I was eager to experience some of the cooking classes on offer.

Rapt to discover Australian Good Food magazine was hosting a special ‘Masterclass’ with my favourite TV chef Manu Feildel, I became determined not to miss the action with the charming and most flirtatious French personality of My Kitchen Rules and Dancing with the Stars fame.

Yours truly and Manu

Fashionably late, Manu ran up onto stage and got to work making the creamy mussel dish ‘Moules a la Bretonne’, followed by a ‘decadent chocolate tart’. As light on his feet in the kitchen,as he is on the dance floor as he is in the kitchen, Manu’s cooking skills blended as smoothly as the rich creamy layers of his chocolate tart. Desserts aside, it was his alluring accent that made the ladies swoon. This was more than a cooking show; it was pure entertainment.

Manu flirted audaciously with the crowd, answering questions and one very lucky audience member was invited to do a quick foxtrot with the cheeky TV chef while his cream and milk concoction for the chocolate tart boiled over on the stove.

Manu admitted the secret to all cooking is butter; “When you think you’ve got enough, add some more!” Although, I wouldn’t be taking up any of his health tips, as when asked how he keeps the weight off he admitted; “I’d die if I had to go on a diet”.

Quick snap with Tobie Puttock

After the Masterclass, it was time to explore the myriad of stalls and cooking shows on offer. We were treated to wine tastings with a range of vendors from the Yarra Valley; cheese and condiment sampling from Beechworth Honey to the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Co; and coffees and chocolates from the Freckleberry Chocolate Factory to the Venziano Coffee stall. I even bumped into Jamie Oliver’s good friend and world-renowned chef Tobie Puttock, who obligingly had his photo taken with me.

With all the smells, sounds and excitement, we’d worked up quite an appetite but having all that choice and temptation it was hard to know just where and what to eat. We soon spotted the Oxford Landing Estates restaurant and found ourselves indulging in the creamy, spicy flavours of

Lunch time courtesy of MasterChef contestant Poh Ling Yeow

former MasterChef contestant and TV personality, Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘Nonya chicken curry with steamed rice’ teamed with a glass of Oxford Landing Estate shiraz – delish!

Satisfied to the brim and unable to look at another morsel of food, it was time to roll all the way home with a few loosened buttons around the waistline. With all the right ingredients, the Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show served up an appetising and most satisfying day. I give it three Michelin stars.

What’s your favourite reality TV show? Does MasterChef take the cake for you?

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