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Fine Food Perth a success
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According to exhibition director Timothy Collett the show was a delight to manage. He said “the market was primed and ready for a show like this. We filled the exhibition space quickly and there was a lot of local excitement”. Regular exhibitors that made the trip to Perth included Simplot, McCains, Chefs Pride, Patties, MLA, Peerless, Chickadee and Hakka. Equipment suppliers included Moffat, Comcater, Lennard, Stoddart and Global. Local companies that used the show to increase their business included Kailis, D’Orsogna, Canon Foods, Devings Fine Food, Fremantle Octopus, Indigo Grinds, New Norcia Bakery, Mundella Foods and Australian Fine China. Complimenting the food and equipment companies was a large contingent of local wineries. These were coordinated by the WIAWA and included Bellarmine, Brookland Valley, Ferngrove, Houghtons, Howard Park, Killerby, Merops and Thompson Estate. A saturation advertising campaign that included personal telephone calls to key buyers helped to attract a quality audience of 4400. This was well beyond expectations and significantly exceeded any previous shows in Perth. Visitors were predominately local, but there were a small number of buyers from South East Asia. This aspect of the show is expected to grow as Perth is just as close to Singapore as Sydney — and is a popular travel destination. Mike Dickson from the WA Department of Industry & Resources said “the show was a great showcase of the food and wine industry in Western Australia. We look forward to seeing it grow over coming years”. One of the reasons the show was immediately accepted was the inclusion of some popular and existing industry events. These included the Oceanafest Competition, WA Wine Industry Show and Gold Plate Awards. Oceanafest is an international chef competition. It is in fact one of the only competitions in Australia formally recognized by the World Association of Chefs. It featured three huge restaurants plus demonstration kitchens and static food displays. Shane Keighley of the new Mullaloo Beach Hotel was the overall winner. Most outstanding chef was Colin Van Haeften of Matilda Bay Restaurant. The winner of the visiting teams was Royal Canberra Golf Club and the winner of training providers was the Singapore junior chefs team.
The Gold Plate Awards are another local institution. They are presented annually to the best restaurants throughout Western Australia. The awards dinner was staged on the second night of the show and attracted an extraordinary 980 guests. Fine Food Perth will now be staged every two years, and move to an earlier March timeslot. This will enable it to alternate neatly with Fine Food Queensland and Food & Hotel Asia. The next show will be staged from 25–27 March 2007. Fine Food is staged in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Entry is restricted to members of the food and hospitality industry. For more information visit www.finefood.com.au or call 03 9261 4520.