You may have noticed that my twitter tweets from the past week have been focused on showcasing the food from an event called ATE. I currently work for Tourism Australia as an assistant in the trade events team. From the 2nd – 8th of April we were all working at the event, which focuses on promoting the Australian tourism product to buyers internationally. Throughout the week I got to eat some fantastic food and drink many a glass of Australian wine. Below is a collection of photos throughout the week to give everyone an idea of the food I consumed. I have split the blog into two different posts, as there were just so many photos. Now that it is all over, I’m extremely tired and a few kilos heavier but it was all worth it and such a great experience.

Grill’d Burgers

Grill’d interior burger art.

First day lunch- After sorting and stuffing name tag holders all morning the team ventured down to good old Grill’d for a lunch time ‘healthy’ burger. I guess in comparison to other burgers out there these are definitely of the healthy variety. Thankfully the bun was crisp and the salad all burgers should be. I went with the Simply Grill’d- the basic model. Lean beef pattie with salad, relish and herbed mayo.

Bistro Papillon

Dinner on the first night was at Bistro Papillon, a beautiful French restaurant on Clarence St in the CBD. Everything in the restaurant had French flair from the waiters with their accents to the Montmarte art works on the wall. The place is quite small and cosy with a few tables outside on the foot path as well. I would definitely recommend it if you wanted something on the romantic side. Although our group of 10 were not looking for a romantic evening, we all had a great time.

Tarte Flambee- Thin bread dough similar to a pizza base covered with creme fraiche, onions and speck.

Fricassee d’Agneau au Citron Confit- Sauteed lamb rump with tomatoes, black olives, preserved lemon and salsa verde. This was my choice for the main, the meat was extremely tender and the tomatoes and olives gave the dish an extremely Mediterranean feel.

Poisson du Jour- Fish of the day served with a butter sauce.

Papadelle au Canard- Braised duck papadelle pasta with mushrooms, pancetta, herbs and baby spinach. This was a popular choice amongst the table, and from the photo you can see why. This will definitely be my number one choice next visit.

Novotel Rockford- In Room Dining

A few nights later after a long day at work I decided to go with the in-room dining menu for dinner. We were staying at the Novotel Rockford which is right next to the Pumphouse, with all in-room dining orders being cooked in their kitchen, I assume they use a similar menu. After working in a hotel I have never been keen on this idea of eating in, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

To be safe I went with the simple salad choice of seared scallops, rocket, dried prosciutto and lemon vincotto dressing. Overall it was averagely satisfying, the scallops weren’t exactly hot but the dish had flavour which is something that is often lacked.

Of course I considered that the salad may not be filling/appetising so I went with a back up plan and ordered a side of kumara fries as well. The serving was huge, and the chips were soaked in oil which was an instant turn off, I nibbled at a few, put them back on the tray and outside in the hallway to be collected.

Cockatoo Island Crossover Function- Tourism New South Wales

On the Monday night (4th April) Tourism NSW held the crossover function which farewells the Eastern module and welcomes the Western module delegates. To showcase Sydney to a large number of international buyers the venue choice was Cockatoo Island, unfortunately it was raining on the night, but this didn’t take away from the wow factor of the event. Below is a showcase of the different performers and food throughout the night.

Mr Centre Point Tower

Mr Opera House and Mr Harbour Bridge

Me with the Jumping Kangaroos

Acrobatic Champagne Pourer- She hangs upside down and pours you a glass of bubbly.

The Ribbon Dancing Acrobatics Show

The Head in Water Cube Entertainers

Grab one, grab two, grab three….plates of freshly cut sashimi. Mixture of salmon, kingfish and tuna with a side of seaweed salad.

The chefs plating up the raw seafood delights, also grabbed some salmon nigiri.

Started going a little crazy with all the different choices of fresh seafood to pick from. Grabbed a large plate of peeled prawns and then topped these up with….

…..Oysters. Not as good as some of the other SA varieties  I tried during the week, these still hit the spot, and I ate way too many. NOTE to SELF: at all functions where you help yourself, check out each of the stands before consuming a mountain full of food at the first one you come into contact with.

Ahhh for the love of pizza. Next up we got in line to grab a slice from our friends making wood fired pizzas from scratch, I was impressed.

Preperations for the dough, keeping it covered with damp cloths to ensure the yeast activates and the dough doesn’t dry out.

Finished masterpiece, fresh, hot delicious pizza with tomato, cheese and basil.  Belissimo! Grabbed a few slices and then moved on to…

Indian food! Above was the naan and garnish stand, where you could add some sauces after you had grabbed your curry choice.

The Curry House had a few different selections I went with the Lamb Korma, but they also had a choice of Butter Chicken and a vegetarian one from memory.

Coming from a Greek background the feta in my house is always Dodoni, imported straight from Greece. After visiting the NSW Growers Market I got to try some fantastic Australian feta which is a lot creamier then the Greek variety and not as salty.

The little baguette pieces had the fetta smeared on to them, or you could grab larger pieces, which were sitting in oil. I decided to go with…..both!

There was also an assortment of olives to try which I wasn’t a big fan of. They seemed to have an undertone of dirt flavour in them, as if they hadn’t been rinsed properly after coming off the tree. They were also a little bitter..bit of a disappointment as they looked so juicy and good.

The Waratah Bar- Instant hit with the crew as we saw the gleaming beacons of fluorescent beverages. Can’t remember the exact drink mixtures but I did take note that the orange drink was alcoholic and the peach colour drink was a mocktail. Straight to the orange!!

There were also waiters and waitresses roaming the floor, if you wanted something a little extra from what all the food stores were providing. The lamb cutlets were ever so tasty with a pinenut garnish. The bones were also nicely trimmed so you could grab it with your fingers and not get the oil from the fat on you.

By now we had all eaten or at least tried most of the food in the venue. Good achievement I must say. Last but not least was our stop off at Delicious Desserts. I must have a magnet to macaroon towers but this is the third one I have captured this year. I also photographed one in Ginza, Tokyo and another at the Taste of Sydney food festival.

I have a soft spot for candy, and even though I have eaten musk sticks, bananas, strawberries & creams and milk bottles plenty of times before I still had to grab a plateful. Also grabbed a purple macaroon, which turned out to be lavender flavoured. Weirdly enough it was one of those moments where you eat something that tastes like it smells…if that makes any sense at all?

The traditional Australian desserts were also out to try with an assortment of mini pavlovas and lamingtons. I absolutely loved the amount of colour used at this stand, with all the different lolly jars, table covers and floral bouquets.

We danced the night away listening to the Martini Club and trying to burn off the numerous calories we had just consumed. As the night wrapped up we all made our way onto the ferries and back to mainland for a good nights rest and ready to begin the Western module of ATE. Stay tuned for Part 2 coverage of the event, which will showcase morning and afternoon teas, happy hour delights and ‘The Roast’ at Bar Luca.