Tempting time for those taste buds at Appetite Fest
From the entrance of the arena attendees were met with stalls and enthusiastic presenters, offering the chance to try this and try that.. before heading for the main hall.
On the programme were masterclases, cooking classes and demos by celebrity chefs, foodies, braaimasters and industry experts. Food producers, drink suppliers and chefs showed off their wares from curry to ice cream, craft gin to flavoured popcorn and gourmet donuts.
One of the highlights was the appearances by the three former MasterChef Australia judges - Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris as well as guest chef Shannon Bennet and 2018 winner Sashi Cheliah.
The chefs showed off their culinary skills as they prepared dishes in front of a live studio audience, and kept them entertained with stories of their journey on the programme and beyond, and people lined up to get their cookbooks signed.
Another hit was South Africa’s Siba Mtongana, who showed patrons how to prepare traditional African iDombolo with chicken stew. She also prepared plantain snacks - a healthy option.
Along with Siba, other local chefs on the programme included Lorna Maseko, Sarah Graham, Bertus Basson and Claire Allen.
The Australians were popular with Preston preparing chicken nuggets coated with a paste inspired by Ghost Pops, and a malva pudding with a "Klippies and Coke" sauce.
Foodie Mike Bailey said the food was too good to pass up, with a lot of different options.
“It’s always good when people from other cultures introduce their cuisine and their lifestyle so we can all be under one umbrella,” he said.
Nonka Masemola said her highlight was Siba demonstrating how to make iDombolo. “I think after that lesson my in-laws are going to be proud of me making them iDombolo. I can’t wait to cook for them."
Sam Western, from Australia, noted that the food on offer was indeed something to write home about. “There’s so much to smell and so much to eat. From churros to burgers; sweet to savoury; big portions and bite-sized parcels - there’s everything!"
The food frenzy didn’t end there. There was entertainment galore by DJ Fresh, DJ Atlanta, Kimmy K and others into the spring evening.