Simon’s Gourmet Gallery at Ekka 2011

Simon’s made its first ever Ekka appearance last Friday and hosted three cooking demonstrations, which featured Darren’s winning eggplant salad dish with feta cheese and pomegranates! Darren, who led the cooking demonstration, shares with us his experience at the Ekka.

“It was a lot of fun to cook live at the Ekka! Definitely a whole new experience,” says Darren.

Our barista and chef from Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, beams with joy and speaks with a twinkle in his eyes as he recalls the cooking demonstration at the Ekka.

The passionate cook admits that he was quite nervous at the start of the first cooking session but started to relax midway and went with the flow of the event.

The audience were exceptionally engaged and responsive throughout the cooking sessions, much to Darren’s relief and delight. He explains that the audience were particularly curious about handling pomegranates and salting eggplants, and not to mention eager to grab a sample of Darren’s eggplant salad.

 “The audience were pretty much clawing their way to the front to grab a sample!” says Darren.

 There were heaps of fun quizzes and giveaways throughout the cooking demo which were popular with the Ekka crowd!

 Explaining his every move on stage was a challenge for Darren as he was used to just cooking from start to finish at his own pace, minus having to narrate his actions in the kitchen.

 “It was really tough to speak while cooking and I’ve never demonstrated in front of such a large crowd before.”

 “It was also my first time having a microphone while cooking, so it was definitely tricky to explain what I was doing, answer questions from the audience and cook at the same time in a totally  new environment in an unfamiliar kitchen.”

 Darren humbly thanks his brilliant sidekick Amanda, who did an excellent job as his assistant chef at the demo, as well as Amy from Brisbane Markets and Bree.

 So what did Darren think of the cooking demonstration overall?

 “I loved it! The adrenaline rush was amazing. I’d definitely do it again!”

 Look out Australia, a Darren’s Show may be coming to you!



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