Cooking show a big hit

By Alison King, Katie Holland

Rotorua is a city of people keen to try new foods and expand their cooking skills - at least that's what celebrity chef Peter Blakeway thought after three days of cooking demonstrations at the Rotorua Daily Post Home & Leisure Show.

Mr Blakeway demonstrated four different dishes and answered questions at the show, which was held on Friday through to yesterday at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

"I enjoyed the people, always the people," Mr Blakeway said.

"There were some really neat people. There was an old man who has discovered cooking recently as his wife has passed away and he's on his own. He's cooking for himself for the first time in his life and loving it, but he's got a lot of catching up to do."

Mr Blakeway's avocado chocolates were a hit and his Asian pork belly dish was also popular as people learned how to turn cheap cuts of meat into something delicious.

"I would come back in a heartbeat - I love it in Rotorua, it constantly amazes me just how rapidly it's developing. There's a vibe about the city that's really exciting."

Mr Blakeway was one of the main attractions to the show, which was a hit with the crowds.

Rotorua Daily Post general manager Matthew Sherry said visitor numbers were up on last year, with Saturday the busiest day.

He said there had been a positive mood among visitors and exhibitors.

"There was a lot of buying going on," he said. "We had some excellent feedback."

Mr Sherry said the show had something for everybody, from "big-ticket" items, like cars and spa pools, to microwaves, mussels, real estate and wine.

The bouncy castle and slide were a big hit with children, while the cooking demonstrations were "absolutely chocker".

Mr Sherry said some exhibitors had already booked their stands for next year.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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