Delicious smells kept on wafting along to Amanda Gibbons at her Whanganui Food Show stall on Sunday.

The Mainstreet Wanganui town centre manager was overseeing the weekend show hosted by Whanganui UCOL. She counted 599 people through the door on Saturday, and 150 by mid morning on Sunday.

It was enough for her to say the show will be repeated next year, on the first weekend in July.

The busiest area was a marquee, where the second heat of children were cooking up a storm in the Kiwi Kids Can Cook competition. Two of the eight competitors can go on to nationals at New Zealand Culinary Fare in Auckland on July 28.


The children were making pasta with pomodoro sauce, crepes and a dish of beef wrapped in smoky bacon. The winner of the first heat had made prawns and orzo pasta, served with peas and spinach.

There were three judges, Hughie Blues, Grant Kitchen and Whanganui's Phil Healy, the recent winner of a Trans-Tasman pavlova competition.

The top national prize is a new $6000 oven.

The show also had butchery lessons and adult cooking classes with former Whanganui chef Shaun Clouston, who now works at Logan Brown in Wellington. And there were stalls selling cheesecake, Sri Lankan and South Asian food, beer, crackers, smoothies, whitebait fritters and coffee.

There should have been more stalls, Mrs Gibbons said. Five had pulled out in the final days.

Visitor Bridget Moulder had just arrived, and already sampled cheesecake and a ham and cream cheese crepe.

Eight-year-old Nicky Morton was happily eating the concoction he had made at the Build a Better Breakfast event. It was a parfait in a tall glass, with yoghurt at the bottom and a mixture of crushed Weet-Bix, apple, grapes, rock melon and sultanas on top.