News

Tasting Australia fires up a fantastic finish

Tasting Australia has been a flying success in 2018 with strong crowds through the Town Square hub, many sell-out events and unique new experiences embraced by the public.

Almost 30 international and national chefs joined local champions to produce one-off dishes, menus and experiences that showcased South Australia’s premium produce alongside expertly curated beverages.

The festival hub, Town Square in Victoria Square, evolved in 2018 with a d’Arenberg premium wine bar, a main stage with live music and 14 Charred vendors, enjoyed by more than 52,000 people throughout the 10 days of the event.

“Tasting Australia really is a celebration, and we’ve seen guests sharing meals and conversation about what they’re eating and drinking, from Town Square’s Charred vendors to the Glasshouse Kitchen,” festival director Simon Bryant said.

“From the city to the regions, international and national chefs, winemakers, distillers, brewers and industry have been talking about the great produce that makes South Australia special.”

Town Square also played host to Tourism Australia’s official welcome event for the Australian Tourism Exchange, during which 2300 people including 700 international tourism retailers or wholesalers experienced the state’s best people, produce and products.

Nine Glasshouse Kitchen sittings were held in Town Square starring chefs including Christian Puglisi (Relæ, Copenhagen - #39 in World’s 50 Best) and Carlo Mirarchi (two Michelin-starred Blanca, New York) with near sell-outs across the festival.

“It’s been great to see some of our local students and up-and-coming chefs pulling out a chopping board alongside these world-class chefs,” programming director Jock Zonfrillo said.

“There’s a real FOMO about the festival now – everyone wants to be involved.”

The debut of Tasting Australia Airlines was a huge success with 3 flights to Kangaroo Island and one to Coffin Bay all sold out. Guests experienced a luxury itinerary through 

Alliance Airlines that has never been explored by food festivals around the country, or even the world.

The festival included more than 140 events across 11 regions, and highlights included:
  • The sold out opening gala; the d’Arenberg Cube Surrealist Ball.
  • The Exeter Curry Night: A Tribute, that sold out two sittings on Tuesday 17 April.
  • The inaugural Tasting Australia Spirit Awards that attracted 166 entries from 63 distilleries across Australia.
  • Four sell-out Blend Your Own Gin with Kangaroo Island spirits masterclasses run by East End Cellars.
  • About 1000 people enjoying the entire East End Cellars Masterclass series.
  • Celebrating where food comes from at the home of Salopian Inn chef/co-owner Karena Armstrong for her sold-out event Garden to Plate.
  • Three sold-out walking tours of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens to discover Foods That Light Your Fire.
  • A two-day sourdough masterclass with Small World Bakery that sold-out completely to interstate guests.

Tasting Australia is an annual eating and drinking festival that began in 1997 and is owned and managed by the State Government via Events South Australia.

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