Hundreds of media and culinary identities from around the globe are feasting on South Australian produce as part of the multi-million dollar Restaurant Australia campaign.
More than 60 international media and food and wine experts have been sampling the state’s best culinary tourism experiences this week and last, on familiarisation visits across South Australia.
They are making cheese in the Adelaide Hills, playing winemaker for the day in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, enjoying local produce on Kangaroo Island, feasting on seafood on the Eyre Peninsula, trying ‘feral food’ in the Flinders Ranges, visiting Haigh’s Chocolate Factory, shopping at the Adelaide Central Markets and sampling the city’s top restaurants.
Last Friday marked the pinnacle of the Tourism Australia campaign, when more than 250 people gathered for the ‘Invite the World to Dinner’ gala event at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. Guests enjoyed a menu featuring South Australian produce and wine.
South Australian Tourism Commission CEO Rodney Harrex said events such as these give South Australia the chance to showcase its culinary credentials to the world.
“Restaurant Australia is about promoting brilliant food and wine experiences in amazing locations,” Mr Harrex said.
“South Australia has world-class wine regions, gourmet produce growing across the state, chefs creating amazing culinary delicacies and the stunning locations to match.
“We are really jumping on board the Restaurant Australia campaign, because it plays to South Australia’s strengths and it’s great to showcase that to Australia and the world.”
Also on Friday, a Restaurant Australia Marketplace was held on the Hobart wharf, where each state and territory showcased local produce brought to life by their food and wine ambassadors. The South Australian stall was hosted by food icon Maggie Beer, veteran chef Simon Bryant, Hentley Farm chef Lachlan Colwill and Alpha Box & Dice winemaker Justin Lane.
They served a carpaccio using Heritage Breed Beef aged sirloin, bred in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong district from Feast Fine Foods. The complimenting mayonnaise was made with six local ingredients: Koonowla Red Wine Vinegar from the Clare Valley, Primo Estate Olive Oil from McLaren Vale, Beerenberg Bavarian Mustard from the Adelaide Hills, Kolophon Capers from the Riverland, KI Source Mineral Salt from Kangaroo Island, and Fleurieu Free Range Eggs from Scoop on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The dish was paired with the 2011 Alpha Box and Dice Apostle (Shiraz / Durif), 2012 Henschke Keyneton Euphonium (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc) and Maggie Beer Sparkling Ruby Cabernet (non-alcoholic).
Last week Restaurant Australia ambassador Maggie Beer hosted MasterChef China judge Steven Liu at her Farm Shop in the Barossa. Mr Liu is filming for Master Is Coming – a TV show about international food trails – on Travel Channel China.
“South Australia is blessed with a strong food culture,” Ms Beer said. “We are so lucky to have a state full of passionate growers, winemakers and chefs all doing amazing things with beautiful produce.
“South Australia offers the true food and wine experience amongst some incredible landscapes, so we need to promote this to the world.”
Restaurant Australia is part of Tourism Australia’s ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign and was devised in response to the growing global demand for food and wine as part of the travel experience.