Australia’s pre-eminent eating and drinking festival has launched its program for 2018 featuring more than 140 events across 10 days and 11 regions.
Tasting Australia returns from April 13-22 and will showcase extraordinary people, the influence of place and premium produce from around the State, the country and the world.
New this year is Tasting Australia Airlines, an all-inclusive, full-day luxury experience for guests to explore South Australia’s farther but significant culinary regions. The first itinerary to Kangaroo Island was released in December and sold out within 48 hours. Today additional flights to Kangaroo Island are released, along with new itineraries to Coffin Bay for acclaimed oysters and Mayura Station on the Limestone Coast, home of first-class Wagyu beef. All flights are hosted by Alliance Airlines.
Leading chefs attending Tasting Australia 2018 include:
- Rodolfo Guzman of Boragó, Chile (#42 in World’s 50 Best Restaurants)
- Christian Puglisi of Relæ, Copenhagen (#39 in World’s 50 Best Restaurants)
- Mehmet Gürs of Mikla, Turkey (#51 in World’s 50 Best Restaurants)
- Norbert Niederkofler of St Hubertus, Italy (three Michelin stars)
- Carlo Mirarchi of Blanca, New York (two Michelin stars)
The festival’s creative team includes chef Simon Bryant (festival director, The Cook and The Chef) and chef Jock Zonfrillo (programming director, Restaurant Orana) with industry legend Cheong Liew as patron. Ambassadors are Duncan Welgemoed (Africola) and Nick Stock (wine journalist, winemaker). Bryant said the next edition of the festival was set to be its best yet.
“Tasting Australia continues to evolve but one thing is constant – the support and skill of our local industry,” he said.
“It’s always exciting to see the public get out and meet producers, try new ingredients, sample different wines and share their experiences during the festival. We are all about people, place and produce and the incredible program for 2018 shows that.” The festival’s opening gala – The d’Arenberg Cube Surrealist Ball – will be the first major event held at d’Arenberg’s celebrated new Cube and is set to channel the venue’s imaginative and whimsical spirit. The closing party heralds the return of the sold-out Fresh Wine Disco, now at The Manor at Basket Range.
Restaurants, wineries, markets and businesses throughout the State have contributed 80 events to the program reaching from Flinders Ranges to the Limestone Coast. Tasting Australia has also launched its inaugural national Tasting Australia Spirit Awards, and following 2017’s success East End Cellars will run a series of beverage masterclasses including a 10-vintage tasting of Henschke’s Mount Edelstone and a panel of Masters & Apprentices featuring Chester and D’arry Osborn of d’Arenberg.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said South Australia was home to some of the world’s best spirits, craft beer and wine, as well as certified GM-free produce.
“Tasting Australia is the perfect way to showcase our produce, with local chefs working side-by-side with some of the world’s top chefs to create amazing dishes to enjoy,” he said.
“This year’s festival includes two full weekends of activities and coincides with ATE – Australia’s largest international travel conference which will draw the attention of the world to Adelaide – further boosting our record $6.3 billion visitor economy.
“We have the best restaurant in the country right here in South Australia and have become national leaders when it comes to premium food, beverages and outstanding dining experiences.
“The Tasting Australia program looks fantastic again this year, particularly the chance for people to visit the regions through Tasting Australia Airlines which offers culinary day-trips to South Australia’s foodie hubs including Kangaroo Island, Coffin Bay and the Limestone Coast.”
Festival programming director Jock Zonfrillo said there was plenty to look forward to.
“This year we have some impressive events and talent – there is Tasting Australia Airlines which is an experience that you could not replicate yourself, and Rodolfo Guzman and Mehmet Gürs cooking in the Glasshouse Kitchen,” he said.
“Adelaide is a hotspot in Australia’s current wave of creativity in food and wine, so for some of the best experiences in the country, keep an eye out for Tasting Australia ticket releases as they won’t last.”
Tasting Australia began in 1997 and is owned and managed by the South Australian Government via Events South Australia. In 2017 more than 52,000 people attended the free festival hub, Town Square, and more than half of the 131 ticketed events sold out.
For more information and to book visit tastingaustralia.com.au