A long lunch. That goes for 10 days?
Loosen your belt buckle and get ready for a gourmet feast like no other. Tasting Australia will be back better than ever in 2021 with Byron Bay-based Three Ducks Founder Darren Robertson bringing his serious culinary-cred to next year's festival as food curator. Originally from the UK, Darren trained at the Michelin starred Gravetye Manor and is now the co-owner and chef at The Farm in Byron Bay and Three Blue Ducks in Sydney and Brisbane. Joined by local chef icon Simon Bryant, Tasting Australia is a foodie's heaven showcasing the best produce from around Australia from 30 April to May 9 2021.
Stay tuned for details on next year's program and leave room in your diary for long lunches, exclusive dinners, farm tours, tastings, masterclasses, food parties and more. For now, here's a sample menu of last year's program to whet your appetite.
1. Town Square
The sizzling heart of Tasting Australia, Town Square is the perfect spot to meet, grab a bite to eat and explore with the family. Free to enter and in prime position in the heart of Adelaide — Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga - you’ll find a smorgasbord of stalls dishing up South Australian produce and bars pouring up some of the state’s finest drops. Hungry? Get served first at RAA Travel’s Preview Party on 26 March and taste your way around the Town Square offering before everyone else with a two-hour food and drink package.
2. Glasshouse Kitchens
Dinner is served in the Glasshouse, and there’s no such thing as too many chefs in the kitchen. Taking centre stage in Town Square, this popular dinner series returns to dish up special, one-off experiences featuring some of the world’s best chefs. With an exciting line-up of talent including Norway’s Heidi Bjerkan, Sat Bains from the UK, iconic Australian chef Matt Moran and Shohei Yasuda from Japan among many others collaborating with the finest local chefs including Maggie Beer and Emma McCaskill, take your seat and prepare to be blown away.
3. Tasting Australia Airlines
Picture this. Sitting down to a long, Italian-style lunch among the rolling vineyards of McLaren Vale. In the kitchen preparing your meal? None other than Marco Pierre White, alongside Africola’s Duncan Welgemoed and Gather at Coriole’s Tom Tilbury. A once-in-a-lifetime culinary indulgence, your menu has been specially curated featuring local, artisan produce and expertly paired with some of the best local wines. But before all that, you’ll be jumping on a private chartered flight from Brisbane to Australia’s culinary heart, Adelaide, enjoying a champagne breakfast at cruising altitude before being whisked away to Coriole. After lunch, venture on to another one of Australia’s most iconic wineries where you’ll enjoy a tasting at d’Arenberg Cube and explore an exclusive Salvador Dali exhibition.
Travelling from Melbourne? Check out this full-day culinary adventure which will have you wining and dining South Australia’s best produce everywhere from the vines to the sea.
4. Matt Moran & Yalumba Farmgate Lunch
A long lunch, unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Your place is set among stunning gardens at the Yalumba Farmgate Lunch, and your chefs, Matt Moran and Simon Bryant, are busy crafting your meal using produce straight from the farm. Each course carefully planned, and perfectly paired with wine made from the vines that surround you. Sit down, settle in and let lunch linger surrounded by 170 years of wine-making history. You’re in the heart of South Australia’s wine mecca, the Barossa, after all. Throughout the afternoon, learn from the masters with cooking demonstrations, and brush up on your wine-snobbery skills with the help of Yalumba winemaker, Louisa Rose.
5. Vintage Express
You’ve never been on a wine tour like this. Yes, there will be wine tastings, and generous ones at that. But during Vintage Express, you’ll also be fully immersed in the world of wine making, in the midst of vintage. Watch as the new harvest is brought in. Get involved, pick a few bunches, and chat to the winemakers about their craft before tasting the fruits of their labor. When your stomach calls, a two-course lunch awaits in answer. Eight tours will run throughout Tasting Australia, with destination options in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and within the city limits.
6. Seaside Sojourn
Your seat is reserved overlooking the ocean at Port Willunga and an impressive trio of chefs are cooking up a storm for a Seaside Sojourn. Before dinner is served, you’re invited to a seaside soiree to sip aperitifs on the sandy shores below Star of Greece, where your renowned chefs for the evening are beginning preparations. Star of Greece chef Brett Worrall will open his kitchen to Scottish-born, now Bali-based chef Will Meyrick and Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks, and together the trio will dish up an impressive menu showcasing South Australia’s world-renowned seafood. You don’t need to worry about driving, either. This experience includes a return coach to the city centre or McLaren Vale, which is convenient given you’ll enjoy matched wines throughout the evening.
7. The Market Soiree Clare Valley
Clare Valley is home to world-class wineries, renowned restaurants and abundant artisan producers, and they’re all getting together for a massive celebration showcasing the very best the region has to offer. Stallholders will take over Mintaro’s main street for The Market Soiree, with Seed Kitchen, Pikes Beer Company and Horrocks Bounty among locals ready to dish up Clare Valley’s finest. Live music by Timberwolf and Brad Bryksy Music will set the soundtrack for an afternoon of eating and drinking. Return transfers from The Stag Public House in the city are included.
8. Lot 100 presents the Ultimate Pizza Party
Unlimited pizza. Repeat, UNLIMITED PIZZA. If that’s not enough to get you to Lot 100’s Ultimate Pizza Party, then let us name drop just a few of the pizza artists who will be dishing up the goods… McLaren Vale’s Pizzateca, Tom Bubner of Pizza e Mozzarella and Western Australia’s Si Paradiso. Convinced? Great. I bet we can eat more pizza than you – that’s a challenge.
9. Golding Wines Western Branch Wine & Dine Safari
Stroll through Golding Wines’ western branch vineyard and sip a selection of wines crafted from the vines surrounding you during this wine and dine safari. Join Lucy and Darren Golding and explore this picturesque Lobethal vineyard, learn about the history of their winery and then settle in for a five-course lunch. Prepared by head chef De Buys Nortier, the lavish wine-matched degustation will feature the very best Adelaide Hills produce, much of it sourced from surrounding properties.
10. Love Potions
Let’s set the scene. You, a cosy nook in the city, a constant supply of food and free-flowing drinks from 30 of Australia’s best beverage producers. It’s a recipe for a good night out. A Love Potion, if you will. Whether your poison of choice is beer, wine, gin, Negroni, or all the above, rest assured your thirst will be well quenched. You’ll be well fed, too. Belles Hot Chicken will be on hand to supply wings, ribs, chicken sliders and more to satisfy late-night cravings. You’ll find the party in the basement bar of North Terrace’s Freemason Lodge, so settle in, and eat and drink to your heart’s content as music lulls you into a dreamy food and drink coma.
The feast continues in Adelaide
Continue your gastronomic adventure at one of Adelaide’s best restaurants. From boundary-pushing Japanese, to Napoli-style pizzerias, South African inspired diners and Australia’s official best restaurant, check out our guide to the best places to eat and drink in Adelaide.