Crowds fill Town Square for the start of Tasting Australia 2018.
Crowds fill Town Square for the start of Tasting Australia 2018.
Crowds fill Town Square for the start of Tasting Australia 2018.

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Tasting Australia gets underway in heart of Adelaide

Tasting Australia is underway for 2018, with the 10-day celebration of premium eating and drinking experiences in Adelaide and 11 South Australian regions putting the spotlight on the state's world-leading produce. 

Minister for Tourism the Hon. David Ridgeway MLC cut the ceremonial ribbon to welcome patrons into the festival hub known as Town Square, flanked by Tasting Australia festival director Simon Bryant and programming director Jock Zonfrillo. 

Town Square is the public centre of Tasting Australia - based in the northern section of Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga - and incorporates the premium and beautifully-styled dining premises known as the Glasshouse Kitchen, as well as the popular public-access Charred food vendor precinct.

Hundreds filtered through the doors for the opening day, with the smoky smells of delicious South Australian produce cooked over flames wafting across the Adelaide CBD. 

Mingling with locals were internationally-esteemed chefs, including leading Michelin-starred and World's 50 Best ranked festival stars.

Delicious produce including cheeses, vegetables, meats and game, pastries and streetfood are among the tasty treats that can be enjoyed at Charred in Town Square (Victoria Square). Pic: Daniel Purvis

"Now, it's become regarded as the leading food and wine festival in the country, so it was always very important for Adelaide to show off our produce and the talent: winemakers, chefs, hospitality, venues - whether it be a small bar, through to a large hotel," Zonfrillo said on Friday. 

"We've got some cracking things here in our industry, and this is a big celebration of it.

"Now to have nine international talents come here and celebrate with us is pretty special.

"We've got two of the world's 50 Best chefs, we've got another who's got three Michelin stars; what we've done is curate the leading pool of talent globally,  and asked them to come and join us here in South Australia.

"I can tell you - we didn't need to bend their arm."

The pièce de résistance of Tasting Australia continues to be its Glasshouse Kitchen program, where those nine international chefs convene with Australian culinary leaders and local food heroes to create four courses to rival the best restaurants in the gastronomic bastions of Europe.

That, Zonfrillo says, is the point-of-difference that Tasting Australia offers the festival-goer, and is why it remains such an important feature. 

"You could pay $2500 for a flight over to Europe or you could come to a Glasshouse Dinner and have a great meal along with local chefs and those international guys," Zonfrillo said.

"It's really good."

Jock Zonfrillo, Minister for Tourism the Hon. David Ridgeway MLC and Simon Bryant cut the ribbon to open Town Square. Pic: Daniel Purvis

Glasshouse Kitchens remain on sale up until the sitting, enabling locals to take advantage of the unique opportunity to taste premium produce from South Australia prepared under the masterful gaze of its leading chefs.  Browse Glasshouse Kitchens here.

East End Cellar Masterclasses offer those seeking expert tutelage in wine, beer and spirits the opportunity to learn from the winemakers, brewers and distillers themselves while sampling up to 12 drops of unique and expertly crafted wines during the event.

Tasting Australia runs from 13-22 April 2018.

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