Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel kicks off today across Adelaide and regional South Australia with more than 150 culinary events in all 12 regions of the state and the return of the CBD festival hub Town Square in Victoria Square/ Tarntanyangga.
South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said Tasting Australia is another jewel in the crown of South Australia’s blockbuster events calendar.
“South Australia has had a hugely successful start to the year with events driving domestic and international visitation and boosting the state’s economy,” said Minister Bettison.
“I am thrilled that one of the country’s longest running eating and drinking festival, Tasting Australia, is taking over South Australia for the next 10 days, showcasing our globally renowned food and beverage sector and telling the stories of our producers and regions to visitors from around the world.”
The fun begins today at 11am when Town Square officially opens to the public. Town Square is free to enter and is open every day of the festival.
Patrons will feast from a range of local food vendors, some of which have never previously featured at a festival including Kuti Shack (Goolwa) who will be serving their trademark Goolwa pipis, Chefs on Wheels’ mac and cheese loaded with South Australian produce, and a pop-up from the CBD institution Peel Street Restaurant.
Other food vendors include Filipino Project, CARŌclub, Crepe Bar, Victoria Park Social Club, One Sneaky Cheetah, Hubba Hubba Hummus, Taco Cartel, Phat Head, Boston Bay Smallgoods X Smokin’ Grillers, Shibui, Dawn Patrol Coffee and Lukoumades.
Town Square patrons can have their dishes served on a take-home, enamel Tasting Australia plate for $1, with all proceeds donated to the State Emergency Relief Fund to help South Australians impacted by the Murray River floods.
Friday 28 April also marks International Viognier Day with Tasting Australia premier wine partner Yalumba offering the first 100 people who purchase a dish from a participating food vendor a free glass of Viognier from the Yalumba bar in Town Square.
Co-Festival Director Darren Robertson said Town Square makes special gastronomic experiences accessible for everyone.
“Town Square is the heart of Tasting Australia, it brings people together to celebrate no matter what their budget – entry to Town Square is free,” said Mr Robertson.
“It has been a priority to Co-Festival Director Karena Armstrong and I to ensure there are accessible and affordable experiences for everyone – dishes from the vendors start from $5 and showcase the very best produce South Australia has to offer. From Coffin Bay oysters to Barossa ham and Adelaide Hills cheese, everything is locally sourced.”
Away from Town Square, events will feature across the state including Tasting Australia Airlines trips to Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges, a long lunch at Maxwell Wines with international chef and food writer Gill Meller, and an off-grid culinary adventure to Flinders Island in the Eyre Peninsula.
The beverage program is also expansive, featuring everything from wine, beer and spirits to no or low alcohol events.
It’s the first year in charge of the beverage program for the festival’s new Drinks Curators, Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane.
“From the masterclass series in Town Square, to Tasting Tables across the CBD and in region, the beverage program is as vast as ever,” said Ms Harel.
“We’ve tried to incorporate three main themes into everything we are doing – inclusivity, diversity and modernity.
Whether it’s the range of drinks we’re presenting, or the background of our presenters, you can be guaranteed there’s something for everyone.”
RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said as South Australia’s oldest travel agency, RAA Travel was extremely proud to present Tasting Australia in 2023 and support local South Australian food and wine producers.
“RAA Travel is passionate about selling South Australia to the world and events like Tasting Australia really do put us on the map and help showcase one of our state’s greatest attractions, the food and wine sector,” said Mr Reade.
Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel runs from Friday 28 April to Sunday 7 May 2023 across Adelaide and regional South Australia.