• Charred is just one of the events on offer as part of Tasting Australia 2019. (South Australian Tourism Commission)Source: South Australian Tourism Commission
If you haven't put Tasting Australia on your food festival hit list, then here's a taster of what's in store come April.
Farah Celjo

8 Feb 2019 - 10:31 AM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2019 - 2:14 PM

Home to the iconic bung fritz and frog cake, if you delve a little deeper into South Australia, you'll find the world's oldest vines, a rich German heritage that spans the wursts and one of Australia's longest-running food and wine festivals, Tasting Australia, celebrating everything that's right on our doorstep and after 22 years, Tasting Australia still has plenty to showcase.

Festival director Simon Bryant (The Cook and The Chef), programming director Jock Zonfrillo (Restaurant Orana, Bistro Blackwood, Bar Mallozzi) and beverage director Nick Stock have put together a bill that offers an event in every region of the state. "We've [South Australians] really earned the right to combine tourism with our food here," says Bryant, "and we're not just food and we're not just chefs, it's about taking all the things around us and bringing together a really exciting 10 days.” 

"Adelaide's food offering is in full bloom and there's plenty to experience", says Zonfrillo, so pack your stretchy pants as your need to eat and drink in festival-form once again comes true.

While South Australia is bringing its best produce and wine to this table, there are plenty of local and international talents collaborating throughout the program. Chef, restaurateur and teacher Cheong Liew, Australian food icon Maggie Beer, our very own SBS Food royalty Poh Ling Yeow (Jamface), Emma Shearer (the baking brains behind The Lost Loaf), Karena Armstrong (Salopian Inn) and Jessie Spiby (of ethical and sustainable powerhouse My Grandma Ben) are just a few of the local heroes raising the SA banner high. Thai food master David Thompson, Peter Gilmore (Quay) and Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiōbo) feature alongside Mat Lindsay (Ester and Poly) and Lankan Filling Station's  O Tama Carey across a series of Glasshouse Kitchen dinner events. And leading the international charge are Alex Atala (D.O.M.) and Manoella Buffara (Manu) from Brazil, Tokyo's Shinobu Namae (L’Effervescence) and India's first female Michelin-starred chef Garima Arora (Gaa). 

The events range from free, cheap and cheerful, birthday wishlists to premium indulgence - there's something for everyone. "All food tastes better shared and there is so much to get excited about when it comes to our [Australia's] food potential," Liew tells SBS and here's a handful to share in without breaking the bank.

Festival hub at Victoria Square

13-15 & 18-22 April, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, Adelaide - Free entry

Think massive cook-up and everyone's invited as the heart of the Adelaide CBD transforms into Tasting Australia's festival hub. It's where local business, restaurants, producers and caterers come together to put on a feast from stall-to-stall featuring $8 - $10 plates. Charred are bringing the flame-grilled vibes, with Pizzatecca, Andre's Cucina, Haman Vietnamese and more bringing the snacks, while East End Cellars have the booze covered with a variety of wines and spirits available. 



13 April, midday to 5pm, Stockade Botanical Park, Northfield - Free entry

Hosted by southern Italian chef and cooking school teacher Rosa Matto, this picnic-style extravaganza features live music, Turkic, Asian, Middle Eastern and African home cooks, chefs and providores will fill food stalls with tasting plates and cooking demonstrations. This event also pays respects to the traditional Kaurna custodians of the land through the sharing of food and stories as well as through song and dance.

Food Trail Tour

10am - 4.30pm, 8 - 10 April, Victoria Square, $65pp

Campbelltown Council celebrated 150 years last year and this guided tour celebrates the city's best local food and wine businesses, many of which were established by migrant families who settled in the area and what better way than through the sharing of food, wine and culture. Included is morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, plus a pasta masterclass.

Fire and Flavour

3 - 26 April, presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre - Free entry

This photography exhibition records the journey photographer Tony Lewis and writer Nigel Hopkins made to Thailand with local chef Nu Suandokmai to Suandokmai's family farm where he learned to cook from his mother and older sister. This exhibition is part of a book that pays tribute to his origins. 

Family dinner

6pm, 10 April, Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale, $20 - $45pp

Let chefs Emma McCaskill and Karena Armstrong look after your hump day dinner plans with their one-off family dinner event. Open to all ages, the evening is all about delicious fare, shared around the table, celebrating produce directly from their garden.


Gin, gin, gin

Whether you're high and dry, organic, prefer a touch of the citrus and floral, are a soda or tonic mixer or simply just want a tipple straight up, there are plenty of ways to savour your gin with masterclasses on offer from The Howling Owl, Gin Society, Archie Rose and Never Never Distillery, just to name a few, while Ambleside Distillers is teaming up with Woodside Cheese Wrights for a gin-meets-cheese tasting. Receive a gin concoction on arrival while experimenting with botanicals to personalise your own G&T.

Of course, there's plenty of wine

Taste your way through Australia’s oldest family-owned winery’s, Yalumba, award-winning collection of cabernet shiraz you'll dive into some serious vintages spanning three decades at the Yalumba Museum. Or check out the wine and dine options, from bottomless buns, beers and bubbles to a Barossa Moveable Feast and Dinner in the dark, right here.

Tasting Australia runs from 5 - 14 April 2019. View the full program here.

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