Passionate crowds have devoured Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel as the festival made its triumphant return.
The 10-day celebration of eating and drinking wrapped up yesterday, with over 50,000 people visiting the COVID-safe Town Square in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga and more than 90 events sold out across Adelaide and regional South Australia.
Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall said it was clear locals and visitors alike had welcomed the festival back from a one-year hiatus.
“Our state loves a party – and what a memorable celebration Tasting Australia delivered,” Mr Marshall said.
“South Australia’s beautifully unique food and beverages shone at more than 140 events in 11 regions, supporting and utilising almost 200 local South Australian businesses.”
Tasting Australia Festival Director Simon Bryant said the local hospitality industry had proven its resilience amid the significant challenges presented by COVID-19.
“There’s a real sense of pride among everyone involved in this year’s festival that comes from continuing to share the world-class experiences South Australia is renowned for,” Mr Bryant said.
“We invite guests to explore, to discover something new and to support our community of passionate producers.”
Festival highlights included Tasting Australia Airlines flights to Kangaroo Island and Coffin Bay, Farm Gate Lunch at Barossa favourite Yalumba, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Port Adelaide’s Pirate Life Brewery, the Autumn Harvest Feast at Coriole in McLaren Vale, a zero-waste dinner at With Purpose at Pasadena Foodland along with sumptuous meals in the new Town Square Kitchen.
Food Curator Darren Robertson said he relished his first year in the role.
“One of the most exciting elements of Tasting Australia is its one-off collaborations – that’s where the magic happens,” Mr Robertson said.
“It has been a pleasure to work with globally recognised chefs based around the country and to see them in action across South Australia’s stunning destinations. Bring on next year!”
Drinks Curator Nick Stock said the intimate new Tasting Table series – held in some of Adelaide’s favourite hospitality venues including The Exeter Hotel, Mother Vine and Shobosho – was warmly welcomed.
“The beauty of beverages is their power to transport and to capture the essence of their place,” Mr Stock said.
“This year we celebrated extraordinary bottles from around the world alongside those that have made South Australia such a popular destination for those seeking the very best drinking experiences.”
RAA General Manager Travel and Distribution Gina Norman said the organisation was proud to partner with Tasting Australia and looked forward to 2022.
“Food and wine tourism is so important to South Australia and we relish in the opportunity to showcase the world class standard South Australians produce. After a year of challenges and hibernation, it’s fabulous to see so many people enjoying Town Square as well as all the special events Tasting Australia has served up,” Ms Norman said.
“We look forward to next year already and we thank everyone for all the effort that goes into producing Tasting Australia, whilst also running their own amazing food, wine and event businesses.”
This year’s edition of Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel ran across Adelaide and regional South Australia from Friday 30 April until Sunday 9 May.
Visit tastingaustralia.com.au for more information on the festival.