Over the course of the Tasting Australia week there has been an endless precession of gourmet experiences, degustations and long tables hosted by South Australia’s culinary elite. However, the Tasting Australia Origins Dinner was in a league of its own, drawing together an entire state worth of talent to provide a five-hour-long choose your own adventure where you can whimsically wander amongst a wonderland food.
And if a room full of culinary geniuses wasn’t enough to keep you captivated there was the space itself. The newly launched Plant 4 warehouse is the latest addition to Bowden’s rapidly evolving street scape, complete with atrium level to walk and survey the scene. The low and mysterious lighting design of the night and various partitions created a sense of allure and discovery as you turned the corner. Minimal décor, punctuated by strategically placed fruit, candles, and an art installation of cooking utensils shifted your focus to the costumed fantastical ladies with horns and gentleman with bowler hats hosting the night, encouraging you to plunge right into the industrial wonderland.
A different kind of dinner theatre, but theatrical none the less, watching chefs at the top of their game pump out incredible food was quite the sensory overload. If you are someone who suffers from a case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) the sheer number of incredible chefs, such as 2016 Tasting Australia ambassadors Cheong Liew and Jock Zonfrillo, Sean Connolly, Simon Bryant and Maggie Beer is tough to negotiate. There really were no bad decisions to be made, but trying to taste everyone’s fare required some serious strategy. You couldn’t afford to gawk for too long as each station had 2 or 3 courses to serve and if you weren’t quick enough, dishes would disappear with prep for next one already under way.
Add to this what seemed like at an endless list of wines, and feeling spoiled doesn’t even come close to describing the atmosphere. Living up to it’s billing as the ultimate South Australian culinary adventure, Origins was an utterly incredible way to experience the best produce, tipple and culinary masterminds our state has to offer. It was no surprise that spare tickets were as rare as hens teeth.
A showcase like this makes you swell with pride to call South Australia home. Tasting Australia have nailed the billing of Origins as their flagship event and with the announcement that this showcase shall now become an annual affair, a 12 month wait will be more than enough. Word of mouth will confirm this event as the must-have ticket come April 2017.
Photography by Brendan Homan.