Australia’s esteemed culinary festival, Tasting Australia, is set to tantalise taste buds once again in 2024. Slated for 3 – 12 May, the festival returns with an expansive lineup of over 150 events, showcasing the rich culinary tapestry of South Australia.
This year’s edition introduces exciting innovations, including a revamped Town Square and unique Tasting Australia Airlines trips to the Eyre Peninsula and the Limestone Coast. A standout feature is the direct charter plane from Melbourne to Naracoorte, elevating the festival experience by directly connecting visitors to South Australia’s regional gems.
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Journey Beyond, Tasting Australia by Train will offer a 10-hour gastronomic journey from Melbourne to Adelaide aboard The Ghan, complete with curated dining experiences.
The international culinary scene will be represented by chefs Asma Khan (UK), Claudette Zepeda (US), and James Henry (France), complementing a stellar lineup of national and local talents like Matt Moran, Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Justin James, and Jake Kellie.
South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said Tasting Australia plays an important role in telling the state’s food and beverage story.
“South Australia is recognised globally for our abundant produce and acclaimed producers and Tasting Australia champions these so well,” said Minister Bettison.
“The 2024 program is filled with culinary experiences unique to the state and I look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy once in a lifetime experiences across Adelaide and regional South Australia.”
The 2024 program is brimming with immersive events. From a sailing adventure along Kangaroo Island’s coast to a unique collaboration dinner at Kiin and a wine tasting coupled with a movie screening, the festival promises diverse and enriching experiences.
Some other highlights for the 2024 festival include:
- Dining Galleries: These new spaces in Town Square are part restaurant, part art showcase and will feature the best and brightest in national hospitality across lunch and dinner events. Each unique gallery can transform from a party like Fiesta celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Claudette Zepeda, Daniella Guevara Munoz, Duncan Welgemoed and Jess Spiby to an intimate kaiseki style Sushi Dreams dinner with Hansol Lee, Mug Chen and Chia Wu. Works by South Australian artists Dana Kinter, Alexandra Bellas, Billie Justice Thomson and Gabriel Stengle will feature in these exciting new spaces.
- Tasting Australia Airlines: Choose to fly direct to the heart of South Australia’s ancient Limestone Coast from either Adelaide or Melbourne for an overnight adventure featuring Mark Best, Tony Carroll, Kirby Shearing, Clare Falzon and Paul Stone. Alternatively, set off for a day trip to the pristine Eyre Peninsula with Darren Robertson, Shannon Flemming, Jo Barrett and Fabian Lehmann. Venture further, discovering these beautiful regions alongside leading chefs inspired by their produce.
- Tasting Australia by Train: Melbourne – Adelaide: Embark on a journey from Melbourne – Adelaide with Journey Beyond exclusively for Tasting Australia, offering a 10-hour day trip featuring curated experiences with Cheong Liew, Asma Khan and Jae Bang onboard The Ghan’s dining and bar carriages.
- MAKE: These immersive and hands on sessions will add finesse to your cooking skills. Held in a Town Square Dining Gallery and led by chefs and artisans, each will cover a simple skill on the path to professional results. Roll pastry with Julia Busuttil Nishimura, make sausages with Duncan Welgemoed or try your hand at ceramics with the team from Jam Factory.
- Tasting Tables: Settle in for a series of intimate tastings hosted across beloved Adelaide hospitality venues. Each features a guest presenter and a rare set of beverages. Talk, taste and share special bottles in a setting that allows you to discover the people and places that shaped them.
Under the guidance of Festival Director Karena Armstrong, Food Curator Kane Pollard, Drinks Curators Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane, and festival Patron Simon Bryant, Tasting Australia 2024 is poised to be a celebration of culinary innovation, skilled South Australian producers, and extraordinary talent in food and beverage. Tickets are now available for this gastronomic extravaganza at the Tasting Australia website.
Karena Armstrong says she is excited for audiences to experience what’s new for the event in 2024.
“The 2024 is all about fun! We want eventgoers to leave not only with full bellies but with full hearts and lifelong memories,” said Ms Armstrong.
“From a Pasta Party in Town Square, the new hands-on MAKE sessions or intimate drinks tastings at the Tasting Table series, there is something for everyone to get involved with right across the state.”
Recently appointed Food Curator, Kane Pollard said he can’t wait to share our local produce with talent from around the globe.
“Tasting Australia attracts some of the most talented chefs and drinks makers in the industry – it is always a thrill to see them using local South Australia produce and singing their praises,” said Mr Pollard.
“This state has some of the best producers in the world and giving them a platform to shine is what Tasting Australia is all about. The partnerships between local food producers, working farms, tourism venues, breweries and drinks makers are what makes this event so special.”
The festival hub – Town Square – will return to Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga offering free entry and a fresh look including new food vendors and bars to explore and discover.
RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said RAA Travel was proud to be back as the presenting partner this year, helping support the food and wine industry and local businesses.
“At RAA Travel we’re always spruiking the best parts of South Australia and Tasting Australia is one of those world class events that brings together the best of our food and wine sector,” said Mr Reade.
“The very popular RAA Lounge will be back bigger and better this year, offering a welcoming spot for RAA members to hang out and enjoy the Town Square.”
Event tickets are now available at tastingaustralia.com.au. Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel runs for 10 days from Friday 3 – Sunday 12 May 2024 across Adelaide and regional South Australia.