Tasting Australia has satisfied appetites and crowds hungry for the State’s finest food and wine experiences with tens of thousands through the festival hub and a swag of sold out events. With the Festival finally over, and our health kicks back on track, it’s time to reflect on one of the best events to date.
Town Square welcomed strong crowds over the past eight days and event-goers embraced its new look and the variety of South Australian fare on offer.
Sales outside of Town Square reflected this energy with almost 60 per cent of ticketed events selling out. This included the Maggie Beer Tribute Dinner, Great Wine Voyage presented by Primary Industries and Regions SA, Flavours of Campbelltown and Unmasked in the Adelaide Hills.
Festival star Marco Pierre White proved to be a huge drawcard with his three ticketed experiences selling out and thousands visiting Town Square to hear from and meet him on Wednesday 3 May.
The new showpiece restaurant, Glasshouse Kitchen, was an eye-catching addition to the festival and all of the collaboration dinners between international, national and local chefs sold out ahead of the event.
This year locally renowned chefs Simon Bryant (creative director) and Jock Zonfrillo (creative curator) have led Tasting Australia’s direction, with Maggie Beer making her final appearance as festival patron. Maggie today handed over the patronage to fellow trailblazing South Australian chef Cheong Liew.
“The crowds in Town Square have been exceptional and people have loved the opportunity to speak with chefs, winemakers, brewers and distillers to understand the skill and care that goes into their work,” Bryant said.
“We’ve catered to all tastes; from high-end degustations to free demonstrations, beverage tastings and street food vendors and a kids’ program which saw them both learning the origins of ingredients and being hands on in food preparation.
“The feedback, both from our visiting guests, media and local supporters, has been overwhelmingly positive and we’d like to thank everyone who has been part of Tasting Australia 2017.”
There was a strong focus on wine – Adelaide celebrating its status as a Great Wine Capital – and the masterclass series presented by East End Cellars in Town Square attracted more than 1000 participants across the week. The Fresh Wine Disco in Uraidla was also sold out.
From the opening weekend that featured the 350-seat FINO Italian Feast with Marco Pierre White at Seppeltsfield to the closing of the Town Square gates this afternoon, Tasting Australia has stepped up a level in 2017.
“We are thrilled with the festival and our guest chefs really enjoyed their time in South Australia,” Zonfrillo said.
“Now that the festival is annual we have a lot more momentum and we have so many opportunities to build on the great energy of this year.”