By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Monday, February 15, 2021
After a short hiatus in 2020, Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel is back from 30 April until 9 May. Enjoy our selection of some of this year’s highlight events and share our city drive with Festival Director Simon Bryant.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a butchering masterclass or a long lunch, South Australia’s premier food and drink festival has something for everyone.
Visitors and locals alike will be able to take a seat at South Australia’s food and wine table, with Tasting Australia showcasing the best produce our state has to offer.
There’s plenty to do at this year’s event. You can take off with Tasting Australia Airlines on a luxury tour of Coffin Bay or stay a bit closer to Adelaide and enjoy steak night at The Oxford Hotel.
Discover fascinating insights into the culinary journey of celebrity chef Simon Bryant as the Tasting Australia Festival Director joins us for a drive around Adelaide.
The only problem you’re likely to have is how to fit everything in. Don’t worry though. We’ve created a guide with a few of this year’s highlights to get your taste buds warmed up. To book any of these events, scroll to the link at the end of our article.
In the city
Sink your teeth into a steak
What: Monday Steak Out presented by Australian Good Meat
When: Monday 3 May
Where: The Oxford Hotel, North Adelaide
If you enjoy a mouth-watering steak, then this event is for you. Unique varieties and cuts from Australian Good Meat will be cooked to perfection by chefs Alanna Sapwell, Morgan McGlone, Luke Powell and Louis Tikaram.
These protein pros will deliver some of the most delicious meat you’ll ever taste, paired with perfect sides to create flavour combinations that’ll leave you stunned.
Following the food, you can chat with farmers and producers, and hear from the chefs about the menu and the stunning produce they work with.
Take a trip to Japan
What: Izakaya Night
When: Tuesday 4 May
Where: Yakitori Takumi, North Adelaide
When Japanese food is mentioned, most people think of sushi and sashimi, but there’s far more to this nation’s cuisine.
Izakayas play a vital part in the country’s food culture and are a favourite late-night watering hole among Japanese office workers after a long week.
Small dishes of grilled vegetables and meat are served, along with karaage (bite-sized fried chicken) and noodles.
This Tasting Australia event at the cosy Yakitori Takumi will transport you straight to Japan, with 12 izakaya favourites served, along with premium sake.
Feast at a Mexican Fiesta
What: Cinco De Mayo Dinner
When: Wednesday 5 May
Where: Pirate Life Brewing
Leave your passport at home and make sure to bring your appetite. This fiesta will take you all the way to Mexico – no aeroplane necessary.
A trio of culinary stars, including Hispanic Mechanic Head Chef Greggory Hill, will dish up traditional Mexican cuisine bursting with flavour using South Australian produce.
Discover the fun of Mexican food, with intriguing food stations serving 3 courses, plus a Pirate Life beer brewed exclusively for the event.
Celebrate the end of vintage (free)
What: End of Vintage Party presented by RAA Travel
When: Thursday 6 May
Where: Town Square, Victoria Square
Vintage is an important time for those in the wine industry. They work tirelessly to harvest grapes before beginning the winemaking process.
To honour this hard work, RAA Travel is showcasing some of the state’s best wines at its End of Vintage Party.
The free party will feature wines from some of South Australia’s most prominent wine regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, as well as others a little further afield like the Coonawarra and Clare Valley.
Learn from a master
When: Various times
Where: Town Square and other venues
From gin making to how to butcher a lamb, there are a dozen masterclasses at Tasting Australia this year. Learn about the history of beer, hear about sparkling reds from an Adelaide-based wine writer or taste chardonnays with Victorian winery Giaconda.
There’s even something for footy fans. Join former Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe and Port Adelaide stars Tom Jonas and Brad Ebert for a deliciously different wine tasting.
Hear about their South Australian wine labels, along with plenty of cracking stories.
In the regions
Come fly with Tasting Australia Airlines
What: Tasting Australia Airlines in Coffin Bay
When: Saturday 1 May
Where: Coffin Bay
Grab your boarding pass with Tasting Australia Airlines and prepare for an unforgettable day trip to Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.
Seafood is the theme for this adventure. You’ll enjoy oysters plucked fresh from the ocean, rake cockles on the beach and visit a marron farm.
When you arrive on the Eyre Peninsula, you’ll be met by Tasting Australia Food Curator Darren Robertson, the legendary Maggie Beer, Adelaide favourite Emma McCaskill and Peter Clarke of Vintners Barossa.
Get ready for a seafood adventure like no other.
Cooking with fire
What: Flame Trees Feast
When: Koomilya Property/Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale
Where: Sunday 2 May
To quote cookbook author and host of ABC’s Food Safari Maeve O’Meara, “Everything simply tastes better cooked over a fire, and it’s not just meats that become so delicious – it’s a range of vegetables as well”. The Flame Trees Feast celebrates this method of cooking.
Take a walking tour of the Koomilya vineyard and sip exceptional red wines before enjoying a set menu lunch at the Salopian Inn.
The fire becomes the focus of this meal with organic seasonal produce from nearby regional farms cooked over flames.
Wine and dine at Yalumba
What: Farmgate Lunch at Yalumba
When: Saturday 8 May
Where: Yalumba, Angaston
Steeped in more than 150 years of history, Yalumba’s barrel room in the world-famous Barossa Valley is the perfect location for a long lunch.
Take a stroll in the winery’s gorgeous gardens before being seated in the barrel room. Masterchef Judge and Head Chef at Three Blue Ducks, Andy Allen, along with Tasting Australia Food Curator Darren Robertson, and Vintners Bar & Grill Head Chef Peter Clarke will use local produce to serve a delicious 4-course lunch.
Each course will be paired with Yalumba wines, setting the scene for a perfect, relaxed meal with friends.
Head for the Hills
What: Golding Wines Western Branch Wine & Dine Safari
When: Sunday 9 May
Where: Golding Wines, Adelaide Hills
Only 40 minutes up the South Eastern Fwy, the Adelaide Hills is the perfect place for a day trip.
Hear from Adelaide Hills winemakers Darren and Lucy Golding at their Wine and Dine Safari. Learn about the nuances of growing fruit and making wine in the Adelaide Hills before returning to the cellar door for a 5-course degustation meal.
The menu has been designed to showcase the wide range of produce the Adelaide Hills has to offer, and each course is paired with wine.