April 4, 2019 / By Jacqueline Alanne
After the madness of March, Adelaide starts to quieten and cool down. Yet like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Tasting Australia rises up in April. The greatness of its program forces Adelaideans to don their hedonist caps for another month, throw on a slightly warmer layer, and spend their nights celebrating the best of food and wine. Here are my top picks of the 2019 Tasting Australia program.
One of the most talked about events of 2019. Dress the part for a night of imagination and roam five levels of Chester Osborn’s brain child in McLaren Vale in a night of mystery, delightful food, cocktails, whimsy and dancing.
Head into the recently updated Chinatown Plaza for a session of roaming street food! Over five hours, in a casual setting, sample dumplings, duck, seafood, noodles – and of course, a glass of Tomich wine on arrival to wash it down.
Head to the Central Markets for a breakfast at our favourite Italian Deli, Lucias. On the panel talking food will be Lucia Rosella, along with Say Cheese’s Valerie Henbest, The Salopian’s Karena Armstrong, and Michelle Farinola of Samtass Bros Seafood. They'll be discussing what it means to be a woman in the food industry today and how we can shape the future for the next generation, all over strong coffee and a Central Market breakfast feast.
If you’ve never visited Kuitpo, let this be your first experience. With wines from a dozen winemakers that cherish the Kuitpo area, head into the forest in the hills for wine, dancing, and food by Sunny’s Pizza, Udaberri, Osteria Oggi and much more.
Join Jackie Singh of Ruby Spice Emporium, chef/coffee roaster Emily Raven, and winemakers for a four course feed in the funky My Kingdom for a Horse setting. Spicy food and coffee matched to your meals is an experience not to be missed!
A one-off, four course luncheon to celebrate 150 years of Adelaide’s most iconic food destination, Adelaide Central Market, with food from 1869 to day by Karena Armstrong and an all-star cast of chefs. Drinks by South Australian icons Seppetlsfield, Coopers and Bickfords complete the story.
Regardless of your dietary status, Vegan Palooza is worth a wander. As the fastest growing food trend in social history, you can explore what it means at vegan food stalls and trucks showcasing the delicious vegan fare South Australia has to offer. You might find some new favourites!
The piece de resistance of the Town Square, over the course of Tasting Australia, Glasshouse Kitchen is home to some of the most talented and ground-breaking chefs. While events such as Noveau quickly sold out, a number of these events still have tickets available! Begin each dinner with a KIS gin cocktail and then, with the help of some pretty incredible sommeliers, be guided through paired wines and courses designed to excite the palate. Our picks:
A night of fusion of the futuremost degree. Each course will be created and presented by a different chef - yet it will be a harmonious journey - working together across disciplines to create four progressive courses. Chefs: Chiho Kanzaki (Restaurant Virtus, Paris), Alex Munoz (Labart, Burleigh Heads), Emma McCaskill (formerly Magill Estate, The Pot) and Simon Bryant (Dirty Foods)
For a showcase of techniques and talent that knows no boundaries, and breaks all the rules, choose Wild. I won’t say too much, just that if you enjoy out of the box thinkers, this one’s for you. Chefs: Alex Atala (D.O.M. Brazil), O Tama Carey (Lankan Filling Station, Sydney), Karena Armstrong (The Salopian Inn) and Oliver Edwards (The Summertown Aristologist)
With at least six gin events on this season, it’d be rude not to join in on at least one. Sign up for The Howling Owl’s KIS Gin Bootlegging Masterclass to go on a journey through gin, mixing with the Larks from Kangaroo Island Spirits, and creating your own gin to take home.
It’d be rude not to take part in at least one East End Cellar Masterclass each year. There’s a huge range of exciting and specific masterclasses for your enjoyment, with a little learning on the side. While our favourite Glory of Grenache EEC Masterclass is sold out once again, I love the look of Freshest of the Bunch – Young Winemaker Showcase, your chance to meet the young winemakers that are making their mark on the South Australian wine industry.
If you consider yourself a bit of a pinophile, there’s plenty to whet your appetite. Get along to the Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Vertical with Stephen George, Pinot Pioneers with Jane Eyre and William Downie, or the International Pinot Noir Masterclass! Others that caught our eye include International Chardonnay Tasting, Teste di Nebbiolo, Titans of Riesling, and even a sparkling red brunch to take gran along to. With EEC Masterclasses across sake, gin, whisky, and more, there’s something for literally every taste.
The L Plates series are a fabulous batch of cooking courses designed to give you all sorted of tips and tricks to take home. Join Steven Lee and +82 in a 101-style course designed to get you familiar with Korean dishes and ingredients.
Head to Level One @ Electra House where over 3.5 hours, Head Chef Josh Kim will take you through making a range of dumpling style dishes. After your hard work, kick back to enjoy your feast over Sidewood wines, and Mismatch craft beers.
Send the big kids along to this Zumbo-style cooking class that will have them whipping up desserts worthy of your next dinner party! Tee it up with a visit to the Town Square.
With a bit of a secret society mystery about it, this long lunch event begins with cocktails and canapes. A fire-cooked feast from the team at El Estanco, plus vino from three boutique Barossa winemakers under the gum trees equals rustic bliss.
A hit list of Barossa dining heavy weights. Beginning at Appellation, you’ll move to Seppeltsfield, and finish at Hentley Farm for dessert. Transfers to and from Adelaide are included, so take advantage of this chance to experience the best of the Barossa in one curated hit.
A day trip never to be forgotten! Take a chartered plane across to the unrivalled Kangaroo Island for the day, and let Tasting Australia take you to lunch at Sunset Food & Wine, followed by cocktails at KI Spirits.
Enjoy back vintage wines including 2014 Hill of Grace, and a taste of the first of it’s 2019 vintage. Over five hours, enjoy feast created by Antonia Klugmann and Paul Baker will be paired with museum Henschke wines.
Clare valley’s unmissable event. Spoil yourself as some of the first to experience Pikes Wines new cellar door and SLATE cellar restaurant. Wine guns of the region join local food legends and Margot Janse to create a five course feast.
Fleurieu foods are some of the greatest – and this underground Lime cave at Maxwells is a striking and special way to experience a meal of its origins. Six candlelit courses created by Fabian Lehmann, with premium wines by Mark Maxwell.
Join the Alpha Box & Dice wines team at their Olivers road, McLaren vale home for a journey through the alphabet that is their range, past and present. Alongside museum wines and side-by-side vintage tastings alongside a local grazing and street food menu.
It’s impossible to cover all bases when it comes to Tasting Australia – in my opinion, truly the highlight of the South Australian calendar. If you’re planning a weekend away, the month of April offers some truly bespoke and unforgettable experiences in Adelaide, with something for every age, taste, and budget.