Hooray! I am a SATC Intern!

Sometimes things just line up and you’re so incredibly glad you pushed yourself to succeed! I received an offer for placement with the South Australian Tourism Commission!

My role will involve working closely with Event Coordinator, Madeline Burke, on the Town Square and City activities for the upcoming event: Tasting Australia. I will spend one day a week in the office, with another placement student, and then two weeks full-time over the duration of the event.

Last year I was lucky enough to work in the Limestone Coast stall for my great friends, Kirby and Biddie Shearing and their catering company: Soul Projects. My role involved food preparation and serving amazing dishes like roasted beetroot salad, lamb stew, brie and leek parcels, and hot apple crumble. I also got the opportunity to work with Limestone Coast wineries from Padthaway, Robe, and Coonawarra. Luckily enough, I took a break between lunch and dinner service, so I could explore the other stalls and eat incredible food from Kangaroo Island, Flinders Ranges, and Eyre Peninsula. I also got a glimpse of Poh while she was doing a show in Victoria Square!

I had an absolute blast at the event in 2016. When I received an email in February for an opportunity for placement with SATC, working specifically on this event, I was definitely excited, but I thought to myself: No, it’s not for me, I really don’t think I will have the time to commit. Then funnily enough, one afternoon I had off, I received an email the application closing date had been extended. It must have been a sign. So I whipped up an application with the support of my wonderful friend Peter, and amazing lecturer Victoria.

I interviewed last month with Maddie and Tamara, and was so nervous! The offices were bright, high up and beautiful, I thought to myself: my gosh, this is really swanky, I hope I fit in here! But the girls were so incredibly kind, friendly and obliging. The placement opportunity offered a lot of support and engagement into a world I am dying to get into, so I left the interview feeling excited and hopeful I would get the role.

Tamara rang me two weeks ago to advise my success. I was ecstatic! It’s going to be a lot of work, and potentially new and uncomfortable circumstances but I’m ready for a new challenge and dedicated to commencing my career in event management. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be part of an event I am incredibly passionate about and gain insight into an organisation I admire and support. I start 7th March at 9:30am. Here goes everything!

 

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Event Volunteering – vital tips and tricks to get you started. 

Semester one has come to a close. While many university students are desperate to get some alone time to study for exams, the technical college students are keen to get out into the industry for volunteer opportunities and the rare, but precious, paid work experience.

For some it may be their first time out in the daunting volunteer world, there are so many opportunities over summer and it can be difficult to decide where to allocate your time. In addition to the overwhelm, it can be tempting to disregard volunteer experience due to lack of financial gain.

However, just because its unpaid work, it doesn’t mean that these opportunities cannot offer valuable connections, skills, and potential referrals leading you to role you desire. Therefore, these opportunities must be treated just as well as paid experiences. In fact, it is worthwhile to remember that volunteer organisers are much more appreciative of their staff than some employers, who can see their delegates as disposable.

This is the perfect time to make a great impression with the following tips:

Dress to impress …

When contacting the organisation and discussing your suitability, it is essential you determine the dress/uniform requirements. The event may require costumes, promotional t-shirts, elegant serving attire and appropriate footwear. Ask as many questions as you can to determine what you will need to supply, and what the organisation will supply. At this time it is also good to check if you need to supply equipment such as notepads, waiters friends, cameras etc. Finally, check if there are appropriate change room facilities and storage for your items, including personal/valuables. If there are some expectations that you feel you cannot meet, it may be best to move onto another opportunity.

Avoid overcommitting …

With the abundance of opportunities available, it is easy to sit down and hit APPLY on several positions, and offer your availability all summer. The problem in overcommitting is we risk burnout and fail to meet our responsibilities, which then leads to bad references and weak reputation.

Select 3-5 opportunities over the period you are willing, and able, to volunteer. If you are employed casually, check with your manager or rostering team to see if there will be increased demand over the Christmas/New Year holidays. Use a diary to pre-plan your volunteer opportunities, and if any clashes arise, they can be managed immediately.

Be punctual …

This is probably self explanatory, however, it is vital to your integrity as a professional in the industry.

Be reliable, accurate and punctual. Make necessary phone calls as soon as possible, set a reminder in your diary to action this in a timely manner. Arriving at least 15 minutes prior to a scheduled shift will enable you to debrief with the event organiser and ask questions concerning your shift and responsibilities.

Be prepared for anything …

It is easy to schedule a volunteer appointment and then forget about it until you arrive for your assigned duties.

To make a valuable impression, it is essential you do your research on the event and arrive prepared with the event aims, and general information about the event in mind. Jump on the website and download a program; figure out who are the key speakers and and important crowd drawers. Try to also get your hands on a map or floor-plan to work out where the closest public transport arrives, where the bathrooms and emergency exits are located.

Additional information worth knowing includes:

  • Can tickets be pre-purchased, are they available at the gate?
  • How much are tickets?
  • Are refunds available?
  • Where is the registration desk located?
  • Are there First Aid Officers onsite? What emergency services are available?
  • Event duration
  • Event sponsors

Get your friends involved …

The more the merrier! Invite your friends and family to get involved and support your work by volunteering with you.

Maybe your classmate is awesome at constructing things, or your colleague is great at customer relations, or your sister is a whiz at team leadership? Bringing in additional volunteers will help to fill all roles, gives your outside circle an insight into your passion, it makes the work fun, and ultimately get the job done.

In addition to the many-hand-make-light-work practice, the event organisers will greatly appreciate your assistance in sourcing volunteers.

Refrain from cancelling at the last minute …

This could almost be coupled with overcommitting, but it is important to ensure you are not leaving organisations without valuable hands-on-deck.

It is difficult to source volunteers, and management can be very stressful for the organisers. They aim to be friendly and obliging as you are donating your time, please respect their work and your reputation by getting in contact as soon as possible if you cannot fulfil your volunteer duties.

Make a phone call to the volunteer organiser, if you have these details (and you really should have them from first contact), and apologise for the inconvenience this may cause them. If they are unable to be reached, be sure to leave a voice message with your contact details, and send an email to be sure they get the information.

Get Enthusiastic and Have Fun!

Event Volunteering is a wonderful experience, and exposure to some sites and scenes that you will not get from standard delegate attendance. Backstage, operations, sales and marketing activities, event staging, bump in and bump out; all these components of the event industry are available when volunteering, and incredibly valuable experiences, so make the most of it and have a great time!

Tasting Australia Day 4


Brand new day and a brand new adventure was ready for me at Tasting Australia on Wednesday 3rd May. This morning I arrived to a bustling office with information about the Glasshouse Dinner and Marco Pierre White’s generous gesture in signing all the books of the attendees (that’s over 150 guests!).

Perhaps he was preparing himself for this evening’s showcase, in which he would be interviewed by Fool Magazine’s Lotta and Per-Anders Jorgensen at the Chef’s Journey in Town Square, followed by a ‘White Heat’ book signing in the Living Library.

Yi was finally back in the office today, after spending the weekend in the Barossa for Maggie Beer’s Tribute Dinner and the Marco Pierre White Dinner at FINO in Seppeltsfield. I got the inside scoop on the amazing dishes, how lovely the guests and festival stars were, the beautiful scenery, and I snapped up an extra menu of what was served at FINO. Yi sadly didn’t get any photos (boo!) because she was so busy rolling up her sleeves and soaking up the moment.

Maddie and I headed over to Town Square at 5pm to prepare for the Chefs Journey with Alex Herbert, Analiese Gregory and Marco Pierre White. The stage was set up for a panel of three, with the Jorgensen’s interviewing the chefs. Analiese was to go first, followed by Alex, and finally Marco.

As much as I would have enjoyed listening to their stories, it was time to get to work and set-up for the book signing in the Living Library. Elle came over to discuss the procedure for the evening and we got to work setting up the bollards for two individual cues; one for priority ticket holders and another for secondary ticket holders. As it turns out, by purchasing a MPW book from the Living Library during Tasting Australia, a priority cue ticket would be given to allow first preference when getting it signed this evening. Additionally, other guests would receive tickets in a colour coded format from yellow, blue, green, and red; and they would be attended to sequentially in the second cue.

I’ll admit, I did fear for my life a little, as I was setting up. I could foresee a stampede of fans racing towards the shipping container we were guarding, holding the precious celebrity chef. The crowd had gotten quite large for Marco’s Chef Journey Interview, and people were eager to cue before it was over; missing some juicy gossip as the author of White Heat disclosed his family history of chefing and evolution in the industry over the years.

I was pleasantly surprised when the guests cues formally, and with tranquillity. Despite the cold settling in past 7pm, everyone was relaxed and content to wait for their turn. I counted almost 90 people in the priority line which began to move solidly within the hour. The Living Library team set up a desk between the cues and consequently sold out of all MPW merchandise, which caused the priority cue to grow as people became aware of the exclusive tickets available with their purchases.

Managing the secondary cue was pleasant as the cheery Marco fan at the front happily chatted about her following of the star and her excitement to be attending Marco’s Kitchen at the Adelaide Casino the following day. I excitedly shared stories about Marco’s delight in Adelaide and how he had hoped to extend his stay here. Her partner behind her was also enthusiastic about meeting him. I was so happy when the priority cue diminished and they were swiftly ushered into the Living Library to meet their legend live. Events like these really get you in touch with community, and it is a pleasure to hear their passions and pursuits, and being part of having them actualized. I was delighted to meet them both. I’m sure they had a wonderful time at the lunch the following day.

With insider knowledge, I had purchased a book in advance, so after dismantling the bollards, collating the tickets, and removing the signage. I joined the end of the cue to get my copy of White Heat signed as a gift to my wonderful Bar Mercato manager. As I skipped inside I was stopped by Verrity who opened the book to the correct page and asked me what my name was. Fearful there might be a mistake, I slyly said “Its Maria” which she whispered to Marco, behind her, while passing on the book. He was seated at a small table with a bottle of wine and half full glass of red. In his glasses, his limbering frame, covered in a classic grandpa cardigan, hunched over the book he began scribbling away.

I watched wide-eyed with wonder, and was taken back when he looked up and said:

“Maria, how are you my dear?”.

“Well, thanks, how are, urm, about you?” I stammered, feeling embarrassed and nervous that I was addressed.

He continued to scribble as Lucy appeared next to me and asked if I’d like to take a photo. I gleefully handed over my phone and threw my arm around his shoulders as he held up the book; giving that classic brooding stare, I’m sure you have seen everywhere, and Lucy snapped away.

He handed the book back to me and I thanking him, to which he replied, in that smooth strong accent, “You’re very welcome my dear”. I kissed him on the cheek and skipped out, bumping into Elle. “How was it?” she grinned. Surreal was the only word I had.

The crowd dispersed at that point, I was happily hugging my prize as Maddie cam over and said the event was over, time to head home. I grabbed my beanie and jumped on the bus. I couldn’t wait to see the look on Maria’s face when I handed this book to her tomorrow!

Tasting Australia Throwback: 2016

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My first introduction to Tasting Australia was receiving a phone call from Soul Projects Director; Kirby Shearing. He was going to be representing the Limestone Coast at the event, and required extra hands.

And who better to help out than his most loyal anddedicated ex-minion … me?!

Last year the formatting was a little different, with all regions of SA participating in stalls dedicated to food and wine of the area. Apart from the Limestone Coast, other stalls were Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninisula, Flinders Ranges, Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Fleurieu Peninsula.

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The menu was in typical Kirby fashion: wholesome, healthy and real food; put simply together and using the freshest ingredients from the Limestone Coast, adhering to his Loco Omnivorian principles of cooking and eating. Here is a copy of the menu Tasting Oz Town square FINAL

I had an absolute blast at Tasting Australia, and that is what ultimatley lead to my application for placement with SATC for this year. I met so many wonderful people and sampled delicious food from places I had never visisted before, I also learnt about many different seasonal products and cuisine styles from the regions.

Kirby also held an associated event for Tasting Australia back in the Limestone Coast: From Little Things Big Things Grow, a progressive day starting at Kalangadoo fo breakfast, and moving onto Bellweather Wines in Coonawarra for lunch. The lunch, held on 7th May, included all things South-Eastern, and was a sold out event. I still have a copy of the menu, despite missing out!

from little things big things grow

@ kalangadoo

930am

fresh organic apple pastries designed by chef kirby shearing, hand crafted by local artisan bakers @ metro bakery, mt gamibier

spiced mulled apple juice

@ bellwether wines

1100am

jaffle by the fire, join paul west for a hot toastie around the fire

cup of seasonal soup in the veggie garden

1200noon

shared table mains

apple wood smoked mixed grain, roasted beets, merlot vinegar reduction, ROBE DAIRY labnevo gf

MALONES lamb spit roasted over foraged wood, MULLINGER PARK lentil salad, soul kitchens curried almond granola gf

crisp CULBURRA pork belly /w soy, KALANGADOO ORGANIC spiced apple gf

shared table sides

green garden fry up with chilli, ginger and ANANDA organic garlic vo

mt gambier potato puree, fried salt bush vo gf

russet burbank potato from COONAWARRA FRESH, bronzed fennel gribiche gf

1430pm

shared table after lunch food

roasted leek, rosemary oil, baked LIMESTONE COAST CHEESE CO’s lady musgrave brie, organic golden linseed + quinoa wafer gf

KALANGADOO ORGANIC apple crumble, hay infused custard

baked chocolate, soil, caramel, DICKENS DELIGHT toffee gf

links:

ROBE DAIRY- http://www.robedairy.com

MALONES- http://www.malonewines.com.au/lamb

CULBURRA- distributed through RGFM (www.feastfinefoods.com.au )

KALANGADOO ORGANICS- http://www.kalangadooorganic.com.au

ANANDA- http://www.anandaorganicaustralia.com

COONAWARRA FRESH- http://www.coonawarrafresh.com.au

LIMESTONE COAST CHEESE CO- can be bought at Foodland Naracoorte, IGA Penola, She’s Apple Mt Gambier

DICKENS DELIGHT- http://www.dickensdelights.com.au

 

Tasting Australia Day 3

Tuesday was another late start for me, heading into town at 10am. Today was going to provide a bit of adventure, stars, and escape from the office. My first task was to accompany Thi Le to her cooking demonstration in Adelaide Central Market.

After compiling a running sheet for Talent pick-up for Nunce, Maddie and I met Thi and her sous chef, Mia in the Hilton Hotel Lobby. We strolled over to the Central Markets and Thi told us about how much she was enjoying Adelaide and Tasting Australia. This was her first time in the SA capital and she was mesmerized by how affordable the living was compared to the Eastern States. She divulged conversations with the other chefs that had involved opening restaurants in our small part of the country, given the grand interest received from the community and affordable venue rates. Going on a Primary Industries and Resources SA tour the previous day, Thi had thoroughly enjoyed Alexandrina Cheese Co. cream and was hoping to source some to take back to Melbourne with her that afternoon.

Arriving at the Central Market, we met with the Event Management team and Thi began to set up with her prep. The demonstration would take place in the Market’s Community Kitchen which faces a seating area of 30 and features overhead cameras so viewers have a birds-eye –view of the culinary creation. To the left of the kitchen area was a tasting area for Market produce. Today this included Poh’s Strawberry and Sweet Chilli Jam, home-made Hommus and speciality Butter from Jagger Fine Foods. The Strawberry jam was the definite winner for me – it was heavenly! The jam of your childhood; so fresh, light, and flavoursome. After indulging in the samples, Maddie and I went on a hunt for Alexandrina Cheese Co. products and the cream that Thi craved. After visiting several sites with our eyes on the prize, we located two vendors: The Smelly Cheese Shop and Say Cheese. Happily, we snapped a pic of the product and went back to watch the demonstration.

The demonstration went very well. Thi made her curried flounder dish, the most popular item on the menu at Anchovy. She showed us how she simmered the spices in creamy coconut milk to bring out the flavours and thicken up the sauce. Interestingly, she also gently bathes the fish in the liquid, giving it a decadent coating. I got a heck load of pictures of Thi and Mia, but not close enough to the dish sadly … the crowd was quite large, filling up the space and everyone there was keen to grab a small bite of Thi’s delicious fish, which intoxicated the room with heavenly aromas of spice and sweetness. When the demonstration came to a close, we took Thi and Mia over to Town Square to sign a whole stack of Tasting Australia plates (I’ll try to sneak a photo at some stage, they are quite magnificent!), then broke for lunch.

I was excited to see Simon Byrant in Charred, tossing together a spicy fish dish with rice; sustainably using the left over fish from the Glasshouse Dinner with Josh Niland, Katrina Armstrong, and Analiese Gregory the night before. He had a team of three, including himself and the scene was quite vibrant and lively. Simon had a solitary pan tossing the fish through with a selection of Asian spices before delicately tumbling the steaming meal onto a bed of rice. He had quite a selection of fresh fish to choose from: tune, mulloway and flathead. The line-up was huge! How could I say no?! I selected tuna and flathead and stared on, wishing I wasn’t so shy, and could have video-ed the entire experience.

Simon is such a fascinating person. I would love to sit down and interview him one day. He is so passionate, creative, and dynamic. He thinks fast on his feet, is very flexible, friendly and obliging. Plus his naturally sustainable nature, and fresh approach to keeping it real, despite his celebrity status is so inviting and welcoming. I would be absolutely delighted to have a one-on-one conversation with him in the future, perhaps I’ll get the courage to ask … Until that day, I would proudly take my unique and exclusive Simon-created lunch back to the event office to savour and dream.

After lunch I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on post event feedback for the Great Wine Voyage. There was much excitement around the office for the evening’s Glasshouse Kitchen event which would feature Marco Pierre White cooking alongside Clayton Wells and Jock Zonfrillo. Maddie and I banded together to retrieve all 150 copies of White Heat back at the SATC office, as these were going to be given out as gifts to the attendees of the dinner. Man they were heavy! The book is huge! We transported them to Town Square where we met Tess in the Glasshouse area, and set the books out for later in the evening. I found out the next day that after the dinner was served, Marco had actually gone around to each guest and signed each copy of the book! Such a generous gesture! I’m sure the guests were absolutely thrilled with this, he genuinely did this out of the kindness of his heart. I guess all that talk about his tyranny is just for show and drama; I’ll bet he is a real sweetheart inside (which, unknown to me, I was about to discover the following night …).

We crammed a lot in for half a day on the job, but it was an absolute delight. I jumped on the bus at 6pm filled with gratitude and a warm buzzing feeling of a vibrant and interactive day.

Tasting Australia Day 2

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After a luxurious sleep in, I was back on the bus to Victoria Square, the Hilton Adelaide, and Day 2 of Tasting Australia. Today was going to be about reporting on the previous day events and putting a plan together for the week. Although I was very busy following up with the Great Wine Voyage wine details, getting feedback from the venues, and sending out wine lists to guests; there is not too much to report other than being a desk jockey!

I did escape for lunch with Ashley, to Charred. I stopped in to Coal + Cellar, and grabbed their Coal Burger and a handful of hand cut fries. Ashely visited Ragini Dey and Spice where she grabbed Lentils with Spinach and Rice. After a good catch-up about our progress with study and employment this year, we decided to head back to Ragini’s for dessert. We had been sold on a chocolate and chilli naan, and it was ah-maze-ing. Highly recommended if you’re visiting Charred!

Other events happening throughout the day included:

  • Flavours of Campbelltown
    • A tour of Adelaide’s Little Italy visiting local businesses Elbios, Bread + Butter, Mercato, Continental Tiralli, and Gelato Bello.
  • Le Cordon Bleu Professional Food Writing Workshop
    • A 5-day mini-course in capturing culinary captions and delighting the wordsmith senses.
  • A Few of My Favourite Things with Sharon Romeo
    • A tour of the Barossa with Sharon, getting the inside scoop on local history and lifestyle, the best places to eat and drink, and visiting the region’s heritage sites.
  • Feasting in the Garden
    • A vegetation delight of tours in the kitchen garden, different cultural uses for various vegetables, and sampling of meals cooked with ingredients straight from the soil.
  • Eat Edicara
    • A degustation inspired from the ancient seafloor
  • Josh Niland, Analiese Gregory and Karena Armstrong at The Glasshouse Kitchen

My day in the office was short, and I has completed my work by 4pm. Jess graciously came to pick me up (after I got pelted with rain going to get Guinness for Paul Carmichael!) and we went to see F8 at Arndale. Glee xo

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Tasting Australia Day 1 and The Great Wine Voyage

Sunday 30th April we kicked off Day 1 of Tasting Australia! Town Square opened at 11am and the sun was out to greet us. There was a fantastic turn out, plenty of vendors with a host of incredible food, and good vibes to get the party started.

Sunday was also the date for the Great Wine Voyage, which Maddie has been planning with Jimmy Hopkins from the Fruitful Pursuit. The aim of the game is to visit nine venues in Adelaide’s East and West End; blind taste two different wines at each venue; one South Australian and the other internationally produced; and guess which of the two, the SA brew is. At the end of the journey, guests submitted their votes on line at The Great Wine Voyage, and two winners were selected to win two amazing prizes: all nine bottles of SA wine OR all nine bottles of International wine (some of which were magnums!).

This event was created in celebration of Adelaide becoming a Great Wine Capital of the world; and is now named alongside previous international recipients such as Mendoza, Argentina; Bordeaux, France; Mainz Rheinhessen, Germany; and Verona, Italy. It was sponsored by Primary Industries and Resources South Australia, organised by Fruitful Pursuits, and managed by Events SA. Our SATC team consisted of Maddie (Event Coordinator), Anne-Marie (Sponsorship Services Manager), Cassie (Sponsorship Account Manager), Ashley (Sponsorship Services Placement Student), and myself.

The SATC team left the Event Office at 1:00pm to meet at Lindes Lane, in Rundle Mall, where we held a debriefing with the volunteers and hosts of each nine venues. Jimmy had organised nine of his closest contacts and professionals in the hospitality industry, some of which were wine makers and sommeliers themselves. We handed out the volunteer kits, shirts, and looked through the run sheet, going over the specifics of the event. Particularly; all 110 guests had been given a starting point in either Adelaide’s East or West End; this event would start at 4pm in both the East and West End; no host is to reveal the identity of any wine; no volunteer is to pour wine; guests consumption is to be monitored; guests are to be encouraged to move through all nine wineries; food will be served at six venues; transport facilities were available; guests should be encouraged to vote for their wine section; this event would end at 8pm; and guests would be encouraged to attend the after party at Victoria Square to see the wine identities revealed and prize winners announced.

After the briefing I took four volunteers down to the East End, past their respective venues. These were; Iberia representing Portugal; Mr Goodbar representing South Africa; Mother Vine representing Germany; and East End Cellars representing Italy. Over in the West End, the five venues were; Lindes Lane representing Argentina; Alfred’s Bar representing USA; Udaberri Pintxos Y Vino representing Spain; Apothecary representing France; and Haines & Co representing Chile. We met Maddie at East End Cellars and began setting up the registration area for 55 guests including: gift bags, a wine glass each, and a Great Wine Voyage lanyard with a scorecard on the back. We then moved onto each venue to set up the tasting areas.

Guests started to arrive at 3:30pm. Check-in went very smoothly, run by two volunteers (Elizabeth and Lydia) and myself. All guests were keen to participate, and curious about the sequence of events; it provided an exciting buzz amongst the team. Vibrant, gorgeous and engaging sommelier, Liina, addressed the group with the event particulars and the created excitement for the blind tastings. She mentioned the score card on the lanyard and encouraged everyone to catch the bus back for Town Square before 8pm for the after party and reveal. We then broke the group up into 4, and each volunteer took their guests to their venues: the game had begun! As guests blind-tasted the wine at each venue, our volunteers stood outside each venue with a small flag representing the international country featured, and gave attendees general information and directions.

As the crowd dispersed, Maddie informed me there was someone who has checked in to the West End, when they were registered for the East End, therefore they were without a wine glass, lanyard, and gift bag. So I grabbed the goods, and legged it through Rundle Mall over to Peel Street. I also did it in 7 minutes, when Google Maps told me it would take 15. Boom. Take that satellites. Owned ya. I hi-fived Emma, who was waving a USA flag, and headed back to the East End.

By this time people were starting to move around, and each volunteer was mingling with guests and chatting about their thoughts on the tastings. I popped into East End Cellars first, where a white wine was being compared, and found the guests in a spirited mood, all eager to share their thoughts on the tastings and debate which they glass they preferred. Evidently, the consensus was, the wine they liked most was clearly the South Australian produced. Interesting theories. Having no idea which was which, I decided to play devil’s advocate and give questioning glances every time someone proudly named their selection between Wine 1 and 2. I was met with shocked faces, and expressions of disbelief, leading the guests to turn away and begin analysing their choices with their companions. Great fun!

I moved on to Mother Vine and chatted with Jessica, the venue was empty at this stage, so I didn’t stay for long. She reported the guests were excited to compare the wine which was a red variety. Many expressed it was difficult to determine any differences between the two, therefore both were favoured as the SA blend.

Not having visited Mr Goodbar before, I skipped over past the Belgian Beer Cafe to see Lydia proudly waving two South African flags and chatting to guests entering the venue. Inside, a heavy debate was going on between the guests, and the host who was taunting each person with their choices and recommending pairings with the delicious boards of charcuterie, pickled vegetables, cheese, and olives, being passed around. I met Ben, the Bar Manager, who informed me the evening was proceeding very smoothly. . I stayed for 15 minutes to chat and taunt the guests a little. Particularly I was amused by two husband and wife couples who were playing an interesting sport of retaliation; for every comment the females made about the wine flavours, aroma, and body, the gentlemen counteracted with the entirely opposite thought. It was hilarious to watch. This was clearly a regular game between these couples; the men certainly didn’t miss a beat, chiming in with their opposing responses immediately.

Overall the feel of the event was very jovial and pleasurable. Guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves with guessing the wine and choosing their next destination. The feature of volunteers at each entrance with a flag, welcoming the guests into a different country was also delightfully received. Each location was a new destination and adventure to be discovered, giving the atmosphere a buzz of excitement and intrigue.

It was sad to begin to wrap things up at 7:45, and encourage guests to move onto Town Square. The volunteers and I began to pack up the tasting areas and collect any leftover items. We thanked each venue and moved onto Town Square for the after party and reveal of the wines. Arriving at 8:20pm we were delighted to see the majority of guests seated and patiently awaiting the reveal. Liina and Jimmy took to the stage in an entertaining manner discussing their selections and origins of their favourite drops, as well as sharing the lively history of their friendship.

Feeling the weight of the day, I was off to grab some dinner. Navigating through charred, there was a great selection of culinary dishes. These included Coal Cellar + Grill, MBC Foods, Ragini Dey, Gelista, Pizzateca, Cafe Chennai, Little Adelaide Catering, La Boca, Brett & Alex, Andrew Fielke, The Henry Austin, and fabulous festival star Analiese Gregory. Mouth-watering and unable to decide, I heard someone call out to me from a booth; “Hot balls! Come grab our hot balls!” Bursting into a fit of laughter, I had to ask the outspoken gentleman, how on earth did he expect to get guests over with a line like that? Smirking, he replied that it had worked, as I was now there. I looked up at the signage and decided to order my meal from Coriole; they served up three delicious hot meatballs covered in home made tomato sauce, and an indulgent kranksy made by their talented team. After a long day running around, I did not feel the slightest bit guilty digging into this hot comfort meal.

I joined Maddie and the team at the after party tent, which had begun to break up. Jimmy and Liina cheerfully headed off to enjoy the remaining wine from the tastings and we proceeded with pack down. Ashley joined us and we exchanged our stories from the event. By the time 10pm had arrived, we were feeling the chill but still glowing from the euphoric feel of the day. Overall, this was a very successful first event, and will most likely feature in the future. For me, this was a knock-out start to Tasting Australia


For eight days, Town Square will be buzzing with activity including cooking demonstrations from some of Australia’s best chefs, the Taste Buds kids kitchen, chargrilled meals, chef and winemaker ‘meet and greet’ sessions, DJ’s and beverage masterclasses. With FREE entry every day, make sure you drop in for a quick bite or stay into the evening to enjoy a beverage in front of the firepits.

For those interested, here are links to each venue featured at the Great Wine Voyage, as well as the wines on tasting. All drops can be purchased from East End Cellars. Salute xo

Apothecary 1878

https://www.theapothecary1878.com.au

BORDEAUX / FRANCE

2016 Charlotte Dalton ‘ÆRCHANGEL’ Semillon (SA)

Peybonehomme Les Tours ‘Le Blanc Bonhomme’
Alfred’s Bar

http://www.alfredsbar.com.au/

SAN FRANCISCO, NAPA VALLEY / USA
2015 Matthiasson ‘Linda Vista’ Chardonnay

2015 BK ‘Swaby’ Chardonnay (SA)
East End Cellars

http://www.eastendcellars.com.au/
VERONA / ITALY
2015 Giovanni Armani Giorgio ‘Bianco Superiore’ (AKA ‘GAG White’) (SA)

2014 Pra ‘Monte Grande’ Soave Classico
Hains & Co

http://www.hainsco.com.au/
VALPARAÌSO, CASABLANCA VALLEY / CHILE
2014 Refugio Pinot Noir

2015 CRFT ‘Chapel Valley’ Pinot Noir (SA)
Iberia

http://www.iberiaadelaide.com.au/
PORTO, PORTUGAL
2011 Quinta Do Alaíde
2012 Coates Touriga Nacional (SA)

Lindes Lane

http://www.lindeslane.com.au/
MENDOZA / ARGENTINA
2015 Karatta ’12 Mile Vineyard’ Malbec (SA)

2014 La Posta ‘Paulucci’ Malbec
Mothervine

http://www.mothervine.com.au/
MAINZ, RHEINHESSEN
2016 ARTIS Riesling (SA)

2015 Juwel Trocken Riesling
Mr Goodbar

https://www.facebook.com/pg/mrgoodbaradelaide/about/
CAPE TOWN, CAPE WINELANDS / SOUTH AFRICA
2015 Natte Valley Cinsault
2015 Vanguardist MVG (SA)
Udaberri

http://udaberri.com.au/
RIOJA, BILBAO / SPAIN
2011 Laderas de Cabama

2015 SC Pannell Temperanillo (SA)

 

Tasting Australia kicks off today! 

Oh my gosh that came around quickly! As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for the bus to take me into Victoria Square where Tasting Australia will launch and Town Square opens at 11am. 

Last night my colleague Yi was in the Barista for the Maggie Beer Tribute Dinner, a final hurrah as her last year of Patron for Tasting Australia. Tonight Marco Pierre White will be cooking all things Italian alongside Jock Zonfrillo and Mitch Orr, at FINO in Seppeltsfield. Anyone who scored tickets is sure to have an amazing time! 

This week has been hectic, leading up to the event, with an office move into the Hilton, Glasshouse trail dinner service, and Town Square Warming; all in preparation for today. We will have our first glasshouse event this evening and Charred will be open from 11am. 

Today I will be helping Maddie run The Great Wine Voyage which kicks off at 4pm in Adelaide’s CBD. This is going to be a fun event where guests will blind taste a SA Produced and Internationally Produced Wine and try to guess which is the local. There are 9 different venues to visit between Adelaide’s East and West Ends, each one showcasing a different Wine Capital of the world. Hopefully I can manage some sneaky photos, stay tuned! 

Well, my bus is finally here time to get to work. Hope to see you at Tasting Australia, it’s going to be a fantastic event xo

Bar Mercato is turning 2!

Have you come to see me at my place of employment yet?

Yes I know, there is actually someone out there who wants to pay me! Once you get over that, head over to Mercato in Campbelltown and grab a cappuccino and a cornetto, or a Spritz and a slice of Margherita from the Bar.

Maria Munari is my wonderful manager and we opened the bar together, the first day of trading was April 27th 2015. We were stationed in the demo kitchen (ask me, I’ll show you) with one rack of bread, three pastries on display and a menu of five panini.

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Humble Beginnings! The Pop-Up Bar with Marlene, Dimi, and Vincenzo

Since then we have exploded into a full breakfast and lunch service, a dessert cabinet, extensive daily specials, all day alcohol service, pizza a taglio, and the most delicious Italian pastries in Adelaide. We have a full kitchen making meals, pizza, pastries and cakes from 7:30am until 2:30pm, a Front of House team of over twelve and a massive clientele.

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Raffaella in the fully opened and thriving bar on our first birthday, 2016.

As we are turning 2 in the next week I thought I’d share some photos and laughs we’ve had together.

 

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Our first breakfast dish! Uova alla Napoletana

 

 

 

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Domenico’s going away present: an apron signed from all of us!
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That one day Nat was right and I was wrong …
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Raffaella cutting the cake for the staff Christmas Show in 2015.

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Pastry Chef John doing a Cannoli and Rum Baba Demonstration
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The crew playing Dictionary for Marco’s farewell
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The gang gathered at Africola for Domenico’s farewell

I am truly blessed to work in such a fun supportive environment with such amazing people! Thank for the great memories everyone, and being part of my family xo

 

Tasting Australia Placement Week 7

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Ok. Here is some big news. There are only 8 days to go until the event kicks off! Can you believe it! It has come around so fast! Countdown is on …

I was in the office both Wednesday and Thursday this week, post Easter break, as was Yi, and I finally got to catch up with my peer Ashley, who has been undertaking placement at SATC too, but in the Sponsorship division. Very exciting stuff, she is learning a lot and having an absolute blast. The last two days were very busy so I have a lot to report!

Wednesday was a huge day for me, in the morning I sat down with a confirmed list of DJs playing at Victoria Square throughout the event, and was required to collate their names and schedules into a larger schedule aligning with the other events running through the week. This was a big job because they had changed drastically from the format we had put together a week ago! I attended meetings for the remainder of the day, starting with an ‘All In’ Town Square Work In Progress meeting, to cover run sheets and logistics throughout the week. Starting with Maggie Beer’s Tribute Dinner Marco Pierre White’s FINO Feast events in Barossa, then moving onto Great Wine Voyage, Glasshouse Dinners and Chef Supper Club.

After this, I dashed off to a volunteer briefing with Yi, Ali, and Tamara where we received White Level Training from SAPOL, Occupational Health Safety and Welfare update from Josh, and a training session on disability sensitivity. There are so many volunteers for Tasting Australia this year, which is absolutely incredible, the event couldn’t happen without them and I think it such a wonderfully kind gesture for people of the community to do – taking time out of their busy lives to help at a community event. Its truly a wonderful thing, and I value every volunteers time, energy, and patience.

After the volunteer briefing, I whisked off to a meeting with Maddie and Jimmy from Fruitful Pursuits. Jimmy is managing The Great Wine Voyage – a very exciting event being held to celebrate Adelaide’s recognition as a Great Wine Capital. Guests will roam through Adelaide’s East and West End, sampling one variety of wine, but made by two different producers : one South Australian, and the other International. Then we will put them to the test, and see who can tell which is the local drop. There are 9 different venues selected, each will showcase a different country, all of which are current Great Wine Capitals. This includes Spain, France, South Africa, Portugal, Italy, and Argentina. After guests have circulated the rounds, a bus will take them all back to Town Square where there will be an after party.

My responsibility during this event will be to look after the volunteers and venues, as well as assist with set-up and break-down of the event. At some stage I’m even going to be filling in for the volunteers, so if you’re attending this event, be sure to say hi!

That essentially wrapped up Wednesday. I dashed off at 5pm to meet my conference group at the State Library, and find some food (no time for lunch!).

Thursday I hit the ground running with two boxes of volunteer t-shirts for stocktake and allocation. Maddie was tied up, so Nunz gave me an interesting job. I created a Talent Snapshot for Hitaf – a document with photos of each guest, their events being held at Tasting Australia, and a small biography of their history and achievements. This was a great exercise for me because it helped me to get really familiar with each festival star and learn more about them myself.

Particularly I will be interested to get to meet Thi Le. She owns Anchovy in Melbourne, and was named Gourmet Traveller Best New Talent in 2016. Her cooking style blends Vietnamese and Australian Cuisines. Thi will be cooking in the Glasshouse Kitchen, with Lennox Hastie and Duncan Welgemoed, but she is also featured at Makers at the Market Demo Program taking place in Adelaide Central Market, Tuesday 2nd May.

If you know me, you know I loooove Spanish food, so Frank Camorra was another profile that stood out for me. Frank is from Barcelona and has brought a Southern Spanish style tapas culture to Melbourne in his restaurant Movida. Frank’s first event at Adelaide Central Market is unfortunately sold out BUT there is another opportunity to see him alongside Mitch Orr (The Prince of Pasta!) for The Market Kitchen Chef’s Table.

Steve Flamseed’s kind face has been popping up for me constantly though my work, and I have seen his profile and though ‘gee, he looks like such a nice guy!’. Now that I have had the chance to sit down and read a little more about him, I am looking forward to meeting him at Tasting Australia. Steve is a winemaker and studied at Roseworthy Agricultural College. During these years, he worked for Maggie Beer, as a chef, at Pheasant Farm Restaurant. He was also named Gourmet Traveller’s Wine Maker of the Year in 2016. Steve is co-hosting Two Good Looking Roosters Showcase at Town Square on Sunday 30th April.

After lunch I sat down with Maddie to talk Great Wine Voyage. I am taking on a lot of responsibilities for this event, mostly behind the scenes stuff, but it is crucial non-the-less. At the moment I am putting together a volunteer kit with information on the event, their responsibilities and instructions. This document is being completed completely from scratch, so there is a lot of work involved! I’ve also organised a roster for volunteer breaks, to be covered by the Events SA team.

Next week I will received more information to finish the kit, finalise the volunteer run sheet and be advised of all the venues involved for volunteer allocation. We will also hold a volunteer briefing in the office. Excitingly, from Wednesday onwards, we will be operating from the Hilton Hotel, much closer to Town Square as it goes up next week.

Getting so much closer now, everything is feeling so real! There is so much buzz going on  around town about Tasting Australia, and this is going to be a fantastic event. I really hope you’re keen to get involved, and check out the wonderful demonstrations, shows, and feasts taking place.

Till next week xo

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Tasting Australia Placement Week 6

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Autumn is here, and Easter is just around the corner!

Today SATC took us out on a pre-Easter treat to the “Sparkle Shop” otherwise known as the Christmas Pageant warehouse. This where all the magical floats live! Here we met the operations team responsible for all the behind-the-scenes Christmas magic such as float maintenance, front car design and decoration, costumes, office management, and construction hands. We got a lovely tour of the site and I got to pretend I was Alice in Wonderland! We also got the exclusive scoop on two new float designs for 2017, one I am particularly excited about because it has a certain Muppet theme …

After this exciting adventure, the day got incredibly busy for me!

First up was the Work In Progress Meeting for Town Square where we are starting to really finalise everything. Today I learned Oz Harvest will be involved, and we will be raising money for their organisation, which I truly support. We also provide donations at Mercato, so it’s great that this incredible initiative is getting the support it needs to continue their brilliant work.

The menus for the Glasshouse Dinner events are being drafted. They are very simple and elegant in design and provide a smooth touch to the formal evening. Also, we are not having table runners (previously designed with a Tasting Australia logo and funky food and beverage design), but the Food and Beverage Manager will put together something simple and elegant using a plain black base. I also picked up that Austin Bloom would be involved, and they will surely provide a fresh, and vivacious feel. Finally, we will be trialling vinyl on the Glasshouse floors for reduced acoustics and heat insulation.

Onto the event festivities update!

Thursday 4th May is being themed as “A Taste of Asia” in Town Square. In Charred the featured chefs hail from a variety of eateries including Coal Cellar + Grill, Adelaide Casino, Comida, and La Boca.

This is also now the only time to get your hands on Paul Carmichael’s food. Originally from the island of Barbados, he is passionate about preserving tradition and bringing people together over food. Paul studied at the culinary institute of America before moving to New York City where he worked in kitchens at WD-50, Asiate and Aquavit. He took the plunge and moved to Sydney in 2015 and became executive chef at Momofuku Seiōbo, where he is at home experimenting with Australian ingredients to discover, learn and celebrate new flavours. Momofuku Seiōbo was named 2016 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year under Paul’s leadership in the kitchen.

Paul’s Glasshouse Kitchen Dinner with Ana Ross and Jock Zonfrillo is completely sold out, so if you want the chance to try this incredible chef’s work without spending your Frequent Flyer points, this is the night to do it!

Additionally, Thursday night will host two of my favorite celebrity chefs: Sammy and Bella, and I’ve discovered someone new and interesting: Ragini Day. Ragini is the genius behind Naya Bar Adelaide, the creator of Ragini Spice products and has developed a spice appreciation and Indian Cooking school. All these incredible talents can be found in Charred in Victoria Square on Thursday 4th May. You don’t need a reservation just rock up and be hungry!

Play time is over, next week I am hitting the ground running with TWO WHOLE DAYS in the SATC office after Easter, then we move into the Hilton Hotel while the site goes up at Victoria Square! Very exciting, we are getting so close!

Here are some pics I snuck in while at the Sparkle Shop. Have a great Easter long weekend xo

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