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

 

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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)

 

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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Tasting Australia Placement Week 5

Tasting Australia Brochure - Glasshouse Kitchen

We are getting sooooo close! Can you feel it?! There’s magic in the air … and layout plans in my hands. You know this is getting so real. Come on people, get excited … theres less than 4 weeks to go!

This week has been focused on tying up lose ends. My first dutu today involved a meeting with Maddie and Ross to discuss DJ scheduling and contacts for the two stages in Town Square. We plotted these names and timeslots onto a spreadsheet which I took to create a roster. The contacts are all personal friends of Ross, so he has done the hard work, and next week I will follow up. Securing these guys is going to provide a decent vibe for the entire event, they are playing essentially all day, and will only break when the Chef’s Journey takes over. Speaking of which, a small schedule has been released for Chef’s Journey paritcipants. Yes Maria, there is still a chance to see Marco!

Sunday 30 April

12:00pm – Duncan Weigemoed

2:30pm – Lennox Hastie

5:00pm – Sophie Zalokar

Wednesday 03 May

5:30pm – Analiese Gregory

6:00pm – Alex Herbert

6:30pm – Marco Pierre White

After the weekly Work In Progress meeting, I was invited to attend a newly formed meeting committee: Glasshouse Logistics and Operations. Headed up by Simon and Maddie, the focus of this group is to work out the nuts and bolts of the Glasshouses. This is no small matter, some of the topics on the table include: Front of House, Back of House, Cleaning, Uniforms, Linen and Napkins, Table Settings, Table Runners, Wine and Food Pairing, Menu Designs, Insurance, Resposible Persons, Accesisbility Plan. And this is just skimming the surface! Thank good ness for my hospitality background, I actually understood, and was able to keep up with the speedy conversation. Also, this is a major relief that I actually get what is going on in this part of the festival, because as of next week I will be liaising with Simon and Janette to write the meeting minutes and agenda.

Chef’s Supper Club is the only Glasshouse event which still has tickets available. This is the Gala Event of the festival with a line-up of 20 chefs cooking 20 different canapes combined with a selection of 7 wine pourings from East End Cellars. Featured stars on the night include Ana Ros (Hiša Franko, Slovenia), Mitch Orr (ACME, Sydney), Nic Watt (Madame Hanoi, Adelaide) and Sean Connolly (Sean’s Kitchen, Adelaide). This going to be a gorgeous cocktail evening and final hurrah to Tasting Australia 2017, so clear your calender for Saturday 6th May, get out that gorgeous evening dress, and join us for a crisp elegant bubbly matched with some sensational snacks.

Actually, tickets for all events are selling really quickly. Even the Flavours of Campbelltown event is nearly sold out with Tuesday 02 May completley gone, and Monday 01 May not far behind. This unique tour starts with pick up from Victoria Square and onto Elbios in Newton for morning tea; next stop Bread Butter for a bread making demonstration; Mercato for a pasta masterclass, lunch and a glass of wine; on to Continental Taralli for a look at factory and tastings; and round off with gelati from Gelato Bello. Each producer will share intimate stories of their history and heritage before departing back to Victoria Square. How amazing does that sound? I would love to be on this tour!

I’ve discovered I will have Thursday 04 May to myself so I’m defintley checking out what is happining, right now I can’t quite decide between these awesome options:

  1. Heroine’s Table

Held at The Salopian Inn, this evening celebrates incredible female chefs in the industry. Esteemed Fleurieu Peninsula chef Karena Armstrong, and popular Sydney chef and Maggie Beer alumna Alex Herbert,  will be hosting this 3 course meal and beverage regional package, showing that while men may have more public profiles in the industry, women certainly match them in skill and finesse. In addition to these fabulous talents, the panel speakers include Analiese Gregory (Bar Brose, Sydney), Sue Bell (Bellwether Wines) and Michelle McColl (Kalangadoo Organics). How can I say no to some incredible home-grown heros?

2. Taste The Market Dinner

As one of my favourite places in Adelaide, I would love to attend the Central Market for full-blown foodie event. This four-course tasting menu will showcase South Australian artisan food from the market and the best of local seasonal produce, with the opporunity to mingle with the market personalities and learn their connection to the food prepared. The Adelaide Farmers’ Market is passionate about ensuring our market goers are connected to the food that they eat, and it’s such a joy to visit the market on any ordinary day, I can imagine an evening with them will be a great way to enjoy great market produce and learn the story behind each dish.

3. Experience Chocolate

If you know me, you know I love chocolate and this event would give me a whole hour with the boutique, artisan chocolatier of the Adelaide Hills, Red Cacao, gaining a first-hand introduction to the wonder of chocolate making. The master chocolatier and founder of Red Cacao, Marcus Booth-Remmers, will lead the event showing how their chocolates are made including knowledge on single origin chocolates where you can taste how each growing region provides a unique flavour profile to the chocolate. Marcus will talk about how our chocolate is carefully crafted, its health benefits, suggested flavour combinations and how Red Cacao use local dairy producers, berry growers and coffee roasters to create a complete Adelaide Hills taste experience.

Decisions decisions.

My last task of the day was to arrange for distribvtion of the Marco Pierre White book: White Heat. These are going to people attending Marco’s Glasshouse event on Tuesday 02 May, as part of the ticket price. Honestly, I didn’t even know this book existed, but I’ve looked at some reviews since being introduced, and it seems to be a global phenomenon. Here’s what Booktopia says:

A 25th anniversary edition of the classic cookbook from the ‘enfant terrible’ of the UK restaurant scene, with a new 64-page section including previously unpublished photographs and commentary from Jason Atherton, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge.

Once in a blue moon a book is published that changes irrevocably the face of things. White Heat is one such book. Since it was originally produced in 1990, it has gone on to become one of the most enduring classic cookbooks of our time. With its unique blend of outspoken opinion, recipes and dramatic photographs by the late legendary photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, White Heat captures the magic and spirit of Marco Pierre White in the heat of his kitchen.

This 25th anniversary edition features brand new material, including photographs from the late Bob Carlos Clarke and contributions from James Steen, Lindsey Carlos Clarke and a host of high-profile chefs: Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Mario Batali, Raymond Blanc, Anthony Bourdain, Adam Byatt, David Chang, Phil Howard, Tom Kerridge, Paul Kitching, Pierre Koffmann, Gordon Ramsay and Jock Zonfrillo.

I might just have to see if I can get a copy of it myself … and if I’m still going to be working in the Living Library (TBC) I may even get the chance to meet him!

Stardom here I come xo

Tasting Australia Placement Week 4

I can’t believe we’re already a month into placement. And the event is roughly 4 more weeks away. What a whirlwind. I’m sure it’ll be over before I know it, so I’d better savour as much as I can.

Each week I am learning so much more. I can’t stress how big this event is. The logistics are intricate yet demanding. Every piece of the puzzle gets examined in finite detail, if one screw is lose it could create a chain of disaster. This observation comes from the Town Square Work In Progress Meeting. Details will remain confidential, but my notes, and thoughts, are going to be of great assistance in my own event planning in the future.

I also realise how much I am eager to get into the nitty gritty of this event. I don’t care what my task is, I just want something to take care of and put my passion into. Coming up in the next few weeks is the finalisation of the Chef Supper Club, Chef’s Journey, and Living Library which I will be heavily involved in, thankfully. Too much energy and not enough patience. Its a diagnosed illness and I am undertaking shock treatments. Thank you for your concern.

Onto todays learning.

Did you know that Adelaide has been named as one of the Great Wine Capitals  of the world? Alongside Bordeaux, Mendoza, Napa Valley, and Mainz Rheinhessen, our humble SA city is featured on the Great Wine Capitals website, which showcases 10 exclusive regions. Actually we are the only city in the Southern Hemisphere to have this title. Luckily for us, the regional guide encourages interested parties to visit all South Australian Wineries, such as Barossa, McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island, and also Padthaway, Robe AND Coonawarra.

To commemorate this outstanding achievement, The Fruitful Pursuit will be hosting an exclusive event giving guests the opportunity to blind taste SA wines alongside huge global names in the industry – testing their skill in determining which is which. Great Wine Voyage is being held Sunday 30th April at Adelaide East & West End. Tickets are a total steal at only $65 per person.

Secondly, I discovered that May is Aussie Wine Month, and there are a bunch of cool events happening all over the nation to celebrate. Some of the awesome things Tasting Australia are doing include:

Heroine’s Soul to Glass – An exciting evening showcasing the wonderful women wine makers in South Australia. Held in the Fleurieu Peninsula at Fall from Grace, the line up features 22 home-grown names including Sue Bell of Bellweather Wines in Coonawarra, and my own WSET II lecturer: Gill Gordon-Smith from Fall from Grace Wines.

Fresh Wine Disco – This is a stand out event, pushing boundaries and showing SA something it has never seen before. Taras Ochota from Ochota Barrels is hosting this afternoon by inviting guests to sample over 30 different wine varieties – all made with low intervention. The evening will progress with 70s/80s disco tunes to make it a rocking party. Don’t tell my mum, we’d have to drag her out …

Fizzology @ Sinclair’s Gully – As a lover of bubble and spark, this event really lights me up. The team at Sinclair’s Gully will guide guests through the delicate process of making sparkling wine, including the exciting opportunity to dose, cork and label a 94-point drop.

My main task today focused on advertising for wine events happening during the week of Tasting Australia, which lead to my discovery of the above, as well as many more incredible opportunities. If you haven’t seen the full list of events, check out the Tasting Australia Program. I will give a special mention to the unique masterclasses being offered by East End Cellars, in Town Square during the week of the festivities.

Star Struck Moment: Today I sent out programs to two of my idols, My Kitchen Rules contestants: Sammy and Bella. The girls are going to be offering free Masterclasses at Westfield Marion, Tea Tree Plaza, and West Lakes. I also discovered they will be cooking in Charred! Glee!

Some things I need to research before next week:

  1. Public Liability Insurance and how it relates to the event industry
  2. What is a ‘Late Night Flight’?
  3. Can I smash out 50x chocolate muffins, next Monday night, to bring in to the office next week?

I know I probably write this in every post but I just want to acknowledge how much of an incredible opportunity this is for me. I am transported back to 2007 when I was working in travel and longed for something that would get me closer to the community and showcase all the marvels that South Australia has to offer. That’s when I knew I had to work for SATC and I am constantly star struck by my Tuesday environment. Even getting ready to leave is exciting!

This really feels like a place where I can nurture my love for the region and utilise my passion and creativity to its full potential. As Yi and I collaborate behind the scenes and begin to take small ownership of the project, I begin to see how much gold lies within this placement opportunity, and I am so grateful to be exposed to this world that I could only dream about all those years ago.

I hope you feel you’re getting closer to your dreams every day you get up too xo

Tasting Australia Placement Week 3

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Things are getting serious! This week I am celebrating not only the release of the program for Tasting Australia 2017 but also (and MUCH more importantly) my official key card for SATC! Ooooohhh!!! Look how official and social it looks! Its even on a sexy lanyard!

Safe to say I’m getting a little more comfortable in my new environment, and starting to get friendlier with my new colleagues. Maybe a little too comfortable … someone looked at me weird when I said ‘I got them envelopes lookin’ all professh’ … but I think that street slang isn’t common in this side of town. Good thing I’m here to educate. Pretty sure all my lecturers are face palming right now. Love you Vic xo

A lot happened today. Excitingly, I absolutely nailed my one important task of mailing out the programs to the talent (harder than it sounds); I had to send 100 copies to one dude! And label-making? Forget about it! I have so much more appreciation for every letter I get that has my name and address professionally typed onto a 3.3cm x 8.8cm label stuck proudly to an envelope!

I also attended my third work-in-progress meeting for Town Square. I found I was making less notes and paying more attention to conversation. Thank goodness for my hospo background that fills in the gaps, otherwise the lingo would leave me completely crosseyed! Sous, COGS, pass, bump in. I’m becoming more of a participator which helps me to feel more connected to the cause.

Also, I learnt today I will be heavily involved with the Chef’s Supper Club, which is an exclusive event in the Glasshouse Restaurant, at Town Square. In this unique evening, 20 chefs will prepare 20 different snacks, all under the one roof! Big names you will see there include Ana Ros (Hiša Franko, Slovenia), Mitch Orr (ACME, Sydney), Nic Watt (Madame Hanoi, Adelaide) and Sean Connolly (Sean’s Kitchen, Adelaide). Also, the team from East End Cellars will be providing matching wine tastings. It will be a fun night to mingle and sample unique tastings from a variety of talents, all in one spot. Actually, I hope I will get to serve the food too, because that would be so much fun!

Side note: I’m relieved I didn’t have a heavy workload on today. Because, I’ll level with you – I really don’t know if I have what it takes to be successful in this role. Doubt and insecurities are starting to creep in. I ask myself “Am I too stupid to be here?” “Am I too old to be here?” “Am I doing enough to prove I am worthy of this opportunity?”.

Look, it could be lack of sleep and increased study stress encouraging these emotions, but it’s what is up. This environment has taken me out of my comfort zone of clattering plates, fresh margherita pizza out of the oven, “coffee up!”, hot sweet pastries, twist of orange over a Negroni, musica italiana, and lots of laughing, embraces and cheerful people. I guess I miss it. And I’m always hungry …

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful for this opportunity, I’m simply noting my appreciation for my current workplace and its vibrancy. Office life is a little colder, so I’ve noticed. Maybe even the fact that I’m a senior at Mercato gives me comfort and security, whereas in my placement role, I’m the first rung on the ladder and it’s all so new and scary. It’s an awkward feeling for sure! I wonder if I will fit in, and if I can grow to make it my own. A bit of space always helps, so I’m looking forward to brainstorming ways I can improve on this awkward circumstance and put these ideas into practice next week. Things are looking up!

Also, over the weekend I received an email about a role that just opened up at the very place I am interning: Associated Events Coordinator for the Tour Down Under. Tell me this is not my dream role coming to call my name! So, its time to tell that inner critic-witch to take a hike, and get my hustle on; apply for this role and, hopefully, at least score an interview. Practice makes perfect, and I believe there is no time like the present. I can’t let fear and doubts hold me back from going for my dreams. I fully plan to fail at least 50 times before getting my goal anyway, it wouldn’t be worth it without it! Every step I take is one step closer right? No time for doubt, gotta make magic happen girl!

Aaaand, one new project I learned about today, and am very excited to share, is the Living Library. You are getting the exclusive on this because it is not even advertised on the website yet … here’s the scoop: it is an opportunity for interactive session with chefs and guests presenting at Town Square, post their Q&A or demonstration, in a small makeshift bookshop with coffee and treats. Does’t that just sound like dream come true?! I will learn more next week but Maddie did imply that I may be taking more of an ownership role towards this activity. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t be more thrilled! Can’t wait to really start getting my hands on this project!

Here’s to making dreams come true, regardless what hurdles we come up against xo

Salumi and Vino Night @ Mercato

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Last night I had the pleasure of assisting Chris and Nick with an evening of sampling the gorgeous product range from Salumi Australia. The 5 course mini-degustation included wine pairing from various regions of Italy including le Marche, Abruzzo, and Veneto.

The evening commenced at 6pm, when we welcomed out guests and kicked the evening off with Mascarpone and Grilled Zucchini Bruschetta topped with Salumi Bottarga. Chris filled the wine glasses with the 2015 Tenuta di Tavignano ‘Villa Torre’ Verdicchio Classico to match.

After much delight at the lemon scented mascarpone and creamy roe, the second round of canapés were served. The Polenta Chips topped with Salumi N’Duja were well received, many of our guests were impressed with the heat the n’duja packed! In fact, this product is now, consequently unavailable for purchase for the next two weeks as nearly everyone took some home! This dish was paired with the delightful and cheery 2015 Feudi Bizantini ‘Terre dei Rumi’ Rosato.

Out of the frying pan and into the coolroom (so to speak): the next canapé on show was a double delightful duo of Salumi Sopressa Milano & Salame Finocchiona. Perfect for an antipasto, this pair went well with the 2013 Paolo Conterno Langhe Nebbiolo.

Next up was one of my favourites. As a big fan of Spanish Cuisine (what? we’re practically cousins!), I love the Free Range Chorizo. This sat on a little bed, called a Crostino, of Potato  and was combined with the 2014 Feudi Bizantini Ikonia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

By this time I was getting pretty hungry, thankfully, soon I was going to eat too! The last dish for evening was about to be served, and it was definitely worth the wait. The Paccheri with Mushrooms & Salumi Pancetta Affumicata was a delightfully creamy dish that was well received and complimented by all. Paired with the 2013 Lenotti Valpolicella Ripasso, it was a perfect end to the evening.

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Poacher with Mushrooms and Salumi Pancetta Affumicata

 

If you would like more information on upcoming Mercato events, please see my previous post on Marzo Matto, or visit La Cantina Wines.