South Australia has a year-long calendar of events and festivals that celebrate the state’s culinary prowess. It offers a wide range of experiences for visitors, from cooking classes to wine tastings and celebrity chef demonstrations.
Those after a more luxe experience can hop on the Kangaroo Island Food Safari that combines farm and winery visits with fishing expeditions, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of good eating and drinking.
Forget the typical food festival and step beyond a standard eating experience in Australia’s wine capital. From hole-in-the-wall bars to a full-day degustation at Adelaide’s hottest new restaurant, there’s no shortage of culinary adventures at Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel. Reward your curiosity with a glass of wine in the Town Square Kitchen and witness the magic that happens when local legends join Australia’s best talents in a dining odyssey you won’t forget.
The city’s Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga plays host to the event’s main hub with long-table lunches, cooking demonstrations and tours. The program also extends to South Australia’s other regions, with more than 150 events over ten days. This year’s edition sees chefs showcasing their brilliance on the Chef’s Table, a new next-level experience featuring 20 seats.
You can learn about indigenous Australian ingredients in a masterclass with award-winning authors Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan. Their First Nations Food Companion will be released at the event and you’ll discover how to buy, cook and grow traditional foods. The program also features a range of other cultural activities, including a tour of the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre.
For a more remote experience, you can jet to Kangaroo Island for a culinary adventure with local legends and acclaimed chefs such as Mark Labrooy (Three Blue Ducks) and Melissa Painkas (Young George Bar). Or tuck into roasted abalone with saltbush-crusted lamb on the Yorke Peninsula, or sample the finest regional wines among the vines of the Barossa Valley. You can even go to the extreme with a spit-roasted dinner among the giraffes at Monarto Zoo or learn how to make sparkling wine on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Fork on the Road
This annual event celebrates Adelaide’s thriving street food culture by bringing together dozens of the city’s most exciting mobile vendors under one roof. Its aim is to activate local community spaces and transform them into a buzzing hub where the whole family can enjoy delicious and innovative food, drink and entertainment. It also gives young culinary entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their creations and ideas to a captive audience.
This festival is a real foodie favourite, and this year it’s bigger than ever. It will run from 30 April to 7 May, and will feature a wide variety of events, including long lunches, exclusive dinners, wine workshops and produce markets. There’s also a curated series of storytellers who will give their personal journeys into the world of food and wine.
If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, this event is for you. This annual Mudgee event is a day or night-long celebration of local produce, with a focus on country living. Guests can expect everything from foraging expeditions to Mudgee’s artisan producers, all accompanied by a warm and welcoming community vibe.
The festival’s name is a nod to the area’s rich farming heritage, and this year it’s set to be bigger than ever. It will feature more than 250 local and national exhibitors showcasing their products, as well as celebrity chefs who’ll whip up dishes in front of visitors. The program will also include free appreciation classes that will teach participants about different foods and wines. There will also be live music and cooking demonstrations from local chefs and farmers. It’s a great opportunity to sample some of Australia’s finest produce.
Dedicated to all things cheese, this annual celebration of the cheesiest of foods is Australia’s biggest and best. From the artisanal to the unusual (think goat’s cheese seasoned with green ants), the festival offers an irresistible melting pot of local and international cheesemakers and producers. You can also enjoy a rich program of events including masterclasses, wine tastings and a famous cooking demo stage.
For 10 sumptuous days one of the country’s oldest regional food festivals dishes up the very best of South Australian produce. With long lunches, exclusive dinners, farm tours and tastings, this is foodie heaven with a heavy dose of indulgence.
This year’s festival program has more than doubled in size and the gastronomic delights are endless. From overnight experiences to unexpected locations, to a Town Square Kitchen dinner embracing sustainability and reducing food waste, the 2022 event promises an experience like no other.
From the wine bowl of Orange to the agritourism mecca of Griffith, this festival honours the finer things in life. It’s not a place to skimp on the quality of the food with a feast of gourmet fare, but more about bringing together the very best culinary talent from all over the country and beyond. Last year the festival added to its list of once-in-a-lifetime collaborations with the likes of Danielle Alvarez, River Cottage’s Gill Meller and Jake Kellie.
Lovers of beer are also catered for with a program that features over 200 local breweries and distilleries. Whether you’re craving the dream bar snacks of smoked meats and German sausages or something more sophisticated, there’s sure to be a brew that suits your palate.
Hill of Grace
Hill of Grace is Henschke’s flagship single-vineyard shiraz that showcases the family’s extraordinary grapegrowing and winemaking skills. It has a rich history, and traces its roots back 160 years. The name comes from the German translation of Gnadenberg, the village near the vineyard where the first settlers established a church, inspired by their homeland. The wine has become one of Australia’s most iconic — and expensive — wines.
The Hill of Grace vineyard covers around 8 hectares (20 acres) and primarily produces Shiraz. However, it also produces Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Mataro (Mourvedre) which go into the Henschke portfolio. It is planted on alluvial, sandy loams with gravel over red clay, and has five different soil types.
Stephen Henschke took over the estate in 1979, and he and his wife Prue now run it. Their children, including Johann, are heirs to the Hill of Grace legacy. In 2018, the Henschke team welcomed a group of Australian wine writers to Hill of Grace for a retrospective tasting of 26 vintages from 1958 through to the 2018s, as well as a preview of the single-vineyard wines from the Hill of Grace site.
The event was hosted by Max Allen, the author of Australia’s Wine Bible, and Philip Day, Henschke’s sommelier. It was a fascinating discussion about Henschke’s history and the evolution of the Hill of Grace wine. The tasting included six Hill of Grace vintages spanning the decade from 1960 to 1990, a vintage of Hill of Grace with Hill of Roses and a Hill of Grace from the 1989 vintage. The wines were a feast for the senses. They were complex and layered, with notes of roasted meats, smoked meats, juicy plums, and mushroomy forest-flower characters. The wines were also medium to full bodied with an undercurrent of fine acidity, and light white pepper on the finish.
A chef at Hilton Adelaide’s The Brasserie, Dennis Leslie has a serious love of travel. A self-confessed “foodie” and a fan of exploring cultures, he says that his favourite part of his job is travelling to different countries to meet foodies and experience their culinary culture first hand.
From coastal restaurants serving up a fresh bounty to roadside stalls championing what’s grown in the fields, South Australia is a multi-course feast of delicious flavour. Discovering it all requires a little bit of planning. From the prestigious national and international food events to the wine regions, local restaurants and farmers markets you’ll need some time to taste it all.
The state’s famed wines shine at this event in September, with wineries across the region opening their doors for long lunches, vineyard tours, tastings and masterclasses. This is one of the largest regional food festivals in Australia, so get ready to loosen that belt buckle and indulge!
This month Sydney’s artisanal wine and food festival kicks off for an expanded two days, with an even bigger line-up of wine workshops by some of the country’s biggest natural wine experts. You’ll also find food and coffee masterclasses, a produce market, evening festivals and more.
If you’re a lover of fine Australian and Asian cuisine, this year’s OzAsia Festival is an event not to be missed. Celebrating the best of contemporary theatre, music, dance, visual arts and more from Asia and around Australia, this is a great opportunity to expand your cultural knowledge whilst enjoying some of the tastiest food and drink.