It was a week of one-off food events in spectacular settings, and it attracted some of the biggest names in the business. Tasting Australia 2016’s line-up included chefs Matt Orlando (former head chef at Denmark’s Noma, now the man behind Amass); David Pynt from Burnt Ends in Singapore; San Francisco’s Anthony Myint and Chris Kiyuna; and American writers Mark Kurlansky and Liz Carlisle. International guests joined local culinary forces to serve the goods at more than 200 events across South Australia.
For Tasting Australia 2016 director Simon Bryant, the “brave” festival was more about produce than well-known identities.
“It all starts with produce,” he says. “It all starts with the soil that grows the food, or the oceans, and we showcased that in the places where the hard work is done.”
Fishermen dished up their catch of the day in Port Adelaide warehouse Hart’s Mill. Orana’s Jock Zonfrillo, working with Matt Orlando, encouraged diners to eat their “Nature” degustation with their hands. River Cottage Australia host Paul West talked sustainable farming over lunch at Savannah Farm. Maggie Beer chewed the fat with visitors at her Barossa Valley Farm Shop, and wineries opened their doors and vineyards.
The food and settings were spectacular, but the focus was on breaking bread with community.
“Connecting with people, that’s the beauty of food,” says Bryant. “ … Food is as simple as sitting down, shutting up and eating it.”