As far as culinary bragging rights go, Matt Orlando, chef and owner of Copenhagen restaurant Amass, has quite the CV. The former sous and head chef at Copenhagen’s Noma clocked up kitchen time at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in London and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York. But that’s not why Tasting Australia’s creative director, Simon Bryant, invited him to the international food, wine and beverage festival. It’s the chef’s integrity and ability to celebrate the humble stuff.
“Pedigree aside, talent has nothing to do with which restaurant you work in now or where you were before,” says Bryant. “It really is what you are doing right now. [Orlando] doesn’t just use a piece of Wagyu beef or bluefin tuna – the expensive, easy-win stuff. He uses the produce with the poor reputation, the harder stuff, like ugly vegetables. You will literally be like, ‘You made that from that?’”
Orlando will join forces with local hero Jock Zonfrillo of Orana during the eight-day event in Adelaide. The pair hosts a free cooking demonstration on May 1 in festival hub Town Square. It will also present seasonal showcase dinner "Natural" in Victoria Square on May 5.
Tasting Australia’s celebration of food and producers will include discussion panels, one-off dinners in unique places, guest chefs and cooking demonstrations. “This year really is about our daily bread,” says Bryant. It’s fitting then, that a spotlight will also be on bakers. “I am most excited about having Jeffrey Hamelman and Josey Baker here. These guys know their loaves.”
Other festival guests include David Pynt from Singapore restaurant Burnt Ends, Anthony Myint and Chris Kiyuna from The Perennial in San Francisco, authors Mark Kurlansky and Liz Carlisle, and acclaimed chef Andrew McConnell from Melbourne’s Cutler & Co.
Tasting Australia will be held at various locations across South Australia from May 1 to 8, 2016.