If you love food, you'd be crazy to miss the 2012 Tasting Australia Festival. Held from the 26th of April till the 3rd of May, it's a chance to eat good food, cook good food, and meet some of the world's top chefs.
Tasting Australia 2007. Photo: Peripitus (Wikimedia Commons)
The festival is made up of over 60 different events, so there should be something to tempt every kind of foodie. Take a look at some of the highlights of the 2012 Festival.
Tasting Australia Free Events
There are a number of free events happening throughout Tasting Australia, which means you'll be able to enjoy the festival even if your bank balance is looking a little worse for wear.
One of the biggest free events is the BankSA Feast for the Senses. This is a two day event filled with demonstrations, cooking courses, and of course plenty of food and wine. The event is held in Elder Park, on the banks of the River Torrens. Highlights across the two days include the Kids in the Kitchen free cooking classes, where celebrity chefs and cooks will teach kids some valuable kitchen skills, the Selector Word of Mouth that features people from all over the world of food sharing their experiences, and the Miele Chefs' Showcase, where you'll get to watch some great chefs.
It promises to be a fun and festive two food-filled days.
Throughout the festival the Botanic Gardens are also host to a couple events, one being the Feast from the Garden: A Self Guided Trail. Here you'll get the chance to explore things at your own pace, discovering the many edible delicacies that the garden has to offer. This is a beautiful space to walk through on any day, but the tour adds a fun, foodie, twist. On the 28th of April in the gardens you'll also be able to see the unveiling of the Botanic Gardens Tomato Sauce Challenge winner.
Other events include Friday Night's Uncorked at the National Wine Centre, where wine, food, and music come together, and the Locavore Exhibition that mixes art and design with local and indigenous produce.
While the events are free, spaces at some are limited, so check the website and book in advance to avoid being disappointed.
Of course not everything comes for free, the varied list of Tasting Australia events also includes many that come with a price tag. There are a number of celebrity guests heading to Adelaide during the festival, from Australia and overseas. One way to get close and personal is through the Celebrity Lunches and Dinners.
From seafood to Spanish cuisine, chefs share their secrets and their favourites. Dine with Stephanie Alexander at the Botanic Garden Restaurant and learn about local food, or head to the Best of British Dinner in support of the Australian 2012 Olympic Team, dine with UK Chef of the year Mark Hix and a host of other British chefs who currently call Australia home.
These dinners and lunches range from intimate affairs to large soirées, and the prices vary too. The dinners could sell out quickly, so make sure you book in advance.
Learn to Cook
If a festival like Tasting Australia inspires you to get into the kitchen, then you should also take a look at the cooking classes and demonstrations happening during the festival.
L-Plates: Learn from the Masters is an opportunity to pick from a huge list of classes, covering beer, cheese, and countless cuisines, and learn all the best trade secrets. These sessions range from $45 to $65, so they're affordable too.
Other cooking classes take place across the state, cook Korean with Maeve O'Meara and Chung Jae in Stirling, explore the Parade with Pete Evans, or have Guy Grossi demonstrate the art of Italian cuisine in the Coonawarra.
To see the full list of cooking classes and demonstrations check out the website, and be aware that some popular events are already booked out.
This is just the tip of everything on offer during Tasting Australia. To find out more visit the Tasting Australia website where you'll find profiles on the celebrity guests, event descriptions, and information on how to book. Events aren't limited to Adelaide, and Tasting Australia is a way to experience food all over the state.