More than 80 of the world’s most influential and respected food and wine VIPs will arrive in Australia early in November to take part in a country-wide gastronomic tour and gala dinner aimed at whetting the appetite of international travellers.
Restaurant Australia Culinary Campaign
The culinary who’s who – which includes food and wine writers, broadcasters, authors, critics, reviewers and bloggers as well as celebrity chefs, TV personalities and outspoken columnists from across the globe – was announced by Tourism Australia as part of its Restaurant Australia campaign.
Through their broadcast audiences, readerships and social media channels the influential guest list commands an international reach of more than 400 million fans and followers.
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said each of the guests had ‘earned their place at the Restaurant Australia table’ based on their international influence, reach and ability to inspire consumers in Australia’s most important international tourism markets.
“As guest lists go I think you’d have to go a long, long way to compile a more impressive line-up of truly global food and wine influencers,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “They’ll get to sample our country’s finest culinary experiences and then join us at MONA in Tasmania on 14 November to take their seat in what promises to be the most extraordinary dining room on earth.
“Through this epic journey these international, gastronomic VIPs will meet the people, visit the places and sample the fresh produce which make our food, wine and culinary experiences extraordinary and truly world class. More importantly though, they’ll share these incredible stories through their huge followings, helping to inspire the many others to follow in their footsteps,” he said.
The group of influencers come from 16 different countries – all key markets for Tourism Australia – and include more than 40 food and wine writers and journalists, 17 celebrity chefs, eight bloggers, one sommelier as well as five broadcast celebrities. The line-up will be accompanied by 10 foreign TV crews and includes:
Alice Waters, Chef, Author, Proprietor – USA
Eric Ripert, Award-winning Chef, Restaurateur, Author and TV Personality – USA
Adrian Anthony Gill, TV and Restaurant Critic, Author – UK
Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur, TV Presenter – India
Yifan Liu, Celebrity Chef, TV Show host – China
Sherson Lian, Celebrity Chef and Host – Malaysia
Takuro Tatsumi, Actor and Wine Show Host – Japan
Lorenzo Cogo, Chef – Italy
Andre Chiang, Chef and Restaurateur – Singapore
The guests will each be given a personalised four-day itinerary allowing them to experience first-hand the country’s exceptional food and wine offering. They are promised an adventure to remember with exceptional food and wine experiences from each of the States and Territories.
Some of the experiences they will enjoy include a hot air balloon breakfast flight in ACT, mud-crabbing in NT, seafood dining under the stars in Queensland’s Hayman Island, foraging for sea vegetables on the east coast of Tasmania, lobster fishing off Rottnest Island in WA, oyster shucking along the NSW coast, wine blending in SA and exploring Melbourne’s laneway cafes, bars and restaurants.
The visit will culminate on Friday 14 November at MONA in Tasmania – recognised by the Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 ‘must visit’ regions for 2015 – where guests will be treated to an exclusive dining experience, jointly prepared by Australian chefs Neil Perry AM, Peter Gilmore and Ben Shewry.
“It’s such an honour for myself, Peter and Ben to get such an opportunity to showcase the finest Australian produce in such a breath-taking setting and hopefully the menu we’ve prepared will linger long in the memory and be one which our illustrious guests will never forget,” said Neil Perry AM.
Tailored food and wine experiences for each influencer will be hosted by Australia’s state tourism offices and supported by Restaurant Australia’s airline partners Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines and local campaign ambassadors including Maggie Beer, Luke Mangan, Matt Moran and Gary Mehigan.