Archive for March, 2011

Taste Of Sydney 2011 Attracts Record Crowds

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Over 25, 000 of Sydney’s food lovers were out in force last weekend to taste the culinary delights of the city’s best restaurants, chefs and producers.

Taste of Sydney chefs, including Manu Feidel, Miguel Maestre, Colin Fassnidge and Matthew Kemp were on hand to deliver a degustation menu like no other, serving  thousands of dishes each.

Over 80,000 prawns were used by Peter Kuruvita from Flying Fish, 5,300 of Justin North’s famous Charlie & Co Wagyu beef burgers were devoured and Warren Turnbull from Assiette/ District dining cooked over 250kg of chicken.

Meghan O’Hanlon, speaking on behalf of Taste of Sydney 2011, “As organisers, we are thrilled with the attendance, the range and quality of restaurants and exhibitors plus the incredible effort from our major partners to create unique experiences at the event. The HSBC VIP Lounge was the place to be over the four days of Taste of Sydney, De Dietrich’s interactive stand added to the festival feel with live cooking demonstrations and baking tips and Bacardi’s “Sensology: The Art of Cocktail Making” gave guests the opportunity to create and sample a variety of delicious cocktails. Further to that, we have had over two thirds of our exhibitors already commit to the 2012 show.”

The event kicked off on with over 400 VIP guests to celebrate Opening Night in the HSBC VIP lounge.  For four days, Centennial Park housed a spectacle of 14 fully equipped commercial grade kitchens, over 100 exhibitors, abundant dining areas, cocktail bars and live music.

Top restaurants on show included Etch & Charlie & Co, Restaurant Balzac, Danks Street Depot & Cotton Duck, Otto Ristorante and Otto Bar, Bilson’s & Number One, Ormeggio at the Spit, L’etoile, Flying Fish Assiette & District Dining, Bird Cow Fish, Berowra Waters & Ad Lib, Aperitif, Four in Hand and Omerta & A Tavola.

As well as the opportunity to experience the best of Sydney’s restaurant cuisine, Taste of Sydney also boasted a number of feature areas including the Gourmet Traveller Taste Kitchen with live cooking demonstrations, the Taste Wine with Jaguar Gourmet Traveller Wine Theatre and the Gourmet Traveller Chef’s Table where visitors were given the opportunity to have all their culinary questions answered in one of the many educational Q & A sessions.

Related Posts:

Taste of Sydney Opens This Week

Here comes the Taste of Sydney

Suntory To Distribute Stolichnaya Vodka In Australia

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Suntory Australia has signed a five year contract with SPI Group to distribute iconic premium vodka brands Stolichnaya, Elit by Stolichnaya and Stolichnaya flavours throughout Australia.Suntory Australia previously distributed the Stolichnaya brand on behalf of William Grant until the end of last year, and has retained the right to continue to distribute the portfolio.

SPI Group’s Frank Cohen, Regional Director Asia Pacific, commented: “We have the utmost confidence in Suntory Australia’s brand building ability and its capacity to drive volume growth as they have a proven track record as one of the leading distributors of spiritsand liqueurs in Australia. “In 2010, Suntory’s focus in Australia was to regain the trade’s faith in the Stolichnaya brand, and to recommence brand building with the consumer, resulting in a 44 per cent growth vs. previous year.”


Star City Welcomes Bistro 80

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Star City is delighted to welcome Bistro 80 to its restaurant lineup. Bistro 80, named after the Star City address at 80 Pyrmont Street, resides in the space once occupied by Sean’s Kitchen and will feature bistro favourites stretching from classically cooked steaks and fish with a number of side dishes to fresh and simply prepared seafood.

Heading the kitchen brigade is Paul Gaspa, fresh from a stint at Crown Melbourne via many of the world’s great restaurants, including the Lanesborough in London, the Michelin-starred Conrad Hotel in Tokyo and the Al Mahara Restaurant at the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.

Carlton Draught creates the world’s greatest ever meat tray

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The popular beer, Carlton Draught, is taking an Aussie pub tradition to a whole new level. Launched today, the Carlton Draught Massive Meat Wheel promotion gives Aussies the chance to go for a spin on the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, the EDF Energy London Eye, competing to win $100,000 and a meat tray.

To celebrate this amazing feat, Carlton Draught has commissioned Jac Wagyu, one of Australia’s premium Wagyu Beef farms, to help them create the world’s greatest ever meat tray. Essentially made from beer, the tray will feature specially developed Wagyu beef, reared on the quality hops and malted barley used to brew Carlton Draught to deliver a unique flavour profile.

The result of the program is a gourmet twist on a classic Australian pub tradition of raffles and meat trays,  replacing the old style trays, with their fatty sausages and cheap chops, with what could be the world’s finest beef.

“Carlton Draught and pub meat trays are both classic Aussie traditions,” said Vincent Ruiu, Carlton Group Marketing Manager. “The only way we could make this better was to combine Australia’s favourite draught beer with Australia’s finest meat trays.”

To produce the limited edition Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef, the brand has enlisted Australian farmer and Jac Wagyu owner, Jason Lewis, to rear twenty head of cattle on a special feeding program, providing the herd with ten tonnes of malted barley and two tonnes of natural hops.


Taste Of Sydney festival opens this week

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

When: 10-13 March 2011
Where: Brazilian Fields, Centennial Parklands Grand Drive, Centennial Park, Sydney
What: The eagerly anticipated foodie festival, Taste of Sydney – an action packed four day spectacle that will see 14 of the city’s finest restaurants, over 100 producers, cocktail bars, live music and a host of food and wine features. This week, Taste of Sydney’s world famous chefs, producers and wine experts will once again line up to deliver stunning food, delicious demonstrations, entertaining tutorials and enlightening Q&A sessions at the hotly anticipated food festival, Taste of Sydney.

Ticket Information

Tickets Advance Booking On The Door
Standard (Entry Only) $25 $30
Premium (includes $30 of Crowns) $55 (advance only) n/a
Child (age 6-17) $12 $15
Children under 5 (entry only) Free Free

What Are Crowns?

Crowns are the currency used at Taste Festivals to purchase dishes and drinks from the restaurants and producers. Crowns may also be used to purchase food and drink from the exhibiting producers at the event. The restaurants only accept Crowns as payment and a limited number of exhibitors accept cash.
1 Crown = $1. Sample size signature dishes from the restaurants will be priced at 8, 10, & 12 Crowns each.
Drinks start at 6 Crowns. Crowns can be purchased on site at the event at Crown Banks, Crown Sellers and the Ticket Office. You can buy Crowns in advance with a Premium or VIP ticket Package (each package includes a book of 30 Crowns).

Festival Fast Facts:

  • Sydney’s love affair for oysters will continue with over 5000 freshly shucked oysters from Assiette
  • Over 20,000 visitors will descend on the Brazilian Fields to sample over 50 mouthwatering dishes
  • Charlie & Co’s Wagyu Beef Burger is back by popular demand and will see Justin North cooking up over 5,000 of his infamous burgers
  • Lilydale will team up with Warren Turnbull of District Dining to produce 200kg of the irresistible free range spicy Lilydale chicken with coleslaw and lime aioli.
  • Matt Kemp and his team of chefs at Restaurant Balzac will braise 220kg of Wagyu beef and prepare 45 litres of truffle puree to serve up over 2000 of his infamous Crispy Wagyu Beef with Mushroom and Truffle Puree.

Matilda Bay Celebrates Fat Yak’s 2nd Birthday With Yaktion

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Two years on from the launch of Matilda Bay Brewery Co’s Fat Yak and it’s hard to imagine the craft beer landscape without this North American style pale ale. Now that Fat Yak is one of the most popular craft beers in Australia, the Matilda Bay team thought it time Fat Yak started sponsoring major events and slapping its logo on high profile athletes known the world over.
Or Mongolian racing yaks.

You see, while Matilda Bay might be big in the little world of craft brewing they remain extremely small in the world of big beer bucks. So in 2011 Matilda Bay is investing its ENTIRE GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP BUDGET into Mongolian yak racing and sending one lucky Fat Yak drinker to Mongolia to race a yak and meet the superstars of yak racing like Naransteg, also known as ‘the hoof master’.If you’re reading this and thinking Matilda Bay is taking the piss, you’re wrong. Matilda Bay is DEAD SERIOUS about this promotion, as serious as they are about brewing great tasting beer and they’ve been scrimping and saving every penny to put toward some ads and promotional packaging to get as many Fat Yak drinkers to enter as possible.
The promotion started on the 21st of January runs through until March 31 entry is very simple just buy a case of Fat Yak from the bottle-o or grab a Fat Yak at your local,  get a unique code and enter it online at

Matilda Bay is one of Australia’s leading craft breweries producing some of Australia’s favourite specialty beers like Fat Yak and also including the full-flavoured and award-winning Alpha Pale Ale, the quirky Beez Neez, the wheat beer that started it all Redback and the salute to Oktoberfest lagers, Big Helga. Traditionally Matilda Bay also launches a limited edition seasonal release for summer and winter. These have included Crema, Barking Duck, Barking Flamingo and most recently their coffee infused dark ale called Longshot.
Head to or for more information and to view Fat Yak TVCs and videos.

The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best beers

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Beer has been a part of the Australian cultural landscape since the overseers of the First Fleet realised that rum was not the most ‘sociable’ liquid upon which to build a colony.

Until recently, though, the Australian drinker has had little choice with a succession of pale gold, fizzy and lightly hopped beers dominating the market. But things are changing. A new breed of brewers are leading something of a Beer Revolution and are bringing new and exciting beer styles to the masses.

But how does the average drinker know which beer to choose and what style, colour and flavour will suit their tastes or match with different foods?

The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers is a new book produced by the team who published the very popular Beer Lover’s Guide to Australia in 2010. Bringing together a team of talented and knowledgeable beer writers, venue operators, social media commentators and the brewers themselves, this book seeks to do what has previously been thought impossible; to take a nomination list of almost 450 beers and rank the Top 100.

Showcasing a huge range of styles and introducing this new breed of brewers to a public looking for more than the mainstream has offered, The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers is a snapshot of the Australian brewing scene today and provides a view into the future of the beverage we all love to love.

As beer is such a subjective topic, The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers is sure to cause many a bar stool debate and more than a little interstate rivalry but life would be pretty dull if we all agreed on everything, wouldn’t it?

The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers
RRP $14.95
Available from bookstores & newsagents from April 1, 2011

For more details or to by the book online go to

One week to go until Taste of Sydney!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The countdown is on for the year’s most anticipated foodie event, Taste of Sydney. In just one week, over 20,000 Sydneysiders are expected to awaken their taste buds while the Brazilian Fields at Sydney’s Centennial Parklands is transformed into a foodie heaven.

From 10-13 March, 14 of the city’s top restaurants will showcase their signature dishes alongside the city’s top wineries, producers and exhibitors. With a tasting menu of 50 sample sized dishes, guests have the opportunity to create their dream degustation and fall in love with some of the best Sydney has to offer.

Top ten picks for Taste of Sydney 2011:
  1. Italian Piazza – New to Taste of Sydney in 2011, the Italian Piazza invites you to experience the forefront of Sydney’s Italian cuisine. Sample dishes from top Italian eateries such as King Salmon Carpaccio from the infamous Otto Ristorante, Acquarello Risotto from Ormeggio at the Spit, or Steamed Mussels from Omerta & A Tavola. The Piazza is also home to the finest selection of Italian producers including Sanpellegrino, Barilla and more.
  2. Bilsons & Number One Wine Bar – Widely renowned as the ‘Godfather’ of Sydney’s culinary scene, Tony Bilson will make his Taste of Sydney debut with the eponymous Bilson’s restaurant and Number One. Trade your crowns for a taste sensation of Apple Tarte Tartin and Calvados Crème Anglais – a dish that is sure to be a hit!
  3. Victor Churchill – Australia’s largest meat wholesaler, Victor Churchill, will be returning to Taste of Sydney with an enticing BBQ of the finest cuts of mouth watering meat. Visitors will also have the chance to purchase top quality imported gourmet dry goods, delicious packaged desserts, and choose from a large selection of their renowned premium quality meats.
  4. ‘Hav-O’ cocktail – Offered for the first time since premiering on Oprah’s Australian Adventures, Sagatiba introduces ‘Hav-O’ cocktail – the refreshing drink that is sure to become Australia’s next iconic cocktail.
  5. Otto Bar – Enjoy the full Otto experience within an elegant bar space, specially created for Taste of Sydney visitors. Take a short break amongst a lively musical backdrop while sipping on the bitter sweet taste of an Aperol Spritzer.
  6. Aperitif Discover the newest restaurant venture from renowned chefs Manu Feildel and Miguel Maestre. See the pair side by side as Miguel brings back his infamous servings of Paella a la Maestre at Aperitif, while celebrity chef Manu tempts the taste buds with a slow cooked shoulder of lamb at L’etoile.
  7. Bitton Gourmet – Celebrating their 10th birthday, Bitton Gourmet’s French inspired salad dressings, jams and chutneys will be on offer at Taste of Sydney. Experience their range of renowned preserves, dished up on sumptuous French crepes.
  8. Regal King Salmon – From wood roasted to mixed pepper and spice, there is something for everyone at the Regal Salmon stand. Raised in the Marlborough Sounds in some of the world’s purest waters, their award winning salmon is one not to be missed!
  9. Australian Gourmet Traveller Chefs Table – Ever wondered about the secrets of the infamous Snow Egg? Join special guest chef Peter Gilmore, plus Mark Best and the Taste of Sydney chefs for an informal chat and a glass of wine at the Australian Gourmet Traveller Chef’s Table.
  10. De Dietrich Cooking School – Learn ‘The Art of Pastry Cooking’ from award winning pastry chef, Vincent Gadan, along with his team of experts at Patisse. Visitors will take part in a hands-on cooking class to learn the tradition of baking and more.