Restaurant Australia: Now Taking Reservations

11 November 2014

And they’re off! The who’s who of the culinary world are now well and truly into their foodie adventures as part of Restaurant Australia’s nationwide gastronomic tour.

Around 80 of the world’s most influential food and wine VIPs have set off on personalised culinary itineraries to enjoy the spoils of Australia’s incredible fare on a week-long extravaganza that culminates in a spectacular gala dinner.

The world’s passion for seasonal produce and gastronomy has turned chefs, cooks and winemakers into a new breed of rock stars.

What’s On The Menu?

“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,” says Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan.

The group of VIPs includes food writers, celebrity chefs and television personalities, from the likes of award-winning US restaurateur and chef Eric Ripert, chef Sanjeev Kapoor from India, and blogger and food show host Jian Min Dong from China.

The influencers have been promised an adventure to remember, and one to share with their networks which reach a staggering 400 million fans and followers through various readerships, broadcast audiences and social media channels.

 Some influencers will visit the Barossa as part of their itinerary

Each guest has been set a four-day itinerary so they can discover, savour and devour Australia’s finest food and wine offerings from across the states and territories. Activities include lobster fishing off Rottnest Island, cheese making in South Australia and mud-crabbing in the Northern Territory.

“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,” Mr O’Sullivan adds.

Who’s Coming To Dinner?

The week’s edible extravaganza will culminate in the final, lavish Invite the World to Dinner gala event that will be held at Tasmania’s iconic MONA on November 14.

 Invite the World to Dinner will be held at famed Tasmanian art gallery, MONA

Celebrity chefs Neil Perry AM of Rockpool, Peter Gilmore of Quay and Ben Shewry of Attica have been tasked with creating the three-course meal, which will no doubt encapsulate the finest of Australian ingredients in spectacular fashion.

“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,” says Neil Perry AM.

 Chefs Peter Gilmore, Ben Shewry and Neil Perry AM at MONA

The influencers, along with a roster of Australian culinary icons like Mat Moran and Maggie Beer will be dazzled and dined within the legendary museum, alongside art, performance and live entertainment.

In another coup for Restaurant Australia, Heston Blumenthal, the king of gastronomy, has just confirmed his attendance for the Invite the World to Dinner event.

Virgin Australia has scheduled a charter flight to ferry the delegates down to the final event, with a gourmet business class-style in-flight meal specially crafted by Virgin’s consultant chef, Luke Mangan.

 Virgin Australia will be chartering a flight to Hobart for the Invite the World to Dinner event

The airline is also showcasing incredible local produce at a special lounge experience in Sydney, where the influencers can graze and reflect on their recently completed foodie experiences with the other guests before the final leg of the tour.

With a recently announced three-year marketing partnership worth $20 million, Virgin Australia is now the largest airline partner of Tourism Australia.

Anna Howard

Give me street food over Michelin stars, cellar doors over wine bars and small towns and wide open spaces over big cities any day. Travel for me means ticking off the 'to eat and drink' list one regional flavour and wine bottle at a time.