Writing is a very solitary pastime, often conducted by me in pj’s and slippers, with lunch breaks generally consisting of toasted sandwiches and cups of tea. Unsurprisingly then, when I was invited to the Adelaide launch of Tourism Australia’s new Restaurant Australia initiative at Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana, I jumped at it!
Restaurant Australia aims to share the fact that “There’s nothing like Australia” with an international audience. Australia’s food and wine has become one of its greatest assets with a range and quality of produce that is second to none. Yet, remarkably, the appeal of Australian food and wine remains one of our best-kept secrets. Recent research shows that ‘great food, wine, and local cuisine’ is a now a major factor in holiday decision making yet the same research also showed that of people who have never visited Australia, only 26% associate the destination with a good food and wine offering.
“The concept of ‘Restaurant Australia’ has been built based on consumer research which identified ‘food and wine’ as a key factor in holiday decision making and the most important emotive trigger, ahead of world class beauty, for influencing people’s destination choice,” say Nick Baker, Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer.
“For people who’ve never visited Australia awareness of our food and wine offering is low. However, once they visit, people realise the variety and quality of our food and wine experiences is world‐class and Australia moves to the top of the rankings as a one of the world’s best culinary destinations.”
Working with leading identities across the food, wine and tourism industries, Tourism Australia has developed a campaign built around the concept of Restaurant Australia, looking to close the gap between perceptions of what Australia has to offer and the reality of our exciting world-class food and wine offering. To do this they are evolving a global campaign with the idea that Australia could be the world’s greatest restaurant serving up the best and most unique food and wine experiences in remarkable locations every day.
Working with local partners, Tourism Australia’s international offices aim to showcase Restaurant Australia to the world, using new food and wine advertising, pop-up restaurants and eventually inviting the world to dinner. At a gala Australian dinner later in the year they will be gathering international guests for a uniquely Australian meal, all of whom will be media influencers from all over the world. Much of the campaign depends upon Tourism Australia working with its state and territory partners to create itineraries and experiences that will bring Restaurant Australia to life for these key influencers.
South Australia’s contribution to these experiences are, of course, absolutely outstanding and Tourism Australia has cherry-picked a handful of the best to indicate just a hint of the distinctive offerings we have to suit all tastes and budgets. These include our remarkable (and easy to access) wine regions, our exceptional food events such as Tasting Australia, the Barossa Gourmet Weekend, the Kangaroo Island FEASTival and the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, our unique gastronomic tours including the Adelaide Central Markets, the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail and Clare Valley’s Riesling Trail and of course our singular dining experiences at restaurants like Hentley Farm, The Star of Greece, Appellation, Penfolds Magill Estate and Orana.
I joined a small group of media last week at Restaurant Orana to find out all about the new campaign over a spectacular lunch that really makes my toasted sandwiches look sadder than ever. I have long said that Australians take the standard of food we enjoy here for granted. Once you see what the rest of the world is eating it becomes clear that we are very spoiled indeed. And once everyone else gets a glimpse of what is on our plates I have no doubt they’ll be very keen to head over here for a taste!