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March 25, 2020

Tasting Australia announces new dates for spring 2020

Offering a light at the end of this unfortunate tunnel, Tasting Australia has announced the event will go ahead in October 2020.

With its original dates set to begin this weekend, Tasting Australia was one of the earliest victims of the Great Coronavirus Postponement, announcing its deferment late on Friday, 13 March.


Tasting Australia 2020
9—18 October
Multiple locations
More info

Before the Great Postponement of 2020, CityMag spoke with local chefs about their appearance at the festival. Catch up with those chats here:
Simon Bryant
Emma McCaskill
Adam Liston

One week later, the festival announced it had selected new dates for its 2020 edition, now set to happen from 9—18 October.

“Tasting Australia is one of the country’s leading food and beverage festivals, so it’s heartening to be able to secure a new date for the 2020 event, one which promises to be extra special for all involved,” says Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed.

“The world is enduring an unprecedented set of circumstances right now. There’s never been a more important time to support each other.

“We hope Tasting Australia will be able to provide that support to our events sector, our regions, our local, national and international chefs and producers, and our culinary tourism businesses.”

The hospitality and events sectors have been severely hit by the restrictions on gathering and movement brought on to counter the spread of COVID-19.

No restaurant, pub, club or café has come out unscathed, all either being forced to close or dramatically alter their offering to suit the new takeaway-only restrictions.

Many, like Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana, have closed indefinitely, without providing any assurances of their eventual reopening. And others, like d’Arenberg’s The Cube Restaurant in McLaren Vale, have decided to shut their doors for good.

“The current economic climate following the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of times ahead is not conducive to an offering at this level,” a statement from d’Arenberg says.

“On this basis, and with much regret we have elected to close the restaurant.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that the increasingly restrictive guidelines on social distancing are likely to remain in place for at least six months, and so the hospitality industry has a long, uncertain road ahead.

Tasting Australia is a South Australian event that has celebrated and revered chefs, producers, front-of-house staff, and all who treat the hospitality industry as their home.

For them, and for the patrons who also attend in that same reverence, Tasting Australia’s confirmed return in 2020 will be welcome news and a visible end point to gradually move toward.

“We look forward to the revised Tasting Australia schedule to mark our visitor economy getting back to normal,” says Premier Steven Marshall.

“This is an important event for our state and our community that showcases our wonderful food, wine and hospitality scene.”

Tasting Australia Festival Director Simon Bryant at work


October is also a perfect time of year for a food and drink festival, says Festival Director Simon Bryant.

“Springtime is absolutely beautiful in South Australia and the abundance of produce we will have at our fingertips is exciting for me and all the chefs involved,” he says.

“Holding the event in October will add exciting new experiences to Tasting Australia, allowing us to deliver exceptional menus that highlight the best produce South Australia has to offer. I can’t wait to show our visiting chefs and winemakers the state in all its springtime glory.”

Tasting Australia’s 2020 international headliner chef, Marco Pierre White, has confirmed his attendance for the festival in October, as have national festival ambassadors Matt Moran, Darren Robertson, and local talent from the lineup Maggie Beer, Emma McCaskill, Karena Armstrong, Paul Baker, Adam Liston, Duncan Welgemoed and Cheong Liew.

Stay tuned to Tasting Australia’s Facebook and Instagram pages for future updates as the event draws closer.

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