Tasting Australia's CBD hub, Town Square, have announced its list of food vendors, with a mix of returning and new players in the lineup.
Tasting Australia’s Town Square 2024 vendors announced
The Tasting Australia Town Square food trucks have been announced, with a mix of old faces, newbies and first festival vendors set to tantalise taste buds at the annual foodie event in May this year.
Tasting Australia festival director and local chef, Karena Armstrong, says the free Town Square initiative allows the festival to highlight the best food offerings in our state.
“It’s an offering that you won’t see at other festivals, and we curate it really deliberately that way,” Karena elaborates.
“So that it’s new, it’s interesting and often it’s our restaurants as well that will come in and be a part of that, which is pretty special.”
The curation process, according to Karena, ensures there is representation across all of Adelaide.
“There’s a very official process and scoring and all sorts of evaluation that goes through, but then when you look at all of the offerings, you just try and get some balance,” Karena says.
“[There’s] lots of different types of cuisines [and] lots of different types of people and their businesses.
“We really are looking for outlets to tell stories as well, and eat really good food.”
Owner of Cheekies Hot Chicken, Rashaad Chenia, says he sees no better opportunity for a first-time festival appearance than Tasting Australia.
“Honestly, it’s an honour,” Rashaad says.
“I’ve been going there for the last few years, so just seeing all the vendors has been awesome, trying all the food, so to be a part of it is super exciting.”
Opening on Pirie Street in May 2022, Cheekies Hot Chicken specialises in Nashville-style hot chicken with a strong focus on chilli. The heat ranges from “mild spice to some of the hottest chillies in the world”.
“We want to really champion spice,” Rashaad says.
“Not everyone is into it, so that’s why we have those levels. You can get low heat, you can get high heat, you get people trying to really push the boundaries of what they can consume.”
The hottest chilli’s used at Cheekies Hot Chicken include Carolina Reapers and Trinidad Scorpions, but Rashaad assures CityMag “they’re still delicious if you can handle that kind of heat”.
Though Rashaad keeps his cards close to his chest about what we can expect menu-wise from their Tasting Australia appearance, he does reveal that in true Cheekies fashion, they will highlight the stories of chillies from all around the world.
“We played around with spices from all across the world, and we want to champion that in Tasting Australia,” Rashaad says.
“So one of our most popular items that we have in the menu was gochujang – a Korean chilli paste – that was really popular, so we made our burgers with that paste and played around with different flavours.
“So the chilli is going to be the forefront of what we’re doing. We’ll tell the story about the chilli and where it comes from through the food we’re putting out.
“It’s still simple food, but it’s done with a bit of bit of a story behind it.”
Tasting Australia will run from May 3 until May 12. You can browse the program through the Tasting Australia website.
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