Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Tourism Australia.
Tourism Australia has unveiled the latest evolution of its global campaign – ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ - with exceptional food and wine experiences from around the country playing a starring role in an effort to convert the global appetite for Australia as a travel destination into more visits.
Gastrology attended the Melbourne launch of the campaign last week at Melbourne’s award-winning Vue de monde. Local and international chefs, Shannon Bennett, Sanjeev Kapoor and Alla Wolf-Tasker were in attendance as Tourism Australia MD John O'Sullivan shared how the campaign would cast the spotlight on Australia's culinary experiences.
It was exciting to hear about the new $10 million campaign, 'Restaurant Australia', which is based on the idea of Australia being the world’s greatest restaurant.
The campaign activity has begun its roll-out in 12 key international markets with high profile events and consumer promotions. In addition, an international media familiarisation program will be hosted for ‘Restaurant Australia’ in partnership with all States and Territories in November this year.
It was interesting to hear that according to research conducted by Tourism Australia in 2013 (in 15 of Australia’s key tourism markets), only 26 per cent of people who have never visited Australia associate the destination with good food and wine offering. But for those who have visited Australia, they rank us second in the world for food and wine experiences (60%) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy.
This perception gap presents a real opportunity to bring Australia’s culinary credentials to the fore which is where the ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign comes into the picture.
Vue de monde was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and wine and most importantly, for getting excited about the new 'Restaurant Australia' campaign.
Pork, onion, mint
Matched with: 2010 Granite Hills Pinot Noir, Macedon Ranges, Victoria
Our first course consisted of unctuous morsels of pork accompanied by sweet onion and silky mint sauce. The centrepiece pork morsels possessed a beautiful depth of flavour, with the acidity in the vegetable components helping to alleviate its richness.
Blackmore Wagyu beef, beetroot, apple
Matched with: 2010 Mount Langi Ghiran Hollows Shiraz, Grampians, Victoria
The wagyu course was the perfect example of a straightforward dish done well. Served medium-rare, the wagyu fillet was well seasoned and retained a juicy, tender consistency throughout. The "brick" of tender pulled wagyu on the other hand had a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth texture and was full of flavour.
Duck yolk, pear, truffle
Matched with: 2011 Tarrawarra Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Victoria
A dish we have had privilege to indulge in on previous occasions, the dish of duck yolk, pear and truffle was as expected, an absolute delight. The velvety egg yolk and truffle sauce combined to produce an intensely rich dish. It was an excellent dish which typified the multi-faceted Vue de monde style of cooking.
Vue de monde Pavlova
Matched with: 2013 Delatite ‘Catherine’ Gewurtztraiminer, Mansfield, Victoria
We loved Vue de monde's take on the humble Aussie pavlova. This striking dessert was an explosion of intense fruity flavours. The meringues were crisp on top and addictively sweet and chewy in the centre. The tartness of the passionfruit curd produced a balanced dessert.
An absolute highlight of our time at the launch was meeting Australia's pre-eminent wine critic, James Halliday and Wagyu pioneer, David Blackmore.