Tasting Australia 1997-2012 - Overview

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In 1996 Ian Parmenter, Marina Libia and David Evans presented an idea for a revolutionary food and wine event to the Government of South Australia. It was to be an event that would encompass elements for the food and wine professional as well as for the growing ranks of committed national and international foodies.

In 1997 Tasting Australia was launched under the management of the Consuming Passions team and event management of Maria Libia. From a small beginning this biennial food and beverage event grew to become the largest and most successful event of its type in this region of the globe.  In 2001 Tasting Australia won the prestigious Jaguar Award for Gastronomic Travel.
The 2012 event featured more than 70 individual events showcasing the very best of Australian food, wine and beer to 60,000 visitors.

What people are saying.....

Rick Stein Selector Magazine Stephanie Alexander W. T (Bill) Spur Karen Ronning
Rick Stein

Rick Stein"Ian, David and Marina will be regarded as three of the most important people for putting Australian produce and cooking on the world map thanks to the enormously successful and universally enjoyed food festival, Tasting Australia."

Rick Stein
English chef, restaurateur, author and TV presenter
Paul Diamond

Selector Magazine"Through our sponsorship and heavy involvement in Tasting Australia I have had the pleasure with working closely with the Ian, David, Marina and the whole Consuming Passions team over the past 4 years.

As a publisher of a national magazine that is part of a wider wine marketing business, large scale public events that focus on the promotion of food and wine are a necessary part of our yearly activity. Having had exposure to the management of most of the food and wine events in Australia I can say categorically that the consuming passions team is by far the best in Australia.

Their experience, commitment and drive set them apart form all others. However, it is their intimate understanding of all the elements that need to come together to make an event a success that ensures that they have my full support in any venture they undertake.

The enormity and minutia of managing each element from all perspectives: media, talent, sponsors, partners and public, are handled professionally by all members of the team, full and part time.

In dealing with the inevitable issues that will always arise when staging a multi-layered and faceted event, I have found the team to perform with aplomb at all times, including those when the team is stretched and sleep is in short supply.

As a sponsor and media partner across the past several Tasting Australia’s, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ian, David and Marina, Annette and Lucia and would do so again without question."

Paul Diamond
Selector Magazine
Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie Alexander"Over many years the team that directed and guided Tasting Australia set a new standard for food festivals in Australia. The invited guests, both participants and commentators, came from a wide range of countries, and all had a positive experience.

One met heroes and mentors and made new friends. I have never forgotten watching Carol Field wrangle a soft sloppy ciabatta dough and I properly understood this dough for the first time.

Later we dined together in San Francisco, a friendship discovered and developed thanks to the Adelaide experience.

Many of the guests were taken on ambitiously-conceived outings, seeing places that would not usually be part of a food festival, but which added enormously to their understanding of the diverse food offerings of this huge country.

As a guest presenter I was always treated with generosity, and my work was respected.

David, Ian and Marina will be a hard act to follow."

Stephanie Alexander
Australian cook, restaurateur and food writer
Bill Spurr

W. T (Bill) Spur"Consuming Passions developed, marketed and managed a truly outstanding event for South Australia, called Tasting Australia, which ran from 1997 to 2012. Ian Parmenter, David Evans and Marina Libia built this even from nothing into a world class, internationally recognised, food and wine event.

I have nothing but admiration for these three individuals and the time, effort, professionalism and just sheer hard work they contributed to the outstanding success of Tasting Australia. "

W.T. (Bill) Spurr
Chief Executive Officer of the SA Tourism Commission from 1997 to 2007
Karen Ronning

Karen Ronning"I am writing on behalf of the South Australian Food and Wine Tourism Working Group to express our enormous gratitude to you and the Consuming Passions team for the work you have done in creating, developing, managing and evolving our State’s peak food and wine event over the past 16 years ‘Tasting Australia’.

South Australia’s food and wine producers, regions, restaurants and tourism operators have all benefitted from the success of Tasting Australia, as has the positioning and perception of our state as a leading food and wine producer and destination.

The professional operation of Tasting Australia, the innovation, breadth and depth of the individual events, and the connection to the world’s leading food, wine and lifestyle media have been some of the key outcomes the event has delivered for SA.

We also recognise and value the relationships that you have formed with our industry from throughout the state and know that these will be long standing."

Karen Ronning
SA Food and Wine Tourism Group

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Tasting Australia became the premier provider of networking opportunities for  producers, media and food professionals – a once in every two year opportunity that was never missed by the cream of world gastronomy.
Each Tasting Australia hosted more than 100 members of the national and international food, wine and lifestyle media with a view to giving the world a snap-shot of Australian food, wine, beer and lifestyle.

After 16 years and eight enormously successful events, with visits during that time from close to 1000 members of the media and more than 500,000 visitors, the Consuming Passions team opted not to renew its contract with the South Australian Tourism Commission.

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