Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and nowhere is this represented more clearly than in our cooking. Here's a selection of food festivals around the country, showcasing classic Aussie food and world delicacies to tickle your tastebuds.
Held every two years in Adelaide, Tasting Australia is one of the biggest events on the food festival calendar, showcasing the very best that our nation has to offer in food, wine, beer and produce. An opportunity for the world's food professionals and culinary talents to get together, the festival includes the Food, Beer and Wine Writers Festival and the World Food Media Awards.
A Taste of Slow Australia
Slow food? Well, it's the opposite of fast food. It's about using local seasonal produce, restoring traditional methods of preparing foods and encouraging environmentally sustainable production and ethical treatment of animals. But above all it's about the celebration of a well-cooked meal and the sensation of taste.
In an effort to make the most of the chilly Canberra winter, some of the region's finest restaurants have come together to create this unique experience. Hosts of the Fireside Festival such as the Kamberra Wine Company and Poachers Pantry offer the chance to sample cool climate wines and seasonally inspired dinners by the warmth of an open fire.
It's said that some ancient cultures valued chocolate above gold. Who can blame them? From chocolate chess to chocolate fountains and a gourmet chocolate dinner, La Trobe's Chocolate Winterfest explores all aspects of this wickedly delicious food.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
An entirely non-profit affair, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival encompasses more than 120 events over a 10-day period. The most popular event is the World's Longest Lunch, a sit-down alfresco meal attended by over 1000 diners and stretching over 500 metres of tables.
Feast of the Olive
Best known for its wines, the Hunter Valley has recently emerged as one of Australia's great olive-growing regions. This annual festival celebrates the work of these pioneer growers with demonstrations of picking, processing, and pressing olives as well as tasting local olives, tapenades and oils.
For a more hands-on approach you can take part in the Queensland Masterclass. Every year Brisbane brings together some of the world's greatest chefs and winemakers as well as the cream of Australian talent to share their expertise on everything from baking the perfect pastry to matching wine to Thai cuisine.
Fremantle Sardine Festival
Originally started by a local sardine proprietor as a way to get people to try his favourite fish, the Fremantle Sardine Festival is now a major event attracting thousands of visitors every year, with all proceeds going to the Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation.
Aroma Coffee Festival
The largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the Rocks Aroma Coffee Festival is a must for any coffee lover. Featuring displays and demonstrations from small roasters and larger coffee houses, you can smell, sample and slurp some of the world's best coffee as you wander through Sydney's heritage quarter.
Darwin Seafood Festival
Serious seafood lovers will enjoy the Darwin Seafood Festival. Held annually on Darwin's Fisherman's Wharf, the festival plays hosts to a plethora of fishy events, with a Top End feel. As well as the usual prawns, crabs and fish you'll find pearl meat, barramundi and even crocodile.