Australia’s dining scene may be in COVID-induced hibernation, but our fascination with food will be (virtually) well-fed this weekend in a one-off livestream feast starring the country’s best produce.
Live from Aus is a round-up of the country’s best travel adventures by Tourism Australia: in between koala love-ins and taking a virtual dip in the waters of Moore Reef off the coast from Cairns, our most famous faces dish up a range of culinary explorations to feed minds and bodies sheltering in self-isolation.
The adventures begin with a Welcome to Country at 7am Saturday and roll until 10pm Sunday. During the day, each hour brings a new experience, such as a ‘mate date’ dinner party by chef Matt Moran, whose restaurants include Aria and Opera Bar in the Sydney Opera House, or Tassie produce getting the treatment by gourmet farmer Matt Evans, who teams up with chef Zane Denmen of the Tasmania Walking Company for a walk and a feast in the Bay of Fires Lodge.
Key viewing includes celebrated Adelaide chef Jock Zonfrillo’s take on indigenous ingredients from gubinge to warrigal greens. Well-known to fans of the current Masterchef series and chef-owner of three-hatted Adelaide Restaurant Orana (which closed in March, a victim of COVID-19), Zonfrillo is also founder of The Orana Foundation, which has created possibly the first database of indigenous foods and supports a harvesting hub on WA’s Dampier Peninsula.
Prep for a big weekend by joining a morning workout with the team who whip Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) into shape, then the camera swings to Bondi for brekkie bowls with chef Guy Turland, best known for his cafes The Depot at North Bondi and Bondi Harvest in Santa Monica. He’ll also be sharing his favourite Bondi breakfast hotspots for newly released Sydneysiders to check out.
After the Wiggles but before a putting masterclass on Australia’s top golf courses, you can hoop curds with Jo Barrett and Matt Stone of Oakridge Wines in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Follow Jo’s lead as she makes soft Neufchâtel cheese with a minimum of preparation, see recipe and equipment details here.
As evening closes in, Australian whisky doyen Bill Lark and head distiller Chris Thomson of Lark Distillery waffle about whiskey in Hobart, a fitting nod to World Whiskey Day, which also falls on this coming Saturday. Night owls can stay up to watch Saturday night morph into Sunday morning with an overnight ‘spectra’ of sound and lightwork from Hobart’s Mona (Museum of Old and New Art).
Rise and shine on Sunday morning with sunrise yoga in Byron Bay, followed by the perfect cup of coffee thanks to a masterclass by lauded latte artist Hany Ezzat and barista champ Hugh Kelly of Canberra’s ethical coffee brewer ONA coffee.
Follow yoga and coffee with a lesson on how to do brunch, cooking alongside Masterchef host Andy Allen, the co-owner of the Three Blue Ducks restaurants in Sydney, Byron and Brisbane. View his recipe for XO Butter Mushroom Scramble, which adds chilli roasted peanuts and toasted sourdough to the plate. A warning: it does require some pre-planning prep.
Sunday lunch is supplied by celebrity chef Hayden Quinn, who clicks the tongs with top barbeque tips far beyond charcoal snags with his reef & beef recipe featuring barramundi and rib-eye beef.
Art aficionados aren’t forgotten: in South Australia, the country’s most architecturally distinctive cellar door, the d’Arenburg Cube in McLaren Vale, may be currently closed, but you can take a virtual step inside with d’Arenberg Wines’ chief winemaker and innovator, Chester Osborn, who pairs wine and art.
The all-Aussie weekend winds down watching the sunset in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with a soundtrack by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.
The Live From Aus weekend runs on the Tourism Australia Facebook page and YouTube channel from 7am (AEST) this Saturday 16-17 May, 2020.
View on YoutTube