Culinary Heavyweights Throw Support Behind Taste Festival

Three of Australia's culinary icons have thrown their weight behind this year's Taste Festival, Tasmania's largest event, to be held on Hobart's waterfront from December 28-January 3.

Tetsuya Wakuda and Leo Schofield, AM, along with well-known Australian Master of Wine Andrew Corrigan, will all be involved in this year's event.

Tetsuya will officially open the Festival on December 28. Leo will be Chief Judge for the Taste Festival Food Awards on December 28 and will also present a talk at the Taste Theatre at 2.30pm on the emergence of a high-quality restaurant scene in Tasmania to match the high quality of our produce. Andrew will also present at the Taste Theatre and be Chief Judge for the Wine Awards.

"The rapidly growing awareness of the superb quality of Tasmanian produce, coupled with the emergence of a new generation of local chefs, is setting this state on the high road to national and international eminence," Mr Schofield said. "First the food, then the creative cooks who understand how to handle it, now the brilliantly refurbished Princes Wharf as an exciting new venue for the much loved Taste Festival. With these three critical elements in place, Tasmania's landmark food expo is set to continue as the foremost showcase for fine food and fine cuisine in the country."

The Taste Festival will return to its roots this year with a renewed focus on the very best in Tasmanian food wine, beers and other great local products. The iconic Taste Plate is again a feature of the event with every food stallholder previewing their menu on a tasting plate costing $7.50 or less.

In addition, new initiatives such as The Brasserie, Taste Theatre and Red Hat Tours will showcase Tasmania's finest producers, winemakers, brewers and chefs.

A new program of activities has been introduced to entice Festival participants to not only sample some of the best food, wine, beer and beverages in Tasmania but also provides the opportunity to learn about the journey from paddock to plate.

The program includes:
- A new Taste Theatre for food and wine programs, lectures and guided tastings;
- A new program of "Red Hat" small- group tours of the Taste, focusing on particular subjects such as sparkling wine, aquaculture etc;
- A new "Brasserie" featuring Tasmania's burgeoning craft brewing and cider making industry along with matched foods;
- A renewed focus on Tasmanian provenance and new products;
- A new Retail Alley where visitors can buy Tasmanian products;
- A new Cafe Precinct where people can meet friends at serviced tables for great coffee and pastries.

For seven days and nights, Hobart's waterfront will again be transformed into a display of colour and life as the Taste Festival ignites the historic Sullivans Cove precinct: showcasing the uniqueness and diversity of Tasmania's produce and gourmet food and wine to approximately 250,000 people.

This year's Festival's theme, Sensational Taste, encourages festival goers to engage the senses by sampling the best of our sensational Tasmanian produce, complimented by a mix of interesting cultural food experiences.

The Taste Festival invites the celebration of our community and rich heritage while contributing to increasingly sophisticated, and forever surprising, contemporary food culture.

The Taste Festival is proudly produced and presented by the Hobart City Council, the aim of which is to present a unique and memorable festival that showcases some of the best food and beverages Tasmania has to offer, while providing opportunities for the whole community to meet with friends and family and celebrate the essence of Summer in Hobart, in a fun and safe environment.

Families and children will be well catered for this year at the Woolworths Fresh Food Kids in the Park on Hobart's Parliament House Lawns, an alcohol free area offering plenty of activities. Daily programming includes a dedicated area for sporting activities and games, family outdoor board games, cooking classes for children, jumping castles and children's rides, various workshops, face painting, buskers, performers, and other family entertainment.

With stage one of renovations to the waterfront venue completed prior to the Taste Festival (including the installation of a stunning new lighting structure); the new forecourt area will be transformed into a vibrant, welcoming entrance and information hub with clear signage to guide patrons throughout the Festival site.

The Forecourt Stage will become the Festival focal point for stage-based acts and busker performances throughout the day. Each evening, the Forecourt Stage will transform into a popular area to dance the night away with friends.

An exciting line up of entertainment will again be a Festival highlight, with a focus on showcasing local Tasmanian talent. An increase in roving performers will also entertain the crowds around the venue.

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