Known for its 60 designated wine regions,
Australia also prides itself on its top-quality, locally inspired cuisine.
“Australia’s approach to food and wine
respects tradition, while seeking to challenge
it,” said Penny Lion, Tourism Australia’s ex-
ecutive general manager of events. “The re-
sult is produce-driven, fresh and innovative
cuisine paired beautifully with wines that
regularly gather accolades and devotees.”
Examples include Melbourne restau-
rants Attica and Brae, which were both
featured on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant
awards held in Melbourne this year. Brae
sources many ingredients from an on-
site organic garden, while Attica features
unique ingredients to Australia, such as
wattleseed, kangaroo and quandong.
Nearby Melbourne, Yarra Valley’s
Oakridge winery offers space for groups
of up to 150 and classes in pickling, an
introduction to indigenous ingredients,
grape-stomping lessons and blind tastings.
A short drive from Sydney, Archie Rose
Distilling Co. provides tours followed by
a Blend Your Own Gin class, using native
Australian botanicals. Private classes are
available for up to 120.
Sydney Seafood School conducts a wide
range of classes for groups, including the
school’s most popular class, Seafood BBQ.
“New Zealand’s cuisine is all about show-
casing local produce and fresh flavors,” said
Alexa Bennett, business events manager,
Tourism New Zealand. “Farm-to-table may
be a recent trend in the U.S., but in New
Zealand it has always been a way of life.”
Auckland features some of the country’s
most eclectic food offerings.
“Auckland’s vibrant food and wine scene
serves up something for every taste—the
freshest New Zealand produce, mouth-watering seafood, Pacific Rim flavors, islands
of wine, and cuisine from every corner
of the world,” said Auckland Convention
Bureau Manager Anna Hayward.
Gourmet central city walking tours in
Auckland are open to groups, as are myriad
cooking classes, including learning how to
Some of the top restaurants in Queenstown regularly collaborate with local win-eries to create degustation dinners paired
with vertical tastings, and winemakers are
often on hand at cellar door bistros to talk
visitors through their creations. Millbrook
Resort, Eichardt’s Private Hotel and the
Crowne Plaza have all offered these experiences with wine, beer and whiskey.
Foraging is also trending in Queenstown
with restaurant’s Rata and The Grille by
Eichardt’s both including it in their menus.
42 Meetings Today // 09.17
Whether sampling the wines of New Zealand and Australia, learning the art of sushi-making in Japan or embarking on a Hong Kong foodie tour, the Asia-Pacific region tempts culinary
aficionados with its array of spices and unique flavors.
BY MARLENE GOLDMAN
TOP TO BOTTOM: EICHARDT’S PRIVATE HOTEL, QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND; THE ANDAMAN RAINFOREST MASTER CHEF
CLASS, MALAYSIA; SAKE TASTING, KOBE’S NADA DISTRICT, JAPAN; CIDAL HUNTER SCHOOL, TAIWAN; INTERCONTINENTAL
HONG KONG’S YAN TOH HEEN; ARCHIE ROSE DISTILLING CO., ROSEBERRY, NEW SOUTH WHALES, AUSTRALIA
The Asia-Pacific region is an epicurean fantasy