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To promote Australian food, wine and travel, Tourism Australia (@TourismAus) and Wine Australia (@Wine_Australia) have partnered up with Australian-born Chef John Placko (@johnplacko). Over the past month, they’ve invited Canada to explore some of the best things Australia has to offer.


Last week, I attended a “Restaurant Australia” event which was a showcase of amazing food, wine and destinations in Australia. While I’ve always known that Australia is filled with incredible wildlife and gorgeous landscapes, I never thought of Australia as a major food or wine destination.  Let’s be honest, when we first think of Australian food, many of us will think of kangaroo and vegemite. But this event really opened my eyes – I just might be planning my next big trip!


The man behind the food at the event was Chef John Placko who has been working in Canada for the past 18 years. He’s well-known around the city for molecular gastronomy which was clearly evident in the food we sampled.


Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the food and wine we indulged in during the evening:

Mini Kangaroo and Pepperberry Sliders – with native quandong peach relish

Mini Kangaroo and Pepperberry Sliders

Butternut Squash Flan – with goat cheese crumbs, hazelnut snow and beet powder

Butternut Squash Flan

Lemon Myrtle Scented Prawns – with caramelized onion sponge, toasted macadamia crumbs and dill fluid gel

Lemon Myrtle Scented Prawns

Buderim Ginger and Lime Spiked Barramundi – with sweet chili, wilted greens with Australia olive oil

Buderim Ginger and Lime Spiked Barramundi

Forestberry Seasoned White Strip Lamb – served with minted cucumbers and beetroot with Murray River salt flakes

Forestberry Seasoned White Strip Lamb

Liquid Nitrogen Made Wattle Seed Ice Cream – with Anzac cookie crumbs and Australian honey foam

Liquid Nitrogen Made Wattle Seed Ice Cream

Warrnambol 4-year Old Cheddar – served with pickled granny smith apples, Australian Crackerthins and dried fruit paste

Warrnambol 4-year Old Cheddar

Let’s not forget the fantastic wine pairings…

Some of the wine pairings

They did a wonderful job introducing us to new ingredients and educating us on what Australia is well-known for. I was incredibly impressed with each and every dish!

While I enjoyed all the dishes, one of the highlights was the butternut squash flan. When I initially picked up the flan I thought it was a dessert so I was in for a pleasant surprise. Who knew that a vegetarian dish would be one of my favourites! The flan was incredibly smooth and had an intense butternut squash flavour. The addition of the goat cheese crumbs and hazelnut snow worked well and added a nice surprise element to the dish.

The barramundi was another favourite of the evening. I’ve heard of this type of fish before on the Food Network but had no idea it was from Australia. The fish was perfectly cooked and the blow-torched finish gave it a nice charred flavour.

We ended off the meal with some liquid nitrogen-made ice cream. I’ve never heard of wattle seed before but it was a damn good scoop of ice cream and each of the individual components were delicious. The perfect ending to an educational evening!

If I’ve piqued your interest, check out for Australian travel content to get your trip planning started!

*This was a complimentary meal. The opinions in the post are my own.*

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