As our obsession with food has grown, courtesy of a smorgasbord of television cookery shows, food festivals and beautifully-realised recipe books, the nation’s tourism operators have hitched their wagons to gourmet get-aways to reverse dwindling visitor numbers.
Niche food and wine experiences are increasingly forming the backbone of tourism strategies and in Sydney, particularly, events are key: the annual Crave Sydney International Food Festival has done much to promote the city as a global food and dining destination. This year’s festival, which kicks off in October, will include food tours in Sydney and regional NSW as part of its line-up.
Hoteliers, too, have upped the culinary ante, including InterContinental Sydney with its new Sydney Gourmet Tour package, pitched not just at interstate and overseas guests but at those looking to discover new neighbourhoods in their own city. The hotel is a fitting location to kick off a Sydney tour, its picture windows framing a perfectly composed snapshot of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and I am up early to meet guide Rohan Hankinson, from Ultimately Sydney, who arrives in a silver Mercedes van.
There are two gourmet itineraries, one taking in the European flavours of the city’s inner west, from coffee roasters to Italian delis, the other a Mediterranean and Asian-themed journey through suburbs just south of Chinatown.
Our band of eight city explorers (tours are for a maximum of 14 people) has signed up for the latter, and we are soon on our way to our first stop, The Chef and the Cook at Camperdown, which sells everything from bamboo chopsticks and French crepe makers to freestanding smoking machines.
Strange Random Food Quote:
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” ― Erma Bombeck
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