Tasting Australia - Words To Go Blogger Forum 2016

Tasting Australia - Words To Go Blogger Forum 2016

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was honoured to be successfully selected to attend a blogger forum, Words To Go, at the recent Tasting Australia. I (Amanda) could not wipe the smile off my face over the two day conference which included a range of eating, drinking, photography and writing activities, presentations and experiences.

Tasting Australia kicks off in the Town Square
Hiramasa SA Kingfish
Lobo Cider
To kick off this valuable experience, fellow chosen bloggers from a variety of genres met over welcome drinks at the Tasting Australia Town Square located in Victoria Square. Not only did we begin networking and making new friends from around Australia we were treated to a buffet of local food and beverages. This included drinks from LOBO Cider, Pirate Life Brewing, Prancing Pony SA, Vale Brewing and amazing food from Clean Seas, Hiramasa SA Kingfish and Thomas Farms Kitchen. We were also lucky to meet and chat with culinary royalty Jock Zonfrillo from Orana and Matt Orlando from Amass in Denmark. Jock declaring that LOBO Cider is the best cider in the world, I couldn't wait to give it a try for myself! He just might be right... that hot mulled cider we were served was definitely a standout on this cool autumn night.

Max Anderson
Jennifer Lam - I ate my way through
For our first full day of the Words To Go blogger forum we attend a 'Conference Speaker Day'.  We are treated to an informative and insightful day of listening to a variety of speakers including Alison Hassel, PR and Content Manager for South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) sharing what tourism hosts are looking for; Steven Huddy from Canon Consumer Imaging providing tips and hints to improve food and travel photography; Max Anderson, writer editor and author sharing tips for perfecting a pitch; Jennifer Lam from 'I Ate My Way Through' informing us of how to take your blog from hobby to business; Thang Ngo from Noodlies helping us to get our heads around blog analytics; Jacqui Lim from Jacqui's Food Fetish presenting on niche blogging; Mark Kurlansky author of Cod, Salt and The Big Oyster sharing tips of getting to a heart of a story; and Dr Roger Haden Academic Director at Le Cordon Bleu addressing the importance of using language precisely.

Golden North Coffee Ice Cream Barista Bar
Cakes from Le Cordon Bleu
Cakes from Le Cordon Bleu
To keep ourselves sustained throughout all the hard work of sitting back and listening to the speakers we are spoiled with chocolate coated coffee ice cream bars from Golden North for morning tea and stunning cakes from the talented Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide students for afternoon tea.

Reuben Sandwich
Berliner Bun
For lunch we are able to select anywhere in the Tasting Australia Town Square to have our lunch. I select the 'Barossa' tent and indulge in a Reuben sandwich (my favourite type of sandwich) and yes a big fat creamy Berliner bun made with love from the guys behind the Harvest Kitchen. As I was most impressed with my lunch, I hope to pop into the Harvest Kitchen located at the Artisans of Barossa very soon to try more of their talented cooking. A special shout out to the wonderful coffee van that kept us hydrated with hot coffee and tea all day long. Not sure what we would have done without you!

Entree Sharing Board
Meat Sharing Board
Dessert Sharing Board
Creme Brulee
In the evening we are treated to a very special delegate dinner at Coal, Cellar & Grill (CCG) at The Hilton Adelaide. WOW! I've had the pleasure of dining at CCG a couple of times now and tonight's spread is just as impressive as the first two visits. We are wined and dined like kings and queens of the food kingdom with an array of sharing platters. Special mentions to the baked scallops with truffle and cauliflower puree, the Clare Valley Gold beef fillet with buffalo curd, and the strawberries and cream with that hazelnut pastry... there really wasn't a dish I could fault. Paired with a variety of wines from Artisans of Barossa, I was excited to discover a new favourite throughout the night, a Sons of Eden Riesling, most likely as it was full of lemon, lime and green apple notes that my palate is quite partial to!

Our second and final day of the Words To Go blogger forum is a 'Familiarisation Day'. This fun filled day is complete with hands on activities which includes yep you guessed it... lots more food to consume!

Table Set at Jamface
Vanilla Yoghurt & Granola 
Scrambled Eggs
Almond Milk Latte 
Assortment of house made pastries
We start with breakfast at Jamface, Poh Ling Yeow's quaint little store in the Adelaide Central Markets. Now this is what you call starting the day with a hearty breakfast! Cosily packed into the small store we start with an amazing house made vanilla yoghurt with granola and poached pear which I almost lick clean! This is followed with share plates of toasted bacon and egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs, pancakes and house made pastries. There is almost no talking as we happily indulge in all the delightful goodies spread out in front of us.

Mushroom Man's Mushroom Shop 
Produce from the Something Wild stall
Sticky Figs from the Kangaroo Island Pure stall
Gin from the Kangaroo Island Pure stall
Cheese from The Smelly Cheese Shop
Next we are whisked out and into the big wide world of the Adelaide Central Markets for a tour of a selection of stalls including Kangaroo Island Pure, The Smelly Cheese Shop, Central Organic, Something Wild and the Mushroom Man's Mushroom Shop.  We enjoy tastings of local produce, chats with the faces behind the stalls and leave with some goodies to enjoy later.

Antipasto Platter
Cheese Platter
Then before we know it, we have barely digested breakfast and it's lunch time at Lucia's Fine Foods at the Adelaide Central Markets. One long banquet table is set with large platters of antipasto and cheese platters, pizzas and panini's.  The produce is all so fresh, mouth watering to look at and the aromas are making me weak at the knees even though we only finished eating our breakfast feast 2 hours ago! But none of us can resist so it's round 2 *ding ding ding*, and we are all in! Yum, I cannot believe I've not dined at Lucia's before. I hope to return again soon and enjoy more of what Lucia's has to offer when I'm actually hungry!

Regency Tafe SA Campus Brewery
Freshly Baked Bread at Le Cordon Bleu
Handcrafted Chocolates by Le Cordon Bleu
Chocolate Appreciation Class
Chocolate Blind Tastings
To complete the last part of our familiarisation day we are transported to Regency TAFE for a 'Chocolate Discovery Tour' with Le Cordon Bleu. Firstly we are taken on a tour of the culinary school to view the comprehensive facilities and watch some of the students working hard at creating the most delicious smelling breads and cakes. Next a presentation on all things chocolate, along with a blind tasting of 5 different chocolate varieties with a few sneaky wines at the end of class to taste the different flavour characteristics the wines bring out. A very fun and food-filling day!

Somehow I rolled me and my extra blogger forum weight home and onto the couch to dream about what was and what will be when Tasting Australia hits Adelaide again next year... I for sure cannot wait! A special thanks to all involved to make this forum one of inspiration and special memories. I look forward to putting all my new found blogger knowledge to good use!


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