More than 80 international food and wine writers, columnists, critics, celebrity chefs, TV personalities – including Heston Blumenthal, Alice Waters, A.A. Gill, Sanjeev Kapoor and Yifan Liu – joined the likes of Australian foodies Maggie Beer, Matt Preston and Matt Moran to sample a truly spectacular menu, created by Restaurant Australia Head Chefs Ben Shewry, Peter Gilmore and Neil Perry AM.
The event marked the culmination of the Restaurant Australia campaign, showcasing to the world the remarkable people, exceptional produce and inspiring places that make Australian food and wine so unique.
The gastronomic journey commenced with a 'Sparkling and Sea' red carpet moment at Elizabeth Street Pier. Guests travelled to the second chapter 'Earth, Fire & Water' held at the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) to experience the first of many creative courses.
Departing GASP! guests then made their way to MONA's Nolan Gallery for 'Art and Produce' – the main course. Here the three Chefs blurred the lines of cooking and art with each presenting a unique course served with six matching Australian wines.
The final chapter 'Sticky and Sweet' saw diners enjoy a roving celebration of all things sweet in MONA's Void gallery alongside a selection of cheeses including the first raw milk blue cheese to be produced in Australia; King Saul by South Australian cheese makers, Udder Delights.
Bringing together global influencers with a collective reach of over 400 million, the dinner showcased the best of Australian food and wine experiences and produce from every corner of the country.
Closing gap in perceptions
John O'Sullivan, Managing Director Tourism Australia said the Gala event was a perfect culmination to what has been a highly successful Restaurant Australia campaign, aimed at closing the gap in the perceptions of Australia's food and wine offering.
"Our global Restaurant Australia campaign set out to showcase Australia's impressive food and wine offering to the world, highlighting the depth and diversity of our local producers, chefs and winemakers – last night exceeded our expectations," he said.
"What our Chefs pulled together and the setting in which the meal was served was nothing short of breathtaking and has truly demonstrated the exceptional quality and unique produce we have on offer here in Australia.
"We hope all of our guests head home today with the taste of Australia still firmly imprinted on their palate, and we look forward to them sharing their experiences with their many followers."
Ben, Peter and Neil agreed it was a remarkable honour to cook for the world and showcase Australia's exceptional food and wine offering to travellers from across the globe.
In the lead up to last night's Gala event at MONA, the 'Invite The World To Dinner' tour saw international guests travel the country to experience more than a thousand of Australia's best food and wine offerings, taking in every State and Territory.
Tourism Australia's global food and wine campaign, Restaurant Australia aimed to increase international awareness of Australia's food and wine offer, and therefore increase tourism into the country.