You like truffles, maybe? Australia is the biggest source of these pungent delicacies outside Europe and Western Australia in particular celebrates with the Truffle Kerfuffle at Manjimup each year in June (the truffle season starts in winter).
This week-long event showcases the area's mouth-watering black truffles and culminates in a cook-off between invited celebrity chefs producing a gala dinner menu for the lucky few visitors to have secured a ticket.
Across in the ACT, the Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival also takes place during June and July, this time with more of an educational theme â showing visitors how to make the best use of the exotic tubers in their cooking. But Canberra also hosts a French-style traditional truffle hunt.
In the far south, Tasmania is a cornucopia of fresh produce of all kinds and there are many events to celebrate the fact. In March there is the Devonport Food and Wine Festival, a month-long exhibition of the area's cuisine including liberal tastings of local wines and even locally brewed beers (although for real beer drinkers the best time to visit is in November for Tasmania's Beerfest).
Later in the year there's the Savour Tasmania festival, a state-sponsored promotion of everything the island has to offer based loosely on Hobart and described as âa unique food and wine experience.â A highlight of this event is the Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend, which features a range of master classes and wine tastings.
Spice it up
Traditional meat-and-veg food not exotic enough for you? Visit the Asian Food Festival in Melbourne in September â Korean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese and more tasty (and often spicy) cuisines are featured at restaurants throughout this astonishingly multi-cultural city and all around Little Bourke Street, centre of Melbourne's world-renowned Chinatown.
Then at Albert Park in November there is the four-day Taste of Melbourne event, showcasing the region's best produce and featuring wine-tasting and cocktail-mixing classes as well as gourmet dining experiences.
If you would prefer to leave the city behind, try Margaret River over in WA. This lovely southwest corner of Australia is laid-back and pretty and home to some of the country's finest wineries, which get together each year for the four day Gourmet Escape, a food and wine celebration that is a favourite for many of the worldâs top international and local wine experts and chefs.
The local Pinot Noirs, many of them from tiny boutique vineyards that are unknown outside the region, are especially recommended. Cheers!