Serving China a taste of Australia

18 October 2018

Seven influential journalists from the largest media outlets in China dined on Aussie beef and lamb at MLA's head office during this week’s Taste Australia tour.

The lunch, served up by MLA Chef Sam Burke, was an initiative to build knowledge of the attributes and integrity of Australian food.

The Taste Australia tour, organised by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Austrade, involves a cross-industry partnership comprising MLA, Dairy Australia, Hort Innovation and Wine Australia, with cooperation from Austrade. The lunch was sponsored by the Premium Australian Food and Wine Collaboration and focused on growing agricultural trade with Australia's major food export partner, China.

What was on the menu?

MLA's Executive Chef Sam Burke was called on to create and cook a three course meal for the visitors which showcased Australian red meat, dairy, wine and horticultural products.

"I could've easily come up with dishes based on Asian cuisine, but being a Taste Australia tour, I wanted to show our best quality produce matched with Australian flavours and techniques," Sam said.

Entree was a 16-hour slow-cooked Australian lamb shoulder served with an ancient grain and blueberry salad with saffron labne (a thick yoghurt). It was followed with a main course of Australian beef scotch fillet with a French-style jus, beef fat roasted kipfler potatoes and an apple, pecan and feta salad.

The meal was completed by an assortment of the finest Australia cheeses and each course was matched with specially selected Australian wine.

"Feedback was that they loved the fresh produce and for some of the guests, it was the first time they had tried Australian lamb," Sam said. 

Sharing Australian food’s story

While cooking, Sam was filmed and interviewed extensively by the journalists about Australian beef and lamb.

Organised to build knowledge on Australia leading up to the China International Import Expo, the week-long tour visited Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. MLA will participate in the expo, which will also celebrate 40 years since the opening of international trade to China.

While Tuesday's focus was on the quality and attributes of Australia's red meat, its integrity systems and export success, the journalists were also given insights during the week into Australia's positive trade environment, support for multilateral trading systems, the benefits for both sides of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Australia's gold-standard regulatory environment. The journalists represented the following media outlets:

  • People's Daily – the voice of the Chinese Communist Party with a circulation of three million
  • Xinhua News Agency – the official state-run news agency which boasts a news portal with 60 million visitors a day and a social media following of 75 million.
  • Caijing – a leading voice for business and financial issues published fortnightly with 225,000 readers
  • CBN Weekly – China's bestselling business magazine with a weekly circulation of 385,000
  • 21st Century Business Herald – based in Guangzhou and considered China's Wall Street Journal, it’s published daily with a readership of 2.6 million
  • Jiemian – a news website focused on business, finance and tech with 5.3 million daily active readers
  • Tencent Finance – a financial news provider and part of Tencent, one of China's largest tech companies.


Majella Fernando, MLA

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