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Taste Local and meet the producers at Canberra Centre

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Canberra Centre’s Taste Local Festival is bringing boutique foodie experiences to your doorstep this May.

Most people don’t associate the vast and glossy confines of a high-end shopping centre with a chance to get into the nitty-gritty of agriculture or local bespoke food production with primary producers.

But over the next month, Canberra Centre is presenting a Taste Local Festival, providing a range of local makers a platform to engage with the city.

Canberra Centre’s General Manager Gary Stewart said the Festival was an important service to local producers suffering in the wake of COVID as well as an opportunity to enrich the Canberra Centre shopping experience for locals.

“2020 was a tough year for every business and more so for small producers. After the year that has been, the Taste Local festival offers the platform for these businesses to engage with their audience in our unique set up,” Gary said.

“Producers have told us that the direct contact with the public has been harder since the pandemic. With a lot of events, markets and the hospitality industry generally affected by restrictions, local producers have had a tough time.”

As a result, there was enormous enthusiasm when Canberra Centre offered the opportunity to present local food and drink tastings, and meet-and-greets with producers within a beautiful custom-built exhibition space on the ground floor next to R.M Williams.

“Local producers have responded very positively to our concept and we are excited to bring this first edition to life,” said Gary.

“We have all been preparing this month-long festival for the past few months and are very happy with the various workshops and experiences available. We wanted to offer Canberrans unique experiences of blending workshops, tasting adventures, masterclasses, and live music right here in the heart of the Canberra’s CBD.”

So what can shoppers expect?

A delicious, interactive, hands-on experience where local producers will be able to showcase their products during the various workshops and masterclasses. They will have the opportunity to explain how to best taste their produce, pair them and talk about their business’ story.

Their products will also be available for the audience to buy after each workshop. Producers include Gallagher Wines and Tallagandra Hills Winery, which will be pairing their local wines with cheese.

Gallagher Wines will be presenting their own specialty cheeses they have been producing at the winery since 2009. The Canberra Distillery will be running a Spirits Masterclass while Underground Spirits Canberra will be offering a Mixology Cocktail Masterclass.

Not forgetting performing artists who have suffered the dearth of opportunities to entertain under COVID, Canberra Centre is giving the opportunity to three of them, Ally Cowell, Monica Moore and Ashley Feraude to perform live in their pop-up bar every Friday evening for customers to enjoy.

They have also partnered with some of their retailers such as Haigh’s, Gewürzhaus and Betty’s Burgers to allow them also to exhibit their products. Customers will get a taste of Gewürzhaus mulled wine freshly made for them, perfect for those Canberra winters.

Haigh’s award-winning chocolates will be showcased during Lake George Winery’s workshops and Betty’s Burgers goodies will accompany the Underground Spirits mixology masterclass.

For more information on the month-long Taste Local Festival, head on over to the website.

Photography: Ben Calvert Photography

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