Gourmet Safaris July Newsletter plus program August – December 2022

July Newsletter

Dear friends

Many great things to celebrate in our lives right now.

Maeve O’Meara OAM

First, I was awarded an Order of the Medal of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours – for services to food media industry (focus on multicultural broadcasting including The Food Lover’s Guide and 9 Food Safaris series plus authoring many books and appearing on radio and writing for magazines). It is a great honour to be recognised.

I’m happy to have had such a varied career and been part of Australia’s food evolution…when I first started writing guidebooks – (last century !!) with my friend Joanna Savill, the guides were called “The SBS Guide to Ethnic Eating”. Ethnic denoting ‘otherness’…well now “ethnic” is “multicultural” and it’s simply recognised that this is our world in Australia…we have evolved so perfectly, we don’t really need a word anymore.

While the award is for my media work, it’s been many years that Suzy Brien has steadfastly got on with running Gourmet Safaris…thank you Suzy…and of course to all our guides who have done such stellar work sharing food and culture over so many years.

Many of you have kindly sent congratulations – thank you! One of the loveliest pieces of recognition was from my family’s home county of Tipperary, Ireland – a full page in the Nenagh Guardian!

Gourmet Safaris turns 24!

Our lovely food tour company is having a birthday…we are 24 and we’d love to celebrate with you.

The idea of Gourmet Safaris started with hosted banquets at restaurants – our first were an Alabama feast, Korean dinner, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Malaysian and Persian.

And since then we have grown and branched to walking tours and bus tours, 3 day safaris, then week-long safaris within Australia and 2 week safaris overseas.

It’s been such joy creating itineraries and connecting guests to some inspiring people and delicious experiences.

To celebrate we are offering hosted banquets – Greek, Turkish and Sri Lankan throughout Saturdays in August – and we would love you to join us!


Ploos Eastern Mediterranean Feast

Saturday 6th August 

Our dear friend chef Peter Conistis is opening the brand new chic dining room on the first floor of Ploos especially for us…with sweeping views across our beautiful harbour to the Opera House. And of course in true Greek style, a feast of many dishes will unfold, introduced by Peter and his team. Expect the flavours of Cyprus and Crete…the warm flavours of the Southern Aegean which will be served with wines from our friends in the Victorian High Country, Gapsted Wines.

Click here to book


Maydanoz Modern Turkish Feast

Saturday 13th August

Immerse in the vegetable driven flavours of the Turkish Aegean with this latest stylish restaurant from our friends Somer Sivrioglu and Arman Uz. This is one of the hottest restaurants in town right now, with acclaim from food critics and diners. Our feast includes clever modern takes on classic flavours – like the smoked beetroot sandwich with rhubarb and barrel aged feta; haloumi kebabs brushed with honey, sesame and rosemary ash, of course there’ll be immam bayaldi and many more dishes served with beautiful Turkish wines (our hosts are making these available for purchase on the day at reduced rates so you can enjoy at home). Chef Arman Uz will demonstrate a couple of special dishes that highlight his talent with Turkish flavours and the restaurant’s no waste policy.

Click here to book 


Colombo Social Sri Lankan Feast

Saturday 20th August

Learn about spices and sambols and how to eat a string hopper at this fabulously interactive lunch hosted by Maeve and mother and son team Shiranie and Shaun Christie David at their hugely popular restaurant in Enmore.

Enjoy a feast of many courses featuring traditional favourites and some modern takes as well, plus a range of deeply delicious curries made to Shiranie’s recipes, accompanied by string hoppers, mallung and the restaurant’s signature dhal…plus a demonstration and tasting of the street food classic Kottu Roti. We’ll match with wines from Gapsted in the Victorian High Country.

Click here to book

South Australia

We have just 2 places left on this brilliant safari in South Australia, visiting top restaurants and wineries, two exceptional produce markets, plus curated visits to art galleries, a special organ performance, flavours of Columbia, Vietnam, Greece, Italy, France, and tastes from Moldova, Poland, Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninsula and more.

Explore Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and the Barossa on this 8 day safari which one of our frequent fliers describes as the best thing we’ve ever done!

27th October to 3rd November. Click here for more information

2023 Overseas Safaris

New Zealand

Join us to revel in the long late summer twilight and a week of exceptional experiences including a visit to a secret island in the middle of a pristine lake, a top chef creating a private cooking class and lunch for us, visits to Central Otago wineries, some of the top restaurants and cafes, a visit to an acclaimed fashion designer’s home, a private showing of a movie at a jewel box of a cinema, walks in that incredible landscape, a visit to a beautiful garden, and staying in luxury at the Queenstown Kawaru Hilton where our welcome takes place in the glorious Pinot Pit right on Lake Wakatipu – and where we travel by water taxi. Plus visits to top galleries and welcomes that you only get in this stunning part of New Zealand. We are taking expressions of interest only at the moment. Once we have the details finalised we will proceed with bookings.

Pure Magic…10th to 16th February

Click here for a Sample Itinerary


Sardinia and Corsica

We are heavily subscribed with guests who have been waiting to dive into this unique exploration of two of the world’s most beautiful islands. Sardinia and Corsica continue rustic traditions handed down the generations and we’ve been fortunate enough to make strong connections with some inspiring people who cook for us, guide us through traditions and tastes. We are taking expressions of interest only at the moment. Once we have the details finalised we will proceed with bookings.

29th May to 9th June 

19th June to 30th June 

Click here for a Sample Itinerary

Greek Islands

4 islands across Greece have welcomed our Safari guests for over 20 years and we treasure the welcome and the care we are given…many private homes and estates to visit for alfresco lunches, swims in turquoise seas, sailing off Santorini, sunset drinks in 5 star luxury accommodation, and the best thing – cooking classes at a private estate on the island of Evia with Greek Australian chef Peter Conistis – we visit local produce markets and local family run shops to gather ingredients and then enjoy cooking and tasting with some wonderful Greek wines. Then on to Limnos, Lesvos and finishing on Santorini. We are taking expressions of interest only at the moment. Once we have the details finalised we will proceed with bookings.

5th September to 17th September

Click here for more information


Spain and Portugal 

Many travellers already have their names down for this fabulous new safari featuring two of the warmest most talented chefs who are so happy to show their homelands to you – Fatima Nascimento lives in central Portugal and started the first Portuguese restaurant in Sydney and catering for many years before moving back and being ready to show you everything from rustic markets to castles, wine valleys and winding alleyways in Lisbon plus a day cooking with her in her beautiful home.

And Frank Camorra, the colossus of Spanish food in Australia joins us to show us his hometown of Cordoba, part of a journey through Andalusia from Seville to Cadiz with two cooking classes along the way, endless tapas, flamenco, cast of characters. We are taking expressions of interest only at the moment. Once we have the details finalised we will proceed with bookings.

22nd September to 5th October

13th October to 26th October

Click here for a Sample Itinerary

Australian Safaris

Tasmania in November 

The perfect time to visit this beautiful island for a week of food and wine produced with love and care, low food miles, warm welcomes, wonderful experiences including a day at MONA, two great markets, a visit to a peony farm for a perfect afternoon tea in a beautiful garden, lunch with Rodney Dunn at the famed Agrarian Kitchen, a day exploring Bruny Island starting with oysters and Tasmanian sparkling wine on the most pristine beach overlooking the Dentrecastreaux Channel.

A day in the Huon Valley, a magnificent walk through a national park with the tallest flowing gums in the world. Simply perfect. We are taking expressions of interest only at the moment. Once we have the details finalised we will proceed with bookings.

Click here for a Sample Itinerary 


Victorian High Country 

Italy with gum trees…a magical series of Italian experiences in Australia as we are hosted by many charming Italian Australian families who grow world class wines and put on spectacular long lunches…plus show us how to play bocce, make pizza, search for pine forest mushrooms, enjoy la dolce vita.

Plus some of our favourite local, including 2 hatted Provenance Restaurant, Mountain Yuzu, and talented Charles and Nancy Sluga from Sluga’s Art Gallery.

Click here for more information


South Australia

All the magic of Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and the Barossa with a clever itinerary and brilliant hosts.

13th to 20th April 2023

Click here for a Sample Itinerary

Rosebery Safari Tuesday 12th July

We are running this wonderful safari on a Tuesday as one of our businesses is about to have major renovations…and we have 7 spaces available for a full day’s food exploring with me…starting with coffee with sweets queen Tiffany Jones who then moves us into her kitchen to see swirls of buttercream, gold dust sparkling, edible flowers, and then we taste luscious cake around the counter – it’s a favourite moment! On to generous cheese boards and tips on entertaining, recipes and techniques all shared from Victoria Lush at Simon Johnson, then Nanad guides us through his alluring cave of ingredients at Red Spoon; we lunch at the delightful Banh Xeo Bar for a modern take on some Vietnamese classics, then we visit GelatoMessina for a behind the scenes visit and some seriously incredible gelato before one great gin and tonic from award winning Archie Rose Distillery in their stylish bar. It’s a fabulous day. Come and join us! Click here to make your booking.


City to Surf Fundraising for Hamlin Foundation

I’ve been a long term supporter of the Catherine Hamlin Foundation…if you’ve never heard of the life changing work of this glorious Australian doctor, have a read: https://hamlin.org.au/catherine-hamlin/


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