This garden’s success is no secret…

By Lauren Ferrone

From enchanting leafy escapes to its ‘garden to plate’ menu, it’s not surprising Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens Restaurant has been named national finalist in the 2016 Australian Event Awards.

“It’s recognition we’re doing the best we possibly can in catering in South Australia, and to be recognised nationally is fantastic,” says Joanne Rosa, Adelaide Botanic Gardens venue and events manager.

The Australian Event Awards recognise the best events in the country.

Botanic Gardens Restaurant‘s Tasting Australia event earlier this year is just one example of the quality events produced by the team.

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Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s chef, Paul Baker, with The Perennial chef Anthony Myint

The event featured locally sourced herb garden centrepieces under a leafy archway of the 150 year old Moreton Bay fig trees lining Murdoch Avenue.

Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s chef, Paul Baker, partnered with chef Anthony Myint, from San Francisco’s The Perennial, to design a dish for each course, which included two canapés and a four course degustation.

“Paul and Anthony shared the same ethos to food; it’s all about sustainable, ethical farming and local produce. It was the perfect match,” Joanne says.

And while most restaurants around Australia source ingredients by planting gardens to suit their menu, the Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s approach is different.

“It’s more about our garden to plate menu. We’re unique in that our menu is dictated by what the gardens can supply,” Joanne says.

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The Tasting Australia event featured locally sourced herb garden centrepieces

Complementing its ‘garden to plate’ approach, Botanic Gardens Restaurant has plans to launch a ‘garden to glass’ in coming months, which involves creating cocktails using ingredients from the garden.

“We’ll be looking at doing a selection of botanical cocktails using actual ingredients from the garden itself. For instance, we could use rosemary and natal plum from the garden, and then mix it with gin which will sourced elsewhere,” Joanne explains.

“It’ll give people the opportunity to experience a cocktail that has been made from ingredients that are literally 10 metres from where they are sitting,” she adds.

The concept to create botanical cocktails came after Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) gin was served an event hosted in the garden.

“People loved it, so we thought we needed to expand on this and do more,” she says.

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Botanic Gardens Restaurant’s Tasting Australia event earlier this year is just one example of quality events hosted by the team

There are also future plans to transform the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ Cafe Fibonacci into a beer/wine/cocktail bar, with a menu featuring the botanical cocktails.

“We can often see up to 500 wedding guests in the gardens who head into the city for a drink between the ceremony and reception, so instead of this, it’ll be nice for them to sit in the garden and enjoy a drink,” Joanne says.

“We’re excited to be showcasing South Australia; and that’s what we’re about,” Joanne says. “I don’t think as South Australian companies we shout it from the rooftops enough,” she adds.

Adelaide catering company, Blanco Food & Events, is the exclusive supplier to the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, including wineries and other food establishments in Adelaide.

Voting for the Australian Event Awards is now open, with winners announced at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on September 21.