Michelin three-star chef, author and TV personality Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City will take you on an insider's view of his culinary adventures as he travels the globe for creative inspiration including Australia. Ripert explores the people, places, cultures and ingredients of Australia.
Scroll down to view the trailer and episode previews as he visits some of Australia’s top culinary spots and shares some behind the scenes favorites.
7 Best Australia Food and Wine Spots
Eric Ripert takes us behind the scenes and shares some of his favorite spots in Australia where you too can experience a winning combination of Australia's friendliest people, freshest ingredients and stunning locations.
New Mates in the Northern Territory
This is where I first landed from New York and it felt like another world. There is a spectacular vastness of the Outback but the friendly locals really bring the place to life. Local chef Lynton Tapp took me to Pee Wee’s at the Point and showed me surprising foods like pearl meat and crocodile. The view over the beautiful harbor of Darwin was cool too. Mark Roll of Helifish flew me over the Mary River wetlands to try to catch a barramundi and spot water buffalo, crocodiles and birds. My favorite moment was when I first arrived at Wildman Wilderness Retreat at sunset and was surround by birds, kangaroos and Outback and realized this is a truly magical place.
Margaret River's Law of the Land
The Margaret River, just south of Perth, is the perfect place to learn how the law of the land, which to me means food and wine paired perfectly together. The locals take advantage of the great lifestyle. You’ll see people surfing in the morning then sipping wine from vineyards overlooking that same beautiful ocean in the afternoon. They are relaxed and have a real respect for the traditions of the land. You can join Josh Whiteland, whose family has inhabited this land for centuries. I went to the beach with Josh and discovered beautiful sea salad and abalone then cooked it back near Ngjlgi Cave, learning how everything is connected. It also doesn’t hurt to end the day with a glass of wine at a place like Aravina Estate, where chefs like Tony Howell are inspired by and respect traditions in a modern setting.
I was very excited to spend time in Sydney, a city that is important in the global food scene right up with cities like New York, Paris and Tokyo. I wasn’t disappointed. There is an excitement and buzz around what chefs are creating here. I had the good fortune of dining at Sepia and experienced one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. I was really surprised by the natural beauty surrounding Sydney and what everyone is doing with local and native product. Sydney is really about lifestyle so get out with the locals and head to a café at the beach or the Southern Highlands. I spent the day there foraging and fishing with chef James Viles at his sustainable restaurant, Biota Dining. It’s a very special place.
South Australia Wine and Wildlife Safari
If you ever want to do a food and wine safari this is the place to do it. Adelaide is like Austin in a way – buzzing with cool cafes and an energy from its people who love to experiment with local ingredients to produce innovative dishes. But the city also has great access to what Australia does best – wine and wildlife. Le Bernardin’s Wine Director Aldo Sohm sampled iconic wines like Penfolds and met some eclectic and talented winemakers like D’Arenberg. Our favorite part was when we both went to Kangaroo Island. It’s like Australia’s Galapagos and you’ll see kangaroos, koalas, and sheep. There are cool walks, seal colonies who get their own beach, Remarkable Rocks and Southern Ocean Lodge – an incredible place and an absolute must!
Colorful and Cultural Melbourne
This capital of culture is an exciting place to be and everywhere you turn there is a surprise for you. Melbourne is the center of the state of Victoria and it’s a place full of colorful sights. Head outside of the city and you have the green eucalyptus filled hills. I visited David Blackmore’s Waygu cattle farm where his exclusive cuts of meat are served in Melbourne’s best restaurants. There are plenty of these farms and friendly producers outside of the city so go meet them. Color is even in the alleys, or what they call laneways. I found some of the best street art there. Melbourne is also a culture melting pot so don’t miss the restaurants like Tonka and Chin Chin and the Queen Victoria Market.
Tasmania's Natural Beauty and Bounty
Everywhere you go in Tasmania you are surrounded by natural beauty. We stayed in Hobart and didn’t get a chance to go on any of their famous walks or meet a Tassie Devil but the harbor is beautiful with old sandstone buildings. At the southernmost tip of Australia, you’ll get the freshest seafood and air around. I loved meeting chefs here. We had an incredible dinner with Australia’s best chefs, Peter Gilmore (Quay) and Neil Perry (Rockpool) from Sydney and Ben Shewry (Attica) from Melbourne who made the most of local ingredients like Bruny Island oysters and lobster. But I also enjoyed meeting new chefs like Luke Burgess of Garagistes or David Moyle at Franklin. Tasmania continues to surprise, they even have some of the world’s best whiskey so make sure to have one, or two, at Lark Distillery!