Australia Week Moscow - May 2005

Australian celebrity chefs, Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie from Dining Downunder were invited to host an Australian Cuisine Promotion at the RadissonSAS Slavyanskaya Hotel, Moscow from the 10th – 20th May 2005 as part of Australia Week in Moscow festivities.

Australia Week Moscow is the most important trade event in 2005 for Australian businesses exploring growth opportunities in Russia. The week was a unique opportunity for Australian business to promote and demonstrate a variety of quality Australian goods and services to interested Russian importers and business people. Events combined an exhibition, networking receptions and cultural events.

Australia Week was officially opened by the Australian Governor General, Michael Jeffery and acting Mayor of Moscow, Yaleriy Shantsov on Tuesday the 10th May. As part of the Governor Generals speech, Michael Jeffery said

“I also hope you will sample some of the magnificent Australian cuisine and wine available in this hotel’s Talavera Restaurant during the Australian Food and Wine Week. Two of Australia’s finest chefs (Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie) have come to Moscow to prepare a selection of dishes using Australian ingredients that are renowned for their quality, taste and purity.”

Read the Governor General’s full speech here.

After the official opening, the Australian Governor General met with both us to discuss how indigenous ingredients provide positive financial and cultural benefits to Aboriginal communities around Australia.

The first event on the Australia Week in Moscow calendar was a cocktail reception for over 450 guests of the Australian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Mr Robert Tyson. The reception kicked off with a number of dances by Aboriginal dance group Descendance and then came the food. With over two days to prepare the reception included various native inspired Australian canapés together with fresh Moreton Bay Bugs, a carving station of Australian grain feed Black Angus Beef, mini lamb burgers with bush tomato relish and QLD king prawns with Mountain Pepper BBQ sauce. On the sweet side there was Wattleseed Pavlova with wild fruits, Rainforest parfait and Chocolate wild peppermint mousse with riberry confit to name just a few. Days after the reception event, both Vic and I were still receiving compliments.

From Wednesday onwards Australian cuisine was available in both the Talavera and Amadeus Restaurants. In Talevera Restaurant, which usually features fine dining Mediterranean cuisine, we offered an Australian à la carte menu with dishes such as kangaroo larb, paperbark smoked borscht and grilled barramundi with lemon myrtle mash and quandong confit. Each evening over 50 guests (20% over average numbers) experienced our unique menu.

Apart from fine dining Australian style, a more casual Australian menu was offered in both Cafe Amadeus and in the Lobby Lounge. The most popular dishes were the Wildfire spiced wontons with bush tomato chutney; Red Desert Dusted steak sandwich with Illawara plum sauce and beer battered barramundi with chips and wild lime tartare.

Another highlight of the Australia Week Moscow was the Australian Brunch in Cafe Amadeus, which featured crowd-pleasing performances by Aboriginal dance group Descendance on Sunday the 15th May. The Australian inspired menu included a wide selection of salads and seafood together with soups and an array of other hot dishes. Three live cooking stations offered pasta, omelettes and crepes all with Australian native ingredients. Guests were able to sample a wide range of authentic Australian dishes – paperbark smoked beetroot salad, wattleseed duck with quandongs and Wattleseed Pavlova with wild fruit coulis.

Apart from the Australian Food and wine being offered, Austrade hosted a 4 day exhibition for Australian companies looking to export their products to Russia. The full list of participants can be found here.

The week long event was sponsored by Emirates Airlines who provided return airfares from Australia to Moscow.

Dining Downunder would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the staff at the RadissonSAS Moscow and we would like to offer special thanks to the following people who really made the event a compete success;

Joergen Rathjen, General Manager, RadissonSAS Moscow
Tony Higginbotham, Executive Chef, RadissonSAS Moscow
Björn Hörberg, Executive Sous Chef, RadissonSAS Moscow
Gregory Klumov, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade Moscow
Natasha Smirnova, Business Development Manager, Austrade Moscow
Dan Tebbutt, Consultant, Austrade Moscow