Tourism Australia's Restaurant Australia campaign heats up as foodies arrive from around the world

Three of Australia's best chefs will cook a three-course meal, while guests to the cutting-edge art gallery enjoy the pristine air and views of Tasmania's breathtaking scenery.

If this doesn't impress them, nothing will.

Tourism Australia is spending $40 million on its 18-month long Restaurant Australia campaign, aimed at getting overseas visitors to the country by promoting its food and wine.

This is the final stage of the process, where 80 "food influencers" from around the world are given personalised tours of Australia's best restaurants, wineries, fisheries and farms.

The restaurant reviewers, writers, chefs and media personalities will meet at MONA in Tasmania on Friday night, where Peter Gilmore of Quay and Neil Perry of Rockpool in Sydney, and Ben Shewry of Attica in Melbourne will prepare a gala dinner.

Gilmore said he wanted his dish to reflect the multicultural community he grew up in and highlight Australia's "incredible" produce.

"I think each of us, Neil, myself and Ben, are coming at what's representative of Australian food from different angles," he said.

"That's what makes Australian food so exciting, it is lots of different things, it's not one traditional cuisine, it's innovative and evolving."

When Tourism Australia invited the foodies to nominate a state or territory to visit on their trip, half chose Victoria.


Andrea Petrini, academy chairman for the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, will visit the Salamanca Markets in Tasmania before heading to South Australia, where he will have dinner at Midnight Natural wineries, collect fresh Kangaroo Island scallops and eat at top local restaurants.  

In Victoria, Petrini will meet the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Jo Moody and travel to the Otway Hinterland where he will spend time with chef Dan Hunter, of Brae.  

His tour will end in WA, where he will meet celebrity chef Heston Blumental and visit the Margaret River region.  

After the gala dinner, British restaurant reviewer AA Gill plans to eat at the South-American inspired Frank Restaurant and Bar, and Garagistes, both in Hobart.

Gill will also be treated to a seaplane tour and oyster shucking on the Apple Isle.

A Tourism Australia spokesman said international visitors spend around $4.2 billion annually on food and wine experiences.

Through the campaign, which also included a pop-up restaurant at Australia House in London and a launch event for 300 VIPs and journalists in Shanghai, they hope to see this figure rise to around $5 billion by end of June 2015.

"Through their channels and the power of their advocacy, these influential figures have the potential to inspire ... followers to follow in their footsteps and come visit Australia," he said.