Australian food tempts American palates

Australian restaurateur Luke Mangan opened his first US restaurant, South Food and Wine Bar, on October 1, showcasing Australian cuisine and wine to an international market.

Austrade’s San Francisco-based Consul-General and Trade Commissioner, David Lawson, has commended award winning Australian chef-turned-restaurateur, Luke Mangan and his partners, West Australian Liz O’Connell and New Zealander Anna Weinberg, on their new venture.

“San Francisco, a city of sophisticated food and wine connoisseurs, second only to New York, will be delighted by [Mangan’s] Australian culinary creations and boutique wine list, which represents the backgrounds of the partners, at South Food and Wine Bar,” Lawson said.

South’s menu is a showcase of Australian food referred to as ‘ModOZ’ which marries fresh, bold flavours with southern hemisphere food such as barbecued prawns and mango salsa, lamb chops and mint pesto, Barramundi and Tasmanian trout matched with antipodean wines.

This venture will be a great opportunity to highlight Australian food ingredients in this discerning market and complements much of the work Austrade does in building recognition and awareness of Australian food and wine.

Mangan said the decision to enter the US market was made easier with the help of his partners West Australian Liz O’Connell, a former executive with Australian wine company Southcorp and New Zealander Anna Weinberg, who owned acclaimed New York restaurant Stella.

“It will be the first restaurant in San Francisco to have a rotating list of exclusive wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and one of the only southern hemisphere-dedicated lists in the US,” Mangan said.

“The minute you open a restaurant, from day one; wherever it is, it’s risky.

“But overall, I believe that Australia has something different to offer. We have great wine, food and growing interest in the US and internationally,” Mr Mangan said.

Export opportunities

According to Austrade, Mangan’s decision to enter the US market was clever, as the US is Australia’s second largest food export market.

US restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record US$537 billion (A$620 billion) in 2007 — an increase of 5% in sales from last year.

Many Australian small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are doing well in the US market.

There are over 9000 Australian businesses now exporting to the US in goods alone and the food industry is playing a big role in this growth.

Food exports to the US are worth nearly $2.9 billion, with Australia’s strong brand image for healthy food and good quality wine going down well with American consumers.

Send this to a friend