The first Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was held in Adelaide, convened by Michael Symons, Gay Bilson and Graham Pont. It was attended by Don Dunstan, Barbara Santich and other food luminaries. Sub-titled The Upstart Cuisine, the symposium took an academic approach to the topic, but is generally agreed to have done “nothing but good for Australian food and cooking” (Stephen Downes: Advanced Australian Fare).
The Symposium was inspired by the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, which has been held every year since 1983. The Oxford symposium was inspired by three seminars on science and cookery arranged in 1979 by Alan Davidson, who went on to edit the Oxford Companion to Food, published in 1999. Proceedings of the Australian symposia are available in the National Library of Australia.