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2008 Urbanspoon launches in Australia

2008 Subway abandons Anzac Biscuits

2008 Australia shopping with plastic

2007 25th anniversary of “Good Living”

2007 Locavore is word of the year

2007 Australia’s first truffle festival

Although Australia’s first farmed black truffle was harvested in 1999 in Tasmania, Australia's first truffle festival took place in an…

2007 Kevin Rudd plugs Iced VoVo

2006 Food books are big sellers

2005 Cupcake craze hits Australia

Thanks to the popularity of the American TV series Sex and the City, these highly decorated little cakes, the signature…

2005 Adelaide Food Summit

2005 Seafood sustainability becomes an issue

2005 Farmers’ markets turn over $40 million

At the second National Australian Farmers' Markets Conference in Albury Wodonga the first substantive Australian research into farmers' markets was…

2005 Lamb for Australia Day

2004 Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me

2003 Mo Vida rides Spanish wave

2003 GM canola approved

2003 Aussie is world’s best barista

2003 Four ‘n Twenty Australian again

2003 Fuel dockets in supermarkets

2002 Food Standards Code introduced

2002 El Bulli named world’s best

The el Bulli restaurant in Roses, Catalonia, under chef Ferran Adrià, was named best restaurant in the world by Restaurant…

2002 Paleo Diet developed

Based on the (false) premise that humans haven't evolved fast enough to cope with foods introduced since the end of…

2002 Coles Bay bans plastic shopping bags

Coles Bay has a permanent population of around 200, and is located on the edge of the Freycinet National Park…

2002 delicious. magazine launched

2002 The GI Diet popularised

The concept of the glycemic index was developed by Canadian Dr David Jenkins in 1980-81.  His research showed that some starchy…

2002 Gastronomy degree introduced

2001 Donna Hay magazine launched

2001 Drive-through coffee

2001 Australian Barista Championship begins

2001 Aldi arrives in Australia

The German chain Aldi opened its first Australian store in Sydney in 2001 and by 2004 had 54 stores across the…

2001 Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation

2001 – 2008 Millennium drought

2000 Obesity on the rise

2000 Juice bars hit Australia

2000 Gene Technology Act

2000 GST introduced

2000 McDonald’s the Olympic restaurant

2000 Spending on takeaway rises

2000 Starbucks launched in Australia.

1999 into 2000 The Millennium Bug

1999 Energy drinks arrive in Australia

1999 Dick Smith Foods, the Aussie way

1999 McDonald’s launches McOz

The truly Australian touch in this burger was the addition of beetroot. The McOz consisted of a burger patty with…

1999 Aussies love soft drink

1998-9 Egg consumption declines

1998 Nigella Lawson publishes How to Eat

If Jamie Oliver was all about energy, Nigella Lawson was all about sensuality. Her first book, How to Eat, had…

1998 Great Vanilla Slice Triumph

The Great Vanilla Slice Triumph began in Ouyen in 1998 after then-Victorian premier Geoff Kennett claimed the vanilla slice from…

1998 Broccolini introduced in USA

1998 Jane Adams studies Farmers’ Markets

1998 SMH Good Food Month launched

The Sydney Morning Herald sponsored Sydney's Good Food Month in October as an adjunct to their Good Food Guide. The…

1997 Tasting Australia begins in Adelaide

Aimed primarily at bringing international food and travel media to Australia, Tasting Australia was initially held in conjunction with the Food…

1997 The Jamie phenomenon

1997 Women cooking most

1997 Arnott’s ownership passed to Campbell’s

1996 Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion

1996 Modern Australian food defined

1996 World’s first wine in a can

1996 Community gardens get organised

1996 Sunday trading throughout Victoria

1996 Gloria Jean’s arrives

1996 Woolworths moves into petrol

1995 Fags become Fads

Fags were candy cigarettes, produced since the 1930s, initially by Riviera Confectionery and later by Fyna Foods. They were white,…

1995-96 Take-away sushi

Sushi had appeared in Sydney restaurants as early as 1963 and by 1982 the Australian Women's Weekly was telling people…

1995 Sydney’s first organic food market

1995 E.coli outbreak highlights food safety

1995 Slow Food Australia founded

Slow Food Australia operates through a series of convivia, each mandated directly from the Italian headquarters in Bra, Italy. The first…

1995 Arrival of pay TV

1994 ACT bans smoking in restaurants

1994: Liquor laws relaxed further in Victoria

1994 First laneway bar in Melbourne

The first laneway bar in Melbourne was set up by a group of architects who wanted a quiet drinking spot…

1994 Fly Buys program introduced

Fly Buys was originally a joint venture between Coles Myer, Shell and the National Australia Bank, offering flights in return…

1994 Government regulates Anzac biscuits

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs must authorise the use of the term Anzac. In 1994 a general policy relating to…

1994 First genetically engineered food

The FlavrSavr tomato became the first genetically engineered food to be commercially grown and licensed for human consumption by the…

1994 Peter Doyle opens Cicada in Sydney

Chef Peter Doyle, realising that the old-style formality was out-of-step with the times, transformed Sydney institution Le Trianon into Cicada.…

1993 Truffle farming starts in Tasmania

Two Tasmanians started Perigord Truffles of Tasmania, the first truffle farming operation in Australia. They inoculated the roots of oak…

1993 Jill Dupleix’s New Food

According to its author, Jill Dupleix, New Food was based on new information and ideas we can all live by,…

1993 Melbourne has world’s first McCafé

In an acknowledgement of Melbourne’s status as the coffee capital of Australia, McDonalds opened the first McCafé in the world…

1993 First Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival was devised and, initially, financed by leading Melbourne ad-man Peter Clemenger as a way…

1993 Fanny’s Restaurant closes

In the early 1990s, Australia paid a high price for the excesses of the 1980s with what Paul Keating famously…

1993 Gay Bilson’s tripe tablecloth

The kitchen staff from Berowra Waters Inn restaurant, under the leadership of Gay Bilson, made a tablecloth of raw tripe…

1992 Margarine outsells butter three to one

An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report in 1994 quoted industry sources that put 1992 market shares of butter…

1992 Greengrocers still sell most vegies

By this time Australia had 5541 supermarkets and 402 convenience stores. However, according to an Australian Supermarket Institute survey in…

1991 Middle Eastern food at O’Connell’s

Greg Malouf started cooking upmarket Middle Eastern food at O’Connell’s Hotel in South Melbourne, redefining the possibilities of this cuisine.…

1991 Easter Bilby campaign introduced

The Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia (RFA) developed and registered the Easter Bilby campaign in December 1991. The aim was to raise…

1991 Organic certification introduced

At the request of the organic industry, the Australian government sought to establish a national organic standard for production and…

1991 First Orange F.O.O.D. Week

The Orange F.O.O.D. Week was initially held in April 1991 with a small number of visionary Orange producers and chefs, and…

1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken becomes KFC

With health-consciousness increasing, Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to eliminate the ‘F’ word. It became KFC. No longer ‘Finger-lickin’ good’,…

1991 Pacific Dunlop acquires Petersville

The Petersville brands acquired by Pacific Dunlop  included Edgell-Birds Eye, Peters Ice Cream, Herbert Adams Bakeries, Socomin and Four ‘n’Twenty.…

1991 National Foods created

The new food giant, National Foods, was created by the Adelaide Steamship Company by amalgamating several dairy and food-related businesses with…

1991 The National Food Authority founded

The new National Food Authority promoted cooperation between governments, industry and the community to provide a safe and wholesome food supply.…

1991 Darley Street Thai opens

David Thompson opened Darley Street Thai in Sydney’s Newtown in 1991, taking Thai food in Australia to a new level.…

1990 The Hard Rock Café

Cheap and cheerful was the order of the day as the recession bit. Part of the international chain, The Hard Rock…

1990 Paul Keating’s “recession we had to have”

In 1990, Treasurer Paul Keating admitted that Australia was in recession. "The first thing to say is, the accounts do…

1990 Franklins adopts scanners

Franklins was  the first of the big grocery chains to use  barcode scanners at all checkouts.

1990 Milk, calcium and osteoporosis

The Australian Dairy Corporation (now Dairy Australia) began its osteoporosis campaign, talking about calcium intake. Although milk had always been…

1990 Tiny Teddy biscuits launched

Arnott’s Tiny Teddy biscuits hit the market, becoming the most successful product launch in the company’s history. More than five…

1990s Food allergies in the news

Studies showed that peanut allergy in children increased from 0.5 to 1.5% between 1989 and 1994-6 in the UK and…

1990 Heyday of the Caesar salad

Although generally held to be invented in 1924 by the eponymous Caesar Cardini at his hotel and restaurant in Tijuana,…

1990s More pre-packaged meals

In the 1990s, individually packaged, ready-made meals and snacks appeared in increasing numbers in the supermarket. Microwave pasteurisation techniques extended…

1990s Fusion cooking

Fusion cooking started before the 1990s (at Tetsuya’s, for example) but in this decade became more widespread. Chefs combined eastern…

1989 Slow Food International is founded

The predecessor of Slow Food, Arcigola, began in Bra, Italy, the hometown of founder Carlo Petrini, who was horrified at…

1989 Sausage sizzle electoral row

We love our "democracy sausage". But in 1989, the Labor Premier of Western Australia, Peter Dowding, was in trouble for…

1989 The Taste Festival first held in Hobart

The Taste Festival, now known as the Taste of Tasmania, is held on the Hobart Waterfront. It begins after Christmas…

1989 Caffè e Cucina opens in Chapel Street

The new licensing laws allowed cafés in Victoria to serve a glass of wine, a coffee or a complete meal.…

1989 food trends. French fries hot, crocodile steaks cold.

According to Mode Australia, a now defunct magazine published by Australian Consolidated Press, French fries, fresh crab cakes and mesculun…

1989 Melbourne’s first small bar opens

The Dogs' Bar  was opened in St Kilda by Donlevy Fitzpatrick, who campaigned for years for more civilised drinking laws.…

1989 Sous vide cooking in Australia

The sous vide (literally, under vacuum) technique involves cooking food vacuum-sealed in plastic in a water bath at a precisely…

1989 Heart Foundation Tick launched

The Heart Foundation’s Pick the Tick food approval program was designed to help Australian shoppers make healthier food choices. Companies…

1989 Tetsuya’s opens in Rozelle.

One of the few Australian restaurants ever to make it into the top ten of Restaurant magazine’s Best Restaurants in…

1988 Sun-dried tomatoes all the rage

Terry Durack’s essentials for a civilised weekend out of reach of a gourmet food store were: olive oil and balsamic…

1988 The term molecular gastronomy coined

Oxford  Professor of Physics,  Nicholas Kurti, and French physical chemist and magazine editor, Hervé This, coined the term molecular gastronomy to…

1988 The Bush Tucker Man TV series

In the TV series, The Bush Tucker Man, first screened in 1988, Army major Les Hiddins cruised around northern Australia…

1988 First Australian Subway opens in Perth

Founded by Fred de Luca in Connecticut in 1965, the  Subway chain of sandwich shops was soon an expanding franchise operation. The…

1987 The Liquor Control Act 1987

The Niewenhuysen Review was a licensing system review commissioned by the Victorian government. It was let by an economist and…

1987 The Fresh Food People

In 1987 Woolworths launched its new tag line  - The Fresh Food People. The line was created by advertising agency…

1987 Commercial snail farming in Australia

The first serious attempt at commercial snail farming in Australia began in the mid-1980s and by 1987 Sonya Begg of…

1987 Black Monday, 19 October

The ‘80s ‘greed is good’ philosophy came to an abrupt end when the stock markets crashed on Black Monday, 19…

1987 Saturday afternoon trading in Victoria

In 1987, retail trading hours in Victoria were extended to include Saturday afternoon trading, a move that changed the whole shopping…

1987 Mackay Report on Food in the 1980s

Social researcher Hugh Mackay turned his attention to food. His 1987 Mackay Report, Food and Social Change, available in the…

1986 First James Halliday annual wine guide

Australian wine critic, vigneron and wine judge James Halliday began writing about wine in 1979.  In 1986, he produced his…

1986/87 Peters and Pauls have widest ice cream range

Peters and Pauls were brands of QUF (formerly Queensland United Foods). The range of ice cream products included : Drumstick,…

1986 The Age Cheap Eats Guide launched

Alan Attwood, the Cheap Eats guide's inaugural editor, writes: ‘Ah, 1986. What a year. Bob Hawke was prime minister of…

1987 Mindil Beach Markets begin

The Mindil Beach markets in Darwin were briefly located in the Darwin Mall, but after protests from city traders were…

1986 Mad cow disease identified in Britain

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was first identified as a major problem in 1986 and traced to the practice of feeding…

1986 Margaret Fulton’s Asian cookbook

Margaret Fulton's Asian cookbook the 'Encyclopedia of Asian and Oriental Cookery' encouraged families to pick up the chopsticks and try…

1986 Fringe Benefits Tax introduced

The federal Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) was introduced on 1 July 1986. FBT was payable on restaurant meals, which were…

Mid 80s The term ‘functional foods’ emerges

The term functional foods was first used in Japan to refer to foods with added ingredients that claim to provide…

1985 Woolworths buys Safeway

By  1985, American-owned Safeway chain operated 126 supermarkets across Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Woolworths acquired the chain, which put…

1985 Restaurant meal delivery service

While pizza delivery started in Brisbane as early as 1978, the first service set up for meal delivery from restaurants…

1985 Birth of the Flat White

The first documented appearance of Australia’s most popular coffee order was at Moors Espresso Bar in Sydney's Chinatown in 1985.…

1985 First Australian Sizzler opens

Sizzler was an American idea - the first one was  opened in 1958 in California by Del and Helen Johnson.…

1985 Sydney’s first community garden

Sydney's first community garden, Glovers Community Garden, was created on 600 square metres of north facing, sloping land when the…

1984 Dial-a-Dino’s launched

The Dial-a-Dino's pizza business was launched in Adelaide in 1984 by local entrepreneur Richard Westcombe. It was the first pizza delivery…

1984 Year of the Sticky Date Pudding

Sydney Morning Herald writer, David Dale, nominated Sticky Date Pudding as the signature dish of 1984.  The invention of the…

1984 Retail trading hours extended in NSW

Retail trading hours were extended to allow all stores in New South Wales to trade on Saturday afternoons. This largely benefited…

1984 Debit cards and EFTPOS

In Australia, Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) was first trialled by Woolworths and Westpac bank at BP…

1984 First ’boutique brewers’

The Old Ballarat Brewery in Victoria and the Sail and Anchor Pub Brewery in Western Australia were the first  to…

1984 First Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide

The first Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, edited by Leo Schofield, David Dale and Jenna Price, began with The…

1984 First Symposium of Australian Gastronomy

The first Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was held in Adelaide, convened by Michael Symons, Gay Bilson and Graham Pont. It…

1983 Iain Hewitson opens Fleurie

Described by Iain Hewitson as “the last BYO in Melbourne”, Fleurie, in a Toorak side street, offered superb food, attentive staff…

1983 First tapas in Australia?

Opening towards the end of 1983, Torremolinos restaurant in Sydney claimed to be the only restaurant in Australia serving tapas.…

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