1980s

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.…

1983 Hot chip vending machine

The now-defunct Precision Fry Foods Pty Ltd claimed to have invented Australia's first hot chip machine. It operated in Robe,…

1983 Seafood dining in Melbourne

In 1983, Jean Jacques Lale-Demoz opened his seafood restaurant in North Melbourne. The fine diner was in the vanguard of a…

1983 Domino’s launches with home delivery

The first Australian Domino’s store opened in Springwood, Queensland. Unlike the rival Pizza Hut, they offered  home-delivered pizza. However, they…

1982 Denny’s restaurants open in Australia

Denny's restaurants were another example of an American chain that tried to expand into Australia, but without success. The Australian…

1982 Australian Association of Food Professionals founded

The Australian Association of Food Professionals Inc (AAFP) is an association of food professionals who have expertise in diverse food-related areas…

1982 Yoplait Yogurt launched

Prior to 1982, yoghurt was consumed mainly by recent immigrants and health fanatics. It was largely sold by health food…

1982 Sydney Morning Herald launches ‘Good Living’

The Good Living supplement first appeared in Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday June 15, 1982. Leo Schofield wrote the cover…

1982 Michael Symons publishes One Continuous Picnic

The first edition of One Continuous Picnic: A History of Australian Eating propounded the idea that Australian cuisine developed from…

1982 Coles trials scanning

Coles began to trial the scanning of barcodes at checkouts. The first supermarket to use scanning in Australia was SIMs…

1981 First Donut King store

The first Donut King outlet opened in March 1981, in the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Bondi, Sydney. It was operated…

1980 Christmas in July in the Blue Mountains

Christmas in July is not a wholly Australian tradition. But in Australia it seems to have its origins in the…

1980 The term ‘foodie’ invented

Although the term foodie, for someone who is keenly interested in all things food, was first used by Gael Greene of…

1980 Chicken Parmigiana on the menu

Whether you call it a parma or a parmi, Chicken Parmigiana is now an Aussie pub staple. It's impossible to…

1980 Kraft goes gourmet

By the 1980s, tastes were changing.  Kraft launched  feta cheese, a satay sauce range and olives, as well as a…

1980 Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book

The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book has become the bible for achievement-oriented mums who want to make that…

1980 Kangaroo meat sales legalised in S.A.

Even when it became legal to sell kangaroo meat in South Australia this local game was slow to find its…

1980 The Age Good Food Guide arrives

The Age already had a popular food section, which prompted the publication of the Guide. It was first edited by…

1980s Low fat a high priority

The first branded, fat-reduced milks arrive, along with low fat salad dressings and cholesterol-free mayonnaise. In 1982, the Australian Nutrition…

1980s Yum cha becomes popular

Literally 'drink tea', yum cha became popular in Australia in the early 1980s, first taking hold in the Chinatown establishments…

1980s New Asian food choices

With the White Australia policy firmly in the past new Asian food choices emerged on the restaurant scene. The arrival…

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