Tasty tours highlight multicultural hubs

12 December 2013

Food tours are a great way to try new flavours, uncover hidden food gems and explore different parts of Sydney previously not visited.

One such food tour, called Taste Tours, was established in 2010 and has been operated by the Benevolent Society as a long term community development initiative of their Growing Communities Together (GCT) project.

“GCT works by building local capacity to address social exclusion and cultural disharmony and to strengthen disadvantaged communities,” said Cathy Quinn, Manager of Business and Product Development for Benevolent Society. 

With an average of four Saturday tours a month, Taste Tours showcases different cafes, grocers, restaurants and fresh food stores, and encourages participants to embrace the cultural mesh of different foods, flavours and items.

“Food is a great tool to connect across cultures, generations and differences. The tours build capacity for local businesses to showcase their community as a vibrant and positive place and promote social inclusion.

“95 percent of our participants live outside of the tour area and most come on a tour because they are interested in food or exploring a new culture or suburb,” said Cathy.

Taste Tours currently operate in the six local government areas of Bankstown, Canterbury, Fairfield, Strathfield, Parramatta, and Ryde with 248 small business partners participating in the tours.

“Businesses are chosen based on the cultural theme of the tour and because they have something special or hidden that not everyone might know about.”

Canterbury League Club showed their support by donating $10,000 to help train extra tour guides and expand current Taste Tour routes with two new walking and cross-suburb bus food tours of the Canterbury LGA.

“Social enterprises like this help promote local businesses and the community gets a chance to share their culture and passion for food with someone who may never have been exposed to it before,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.