In Melbourne, you can’t turn a corner without discovering some old Italian bistro or Chinese restaurant has turned into an American Rib joint.
Sticky, delicious ribs aren’t the only State-side innovation taking over the menu.
The whole city is suddenly buzzing with American cuisine – and just a few short years ago, that would have seemed like an oxymoron.
The reason is one restaurateurs almost grasp.
“Alabama-born, Dallas-raised Jeremy Sutphin, chef at Le Bon Ton, attributes it to adventure and awareness. ”I’ve been here eight years and the palates are searching for something different – and people are becoming more aware.” “
He’s right about that awareness. Australia’s knowledge of America is now a lot deeper and wider – we’ve now been to America enough that we’ve ventured beyond LA and New York.
And that has happened very recently.
That results from a deliberate decision of the Australian government, to introduce competition into the market.
Here’s Labor Transport Minister Anthony Albanese talking about the “open skies” pact with the US in 2008.
“This agreement will be good for competition and it could … lower airfares.”
We’ll forgive him for not predicting the great barbecue explosion of 2012/13/14.
Of course, post-2009 also coincides with a much higher Aussie dollar. There were three good years there where you could buy a greenback for less than one Aussie dollar. Of course, those days are behind us.
There is one extremely popular destination still terribly under-represented at the fancy end of the food business.
Indonesia’s surge is even bigger than America’s. Looks like queueing up to pay $40 for a plate of nasi goreng cannot be far away.