Beer and Beer at Chris Taylor's The Old Brewery in Western AustraliaChris Taylor is the executive chef of the Fraser’s Group of Restaurants in Perth, Australia and perhaps has his finger best on the pulse of Australian food and beverage trends.

“Australian cuisine focuses on fresh local fish and seafood, and organic meat. With our wide open spaces and clean temperate climate, it is ideal for organic farming,” Taylor said.

“There’s been a move toward shared plates – small and large – and we’ve discovered American food, including barbecue and smoked flavors, street food and Latin cuisine,” said Taylor. “Food trucks have become a feature at festivals and outdoor events and there was even a ‘food truck rumble’ at the end of summer, showcasing Perth’s mobile food vendors.”

Shared plates have marked a culture change for Taylor’s restaurants.

“It has made dining at all levels more relaxed and sociable,” he added.

Tourist restaurants have featured native meats for years, said Taylor, citing examples like kangaroo, emu and crocodile.

“Local bush tucker (i.e. native food) has made its way onto innovative restaurant menus in more subtle ways, such as the inclusion of plants and fruits in place of more traditional herbs and spices,” he added.

The chef was recently the highlight aboard a cruise on the Astor out of Fremantle. The voyage visited Western Australia’s wine regions, and Taylor teamed up with local celebrity butcher Vince Gareffa for a series of cooking demos onboard.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2014