- Published: 09 December 2016
The 21st Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was a huge success with over 120 guests in attendance including delegates from the UK, US, Russia, Canada and Turkey along with local gastronomic luminaries including renowned author/restaurateur Gay Bilson, food historian Barbara Santich, and food journalist Joanna Savill.
To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, international and local speakers explored topics around the theme of ‘Utopian Appetites’, including chef Josh Evans (formerly Nordic Food Lab), Jane Levi (Edible Utopias @ Somerset House) and artist David Szanto of the Eco-Gastronomy Project (Eco-Gastronomy Project at the University of Gastronomic Sciences). Local speakers included sustainable fisherman Mark Eather, Bruce Burton (Milking Yard Farm), Sharon Flynn (The Fermentary) and Natalie Abboud (owner Rumi).
Symposium co-convenor and gastronomy lecturer Kelly Donati indicated the feedback from participants was very positive, many saying that they felt as though they had ‘found their tribe’. She was pleased that William Angliss Institute could play a role in revitalising the Symposium and contribute to sustaining this important tradition within Australia’s gastronomic culture.
“In particular, many participants commented that the Gastronomica Apocalyptica dinner on Saturday and the Fourier banquet on Monday were highlights, demonstrating a creativity and ingenuity that is consistent with the symposium tradition,” Kelly said.
The talented and self-proclaimed food nerd, curator and activist Sophie Lamond created the futuristic Gastronomica Apocalyptica dinner on Saturday night. Participants were invited to imagine the future of food in the face of multiple environmental crises. Guests dined on Spam rillettes served on ration biscuits and a salad of ants, seaweed and jellyfish while sharing a free-wheeling conversation about how to negotiate an uncertain food future in the next century. On Monday night, the creative and utopian thinking of chef Annie Smithers was unleashed at the Angliss Restaurant with a menu inspired by the writings of 19thcentury utopian socialist Charles Fourier.
“The success of the Symposium was made possible by many of our talented staff across the Institute and profiled William Angliss Institute’s strengths as an institution,” Kelly said.
The Symposium was co-hosted by William Angliss Institute and University of Melbourne from 2 to 5 December 2016, in collaboration with Sustain: the Australian Food Network.