The Landscape as Protagonist invite-only symposium was developed by Molonglo as part of Melbourne Design Week, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the Nation Gallery of Victoria. Guided by these themes the subsequent meal produced by Long Prawn explored the migration and legacy of food plants, cooked by Audrey Shaw with help from Boris Pornay of All Are Welcome, and Mon Ditbunjong on wine.
Food by its very virtue is migratory, from seeds which travel in the shit of a bird, to the picante spice routes of merchants and their ships. Yet a humble seed, sown with the greatest of intentions can have the gravest of outcomes. Consider a settler's backpack full of foreign plants, many invasive, just like their carriers. Whilst we can all understand wanting to bring our favorite snack abroad, the devastating outcome and erasure of what was already here undeniable. It was the ignorance and hunger of those early settlers which saw their food on indigenous land, not just seeds but sheep and cattle with an appetite of their own. So one hunger brought another, a hunger so ravenous, it ate and trampled a harnessed food source for those who cared for the land for thousands of years.
Through the Landscape as Protagonist (LaP) dinner, Long Prawn harnessed guests' appetite not just for destructive foods; but for foods of history, of lineage, of vast travel and of local knowledge. Spanning across food in an optimistic way, without avoiding the prickles, the LaP dinner studied the value of eating together and provided worth through generous, well thought out food. Sharing uncommon ingredients offered in familiar ways.
Food and beverage partners:
Hunted + Gathered
All Are Welcome
Table linen made by Brittany Rouse of fabric contributions from Kloke, Arnsorf,
Kuwaii and Pageant.
"Throughout the day, catering featured delicious produce that drew attention to the bounty of place. The dinner was an especially effective, taste-based lesson in vegetable migration. Cooked by Audrey Shaw and produced by Long Prawn, the ingredients included Melbourne indigenous saltbush and Warrigul greens, native Australian macadamia, fragrant pepperberry and bush tomato, naturalised rosemary and sorrel, invasive wild fennel and blackberry and farmed potato and tarragon: a full suite of the conditions of Australian vegetation made equally palatable and enjoyable."
Documentation Molonglo Group, U–P
Venue partner Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Compost heap Cecilia Fox
Plants and Animalia performance Liquid Architecture, Makiko Yamamoto
Music arrangement Noise in my head
World of Exteriors t-shirts Olivia O'Donnell