2018 Presenters & Abstracts H-M

Raw meat and vegetables for the hāngi

In alphabetical order

Representation of cuisine and food culture in New Zealand print media 1955-2016: A systematic content analysis
Saman Hassibi
University of Canterbury

Food is a subject that has been intensively covered in mass media. Scientific and historic observation suggests that there has been a raise in production and consumption of food-focused communications especially in recent decades. Although social media plays a major role in these revelations, the communications in traditional forms of mass media such as print still remain influential. The messages that are communicated in the mass media of any society tell stories about the society that has produced and consumed them, therefore, studying these messages and their manifest and latent meanings enables us to detect the ebb and flow of ‘norms’, standards, fashions, and trends in that society. Utilising the methods of qualitative content analysis, and focusing on food pages (i.e. recipe pages), food ads, and food-related letters of the readers – accumulating a sample of more than 3500 units of analysis – this study systematically analyses the communicated messages in three major magazines in New Zealand; Cuisine (food magazine), Listener (current affairs), and New Zealand Women’s Weekly (women’s magazine) from 1955 to 2016 and looks for the noticeable trends that can be identified.

Saman Hassibi is a PhD candidate in management at University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Her research focuses on representation of cuisine in the print media of New Zealand. Her recent publication is a translation of the oldest Persian cooking manuscript, TheManual, by Prospect Books.


Keynote address
The mindfulness of place
Vince Heffernan

Vince Heffernan, from Moorlands Biodynamic Lamb, is a sheep meat grazier. His farm is at Dalton, near Yass in NSW, an hour from Canberra, and fronts the Lachlan River.  It is owned and run jointly with Janet Heffernan. On their 1200 hectares they pasture about 2,500 Texel sheep, an old Dutch breed known for the quality of its meat.

Heffernan has a degree in ecological agriculture from the University of Sydney and practises biodynamics — he is a member of Demeter certification. He believes through evidence-based research that the soil is enhanced by using biodynamic preparations. He applies high density short rotations to his pasture with long rest periods all of which is a derivation of Holistic Cell Grazing. He hasn’t drenched with chemicals in 12 years. Instead, he uses rotational grazing to prevent worm larvae hatching and being eaten by the sheep. Heffernan sells his lambs directly. Lambs are killed at the abattoir and packaged for delivery to customers at farmers’ markets particularly in Canberra. He writes a monthly newsletter to his customers so they understand the background to all that happens on the farm. Heffernan was a gold medallist at the 2017 Delicious Produce Awards.

Heffernan is also chair of Upper Lachlan Landcare, a Not for Profit community network of individuals and the Landcare region of NSW. He is keen on encouraging biodiversity and has planted 50-70,000 trees on the property. Glossy Black Cockatoos will only eat Casuarina Verticulata seeds so that is what he plants. The number of birds has increased significantly on his land as have insects and wasps. He is planting aquatic plants to bring back the water birds.


The yam daisy:
Recovering its place

Hilary Heslop

For well over 50,000 years the Aboriginal people of Australia had understood the vagrancies of the thin soil atop their country. They would plant the ground with orchids, mosses and lilies to keep the fragile soil intact and to hold in precious water on a dry continent.

In the south-eastern parts of Australia, the Aboriginal people planted the yam daisy amongst these moisture retaining plants and together they happily co-existed. The soil would sweeten and improve the tilth of the soil whilst the yam daisy became an important food source. The Aboriginal people would harvest the nutty and starchy tuber, which is eight times as nutritious as the potato, and it became an important staple for the First Australians. But the arrival of the colonists would bring sheep and cattle who would not only eat the yam daisy but also destroy the yam daisy’s environment by trampling the mosses and lilies who had happily co-existed with the yam daisy for centuries. The thin soil would harden, and the rains would run off the compacted surfaces and the rivers would flood higher than the Aboriginals had ever seen. The yam daisy would virtually disappear from the land as Australia was overtaken by sheep and cattle.

By 1888, erosion was recognised as one of Australia’s first environmental issues. Today, Australia is expected to be one of the worst affected regions of the world in relation to climate change upon future agricultural production. But could the past hold the answer to the future? New initiatives have started to support the recovery of Australia’s traditional food plants. One of the first plants to be used as a crop is the yam daisy. In doing so, could it also point the way to a biodiversity that could save a continent?

Hilary Heslop has worked for major retailers, food manufacturers, hotels and restaurants in Australia, the United Kingdom, Asia and New Zealand. She now runs a food consultancy in Melbourne and as just completed the Le Cordon Bleu Masters of Gastronomic Tourism. Her work experience coupled with a keen interest in global agricultural practices has directed her attention on the tensions between food ethics, sustainability and consumerism.


Guiding culinary students to find their place
Chloe Humphreys & David Gillespie
Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand

Since 2011, the Food Design Institute (FDI) at Otago Polytechnic has been one of the only Bachelor of Culinary Arts (BCA) programmes to use design as pedagogy. In an institutionalised culinary education system driven primarily by Escoffier’s hierarchical structures and the classical French approach, using an alternative pedagogy has presented numerous challenges.  Unlike the traditional master-apprentice methodology, the design model is driven largely by consumer experience rather than technique and provides students with a much greater degree of agency in their educational experience.

Because of the dominant understandings of culinary education, students come with a multiplicity of expectations and often find it challenging entering an enquiry-based framework in which they are not simply taught ‘how to cook’. This presentation will investigate some of these student expectations and explore the pedagogical approaches that the BCA uses to provide students with agency and ensure optimal student engagement and satisfaction within the first year of the course.  It will document the journey of several student personas through their first year on the BCA, focusing on expectations, attitudes, challenges and the successful strategies used to negotiate these.  It will explore the practicalities of course design, the contextualisation of cookery techniques, the application of the design model (including industry examples), the exploration of contemporary culinary practice and the importance of time and place in culinary arts.

Chloe Humphreys is a lecturer on the Bachelor of Culinary Arts programme at the Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic.  With a background in Art History, Design, and Secondary Teaching, it was a personal health journey that propelled her passion for cooking, culminating in the perfect marriage of food and design. Since then she has worked as a private chef, café consultant and food educator, with her current role as lecturer enabling her to use design pedagogy across a multiplicity of food contexts.

David Gillespie is a lecturer in the Food Design Institute at Otago Polytechnic currently one of the principle tutors for the Bachelor of Culinary Arts (BCA) programme. The primary educational focus, involves culinary design and advocating project based learning. The scope of culinary teaching in this environment encapsulates a wider perspective compared what is seen in traditional approaches to cookery education within New Zealand. David and the Bachelor of Culinary Arts team were recipients of an AKO Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence award in 2015.


Sydney’s markets:
Their critical role in the transition to ‘place’

Heather Hunwick

The elaborate dinner hosted by Governor Phillip to celebrate the birthday of King George III on June 4, 1788 was, from a modern perspective, extraordinary. It could not possibly have been more British; as the Surgeon George Worgan wrote to his brother:

about 2 O’Clock We sat down to a very good Entertainment, considering how far we are from Leaden-Hall Market itconsisted of Mutton, Pork, Ducks, Fowls, Fish, Kanguroo, Sallads Pies & preserved Fruits. The Potables consisted of Port, Lisbon, Madeira, Tenerife and good old English Porter.

The colony of Sydney had been founded a mere four months previously.  Sitting on the edge of an unknown, alien continent the diners were resorting to familiar British Navy traditions to assuage their nostalgia. The particular reference to London’s Leadenhall Market emphasises this. Dating from the 14th Century Leadenhall epitomised the role of markets as regulators of fair trade and cultural focal points in Georgian England. It would have been familiar to those attending the dinner.

London, from whence most came, was very much a city of markets, and establishing markets that fulfilled a similar role in early Sydney was clearly a top priority for the colonists. This paper will discuss Sydney’s markets from their beginnings to the present: their vital role in ordering human interactions: trading; socialising; and employing people in particular women; their role in transforming the sense of ‘out of place’ so strongly felt by the first settlers, into ‘place’—the city of Sydney. The story brings to the light some quite extraordinary characters and events hidden in the files of the City Archives: rogues, crooked dealings, pollution and petitions; women like Mary Ann Martin who with five children to support took over a stall after the death of her husband in 1864. She actively petitioned to remove “the disorderly characters of Sydney standing about the approaches to the market.” While regulations and locations have changed, from Market Street to Flemington, markets’ vital role in furnishing an ordered environment for the distribution of foods continue.

Heather Hunwick has had a long professional career in Sydney in food service and nutrition consulting in health and education in both the public and private sectors. Her interests in food in all its dimensions have included teaching, researching and writing. More recently she has focused on foods and their historical impact on urban settings. Previous publications include Nutrition in Food Service, and Doughnut: A Global History. Her most recent book is The Food and Drink of Sydney: A History It is another in the series of big-city food biographies published by USA-based Rowman & Littlefield.


The food of fantasy:
Greek cafés and milk bars

Leonard Janiszewski
Macquarie University

During the twentieth century Greek-run cafés, milk bars, soda and sundae parlours and oyster saloons became iconic food-catering enterprises where many Australians, in both rural and urban settlings, met often, ate regularly, and at times, partied hard. To their customers, Greek cafés and milk bars would have seemed to be an essential part, and very much pleasurably so, of their daily lives – a place where life seemed better, richer and fuller. In terms of food products, commercial packaging ideas, marketing concepts, technology, architecture, and their association with cinema and popular music, these Greek-run enterprises were essentially selling a dream – an American dream. Sodas, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, milk chocolates and later hamburgers, were offered as all-important food elements within the aspirational fantasy of being able to enjoy American popular culture. Our paper will focus upon this conscious melding of food and fantasy.

Documentary photographer, Effy Alexakis, and historian, Leonard Janiszewski, have been researching the Greek-Australian historical and contemporary presence in both Australia and Greece since 1982.

Their project and archives, In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians, encompasses visual, oral and literary material and is based at Macquarie University, Sydney. Their archive is recognised as one of the most significant collections in the country on Greek-Australians. Various national and international touring exhibitions, three major books, well over 250 book chapters, articles, conference papers, and three film documentaries have been produced. Of their exhibitions, the most pronounced have been ‘In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians’ and ‘Selling and American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café’. The former was created in partnership with the State Library of NSW and toured throughout Australia as well as Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece; in Athens it was part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Cultural Festival, ‘Reaching the World’ and in Thessaloniki it was invited as the Australian component of the City’s ‘Cultural Capital of Europe 1997’ program. The latter opened at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 2008, and is still touring. Alexakis’ photographs are held in both public and private collections in Australia – most significantly in the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, and the State Library of NSW, Sydney. She currently works as a freelance photographer after completing 25 years service as Senior Photographer with Macquarie University. Alexakis has been ranked in the top ten portrait photographers in Australia. In 2001 Janiszewski was awarded the New South Wales History Fellowship to research a history of the ‘Greek café’. Both Alexakis and Janiszewski have been awarded numerous state, national and international grants for their research and exhibitions. Both are Research Fellows with the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. Janiszewski is also Curator with the Macquarie University Art Gallery. Alexakis and Janiszewski have served on numerous state and regional history and arts committees for grant selection and policy development and implementation.


Sydney restaurants before The Great War:
Transnational phenomena, local response

Agyris (Ross) Karavis
University of Melbourne

The history of restaurants in Australia is commonly understood to commence at the beginning of the twentieth century. Only limited references exist in Australian historical writing about restaurants and other forms of public dining prior to the First World War. However, an analysis of the Melbourne and Sydney Sands Directories from their first publication in the late 1850s up to the First World War reveals public eateries identifying themselves as restaurants was increasingly common, particularly from the 1880s on.

This paper discusses the growth and spread of restaurants in Sydney between 1850 and 1914, drawing from archival sources, including the Sydney Sands Directories, probate and bankruptcy records, newspaper articles, advertising and ephemera. These restaurants reflect new, modern, and alternative ways of dining which disrupt, displace and replace older and more established forms of eating out. Their emergence constitutes a local response to the transnational circulation of ideas on the new forms of food production and food service that restaurants can encompass.

Ross Karavis is a Doctoral candidate at the University of Melbourne researching the impact of French gastronomic taste on Australian food culture between 1850 and1914. He has previously undertaken research on the 1901 Federation Dinners and on the emergence of yum cha in Australia as a result of the migration that arose from the Handover of Hong Kong in the 1990s. He is interested in the intersections between food history, transnationalism and the emergence of modern culinary culture. In his professional life he has run food and beverage competitions and established the annual food and wine festival for the Greek community in Melbourne.


Primary Places:
Creative food education. Engaging primary schools

Bev Laing

Amidst the minefield that is curriculum aims, health outcomes, anti-obesity early intervention – is there still room to explore taste, culture, history and place in schools today? Bev Laing & Alice Zaslavsky – former teacher and food editor respectively – and a team of renegade food and education professionals have been working hard to blend curriculum, behavioural science, food facts, and a large dose of humour. The outcome: Phenomenom, a live-action + animation show, with accompanying resources designed to fit in to any subject, made with and for kids about fresh food. Set in ‘a classroom of the near future’, Alice, and her class of inquisitive tweens, explore the universe to satisfy their curiosity about food, culture, people and places. Bev will discuss finding meaningful space for food education beyond ‘traffic lights’ and canteen policies.

Phenomenom aims to shift the conversation about food from worthy and well-meaning to curious and creative. We pose the question: how do we best teach our young people to explore food for themselves? How do we set them free to make strange smells and ask awkward questions, can we spark their curiosity in the rich culture of food in Australia, turn pester power positive, and help food education once again find its place in the classroom.

Bev Laing has written or contributed to over 20 books of education resources used in Australian schools today. She was Education Specialist for several years at the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, education writer on the Indigenous children’s animation, Little J and Big Cuz (2017), and works for Environment Education Victoria as Programs Manager. Bev is a Canadian, with a Masters with distinction from the University of Oxford, a permaculture design certificate, a small farm and an alarmingly large collection of cookbooks.


Being deliberately out of place:
Using narrative transportation in food product design
Tim Lynch & Tony Heptinstall
Food Design Institute at Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand

This presentation outlines the use of “narrative transportation” (Green & Brock, 2002) by Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design Institute (FDI) in a collaborative project with Sanitarium and marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather (Auckland, New Zealand). The team created a multi-sensory story for an edible oasis in the Auckland CBD for Sanitarium’s range of So Good alternative milks. The activation included the development of vegan chocolate fruit and vegetables that were displayed in an edible garden (see the following for an outline of the activation: https://idealog.co.nz/design/2018/02/saving-planet-through-innovative-culinary-design).

Narrative transportation is the experience of becoming absorbed in a story or performance to the extent that you are transported into an imaginary narrative world (Green & Brock, 2000). This presentation examines the role of narrative transportation in food product design, how this aligns with FDI’s teaching philosophy and its application in the commercial world. 

Timothy Lynch is a lecturer at the Food Design Institute at Otago Polytechnic. His background is as a chef with over two decades professional cooking experience within New Zealand and throughout Europe before shifting to the academic realm. Tim is currently involved in creating holistic and integrated educational and enterprise models for students, which involves the exploration of value creation through storytelling, provenance and sustainability.

Tony Heptinstall is a Senior Lecturer in the Food Design Institute of Otago Polytechnic.  Tony leads classes on the Bachelor of Culinary Arts programme and Certificate in Cookery programmes, as well as running numerous general interest classes on plant based cooking, fermentation and health eating trends. Since joining Otago Polytechnic in 1997, Tony has developed and implemented several new innovative programmes, including the Bachelor of Culinary Arts, which is the only culinary degree with a design focus; Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) programme at Bachelor level.Tony, along with four other Food Design Institute staff members, was awarded a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence award by Ako Aotearoa in 2014.  The award recognised “the highly innovative learner-centered undergraduate programme framed by reflective practice, experiential learning, design-led thinking and authentic work projects.” (Ako Aotearoa 2014).

In 2018 Tony along with fellow lecturer, Tim Lynch, won a gold medal at the NZ Design Institute Awards for their work with Geometry and Sanitarium on the Edible Garden marketing campaign for Sanitariums So Good alternative milk range.

Tony has loved living in Dunedin for over 20 years with his wife, Caroline.  Alongside his work at Polytechnic, he also volunteers at the Otago Hospice and with the Kakapo recovery programme on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island).


Opportunity out of crisis:
The agro­ecology movement in Cuba

Dr Alana Mann
University of Sydney

The Cuban food system is decidedly ‘out of place’ in the global food regime. A 53-year US trade embargo persists, denying Cuban people medicine, food and farming equipment. In this environment a strong agro­ecology movement has emerged. Without access to farming technology and commercial pesticides and fertilisers, Cuban farmers provide a model for organic growers around the world.

This paper, accompanied by a photo diary, presents a broad overview of the evolution of the ecological movement in Cuba, with particular attention to the expansion of the campesino a campesino (farmer to farmer) training methodology to participants urban agricultural projects in Havana. The author examines the challenges and opportunities of geo­political isolation from the US and, in effect, the corporate food regime. She concludes by evaluating the potential for the agro­ ecology movement to continue to thrive should the embargo be lifted.

Alana Mann is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, and a key researcher in the University’s Sydney Environment Institute. Her research focuses on the communicative dimensions of citizen engagement, participation and collective action in food systems planning and governance.

She is a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council funded project FoodLab Sydney with partners including the City of Sydney and FoodLab Detroit, and is collaborating with Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney on the project Growing Food and Density Together: Enabling Sustainable Place-making through Local Foodscapes in the Inner City, funded by Urban Growth NSW.


An Uncomfortable Place 
Dr Richard Mitchell & Adrian Woodhouse
Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
30-minute performance

This performance explores how experienced culinary professionals unpack (and sometimes reconstruct) their professional identities while studying in the Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) program of Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Culinary Arts (BCA). The performance follows two fictitious culinary professionals through their journey from nervous adult learners who feel completely out of place in the classroom to professionals who have (re)defined their place in the world as they emerge as graduates. The script is based on the collective experiences of many of the 70 or so learners that have completed the APL program since 2011. It highlights the transformative nature of the autobiographical self-examination they undertake and explores how examining their pasts can reveal new opportunities for the future.

Dr Richard Mitchell is Professor in Food Design at the Food Design Institute at Otago Polytechnic and is widely published in the confluence of people, place and culture. His work can be best described as polymathic as he has explored consumer behaviour, experiential consumption, business networks, regional development, learning through play, food design and more recently food as performance. He has more than 160 research outputs spanning almost two decades and most recently his work has included a series of food experiences/performances that critically question a range of food issues.

Adrian Woodhouse is the academic leader of the Bachelor ofCulinary Arts programme at the Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic, NewZealand. As a chef and academic, Adrian’s research is positioned within critical pedagogy with a primary focus on culinary education, power and identity formation. In particular, Adrian’s research focuses of both the power relationships that exist within the explicit structural and implicit hidden culinary curriculums. Adrian is currently a doctorate candidate and is extending research into culinary and academic storytelling through the methodology of autoethnography.


Rural women’s choices in transitioning food landscapes of Southern Mexico
Dr Constanza Monterrubio Solís
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

The diversity of grains used, cultivation methods, processing techniques, and preparation preferences are elements of local food systems that have the potential to tell powerful stories about cultural memory in the context of regional and global processes. The consideration of the social and geographical food space can provide new insights about the dynamism and adaptability of local food systems, where rural women are important decision makers.

This paper elaborates on the transitions of two food landscapes in Chiapas, Mexico, and how local women are shaping and adapting their practices in a constant dialogue with regional dynamics. The factors determining their choices to feed their families go beyond volumes and flavours. Despite the homogenisation of diets, how food is cultivated, the strength it provides. and how it is prepared are related to cultural memory as a powerful motivation determining household food consumption. This perspective adds new layers to the understanding of how to support local food systems around the world, beyond oversimplified nutritional standards.

Constanza Monterrubio Solís, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, with previous experience in community-managed forests in Southern Mexico. This work was developed through a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centro de Estudios Interdisiplinarios de Chiapas y la Frontera Sur, UNAM. Her current work focuses on the resilience of native seeds cultivation and related practices in the region of La Araucania, Chile.


Curry in Australian history:
In and out of place

Frieda Moran
University of Tasmania

This paper will examine the changing, complex, and varying understandings of curry in Australian history. It asks: What role has curry played in Australian culinary culture? Has it been understood as ‘out of place’ or belonging? What can this tell us about Australian culture more broadly?

Curry arrived early in the 19th century Australian colonies, with relatively little fanfare. For much of the time, the foodstuff was known, accepted, and widely eaten; at others, it was an exotic novelty. Most often, it was conceptualised as simultaneously ordinary and foreign. Curry was familiar enough to make indigenous meats acceptable, to be commercially blended in Tasmania during the 1860s, to win gold medals at Intercolonial exhibitions, and even to be proposed as a national dish. Yet it was also othered, and never seamlessly incorporated into Australian culinary culture. My paper argues that through the 19th century and into the 20th century, conceptions of curry reflected the negotiation of Australian identity.

Curry provides a stimulating lens to examine the theme of ‘Out of Place’. The story of curry in Australian history is one of empire, networks of trade and migration, identity, race and class; it demonstrates the inextricable entanglement of the everyday with these important historical themes.

Frieda Moran is a History PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania. Her thesis will examine the cultural history of food safety in Australia. She recently completed her honours thesis: ‘Ordinary and Exotic: A Cultural History of Curry in Australia’, from which her proposed paper for the 2018 Australian Symposium of Gastronomy is derived.