Masters of Fare

Chefs, winemakers, providores

Thursday 9 December until Sunday 28 March 2004

Masters of fare: chefs, winemakers, providores celebrates men and women who have championed the unique culinary characteristics and produce of Australia, enriching our lives with new ideas and new flavours over the past forty years.

Margaret Fulton, 1980 (printed 2002) by Lewis Morley
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Margaret Fulton, 1980 (printed 2002) by Lewis Morley

As recently as the 1970s, Australian wines afforded material for the Monty Python team to satirise. Since then, Australia has moved from a primarily beer drinking nation to one in which wine commonly features on the family dinner table; Britain imports more Australian wine than French, and the rest of the world is just as eager to have a drink on us. Much else has changed. Once our cities’ restaurants were so few that word of mouth recommendations were all that were required for a restaurateur to prosper. Now magazine articles and good food guides abound to allow demanding consumers to negotiate the ever-changing world of restaurants across the country.

In a short twenty years we have taken to fish sauce, sourdough, mineral water, octopus, wasabi, balsamic vinegar and rocket, organically grown vegetables and our love affair with meat has come full circle, with brand-name lamb, beef, pork and chicken in demand in restaurants and in boutique butcheries.

At a time when food and wine have become accepted as key and positive defining aspects of Australian society, this exhibition pays tribute to four decades of pioneers, innovators and entrepreneurs of the Australian food and wine industries.