Sunday, 28 September 2014

Pineapples Are Art

The Pineapple Princesses were recently the lucky winners of a Radio National, Bush Telegraph, favourite pineapple recipe competition.  The competition was coordinated by The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art on Brisbane’s South Bank where they were holding an exhibition Harvest: Art, Film + Food “a celebration of food in art” with works from their collection and commissioned pieces.

 “The exhibition examines the ways land cultivation, food, food products and systems of distribution have throughout history, been central to the formation of world views and artistic expression.”
Zinnias and fruit 1932 by Hans Heysen

Still life: Coconut and other things 2009
by Shirana Shahbazi and Sirous Shaghaghi
The highlight for us was, of course, LA based art collective (Fallen Fruit) David Burns and Austin Young’s wall paper designs and glass cabinet display of pinapalia. The cabinet is the result of a callout they made to members of the community to contribute pineapple memorablilia. Their thought provoking ideas on "public fruit" and collaboration are excellent reading in the Harvest catalogue.
There were some real treasures! Perhaps you’re lucky enough to own some of these gems yourselves!
Public Fruit Wallpaper, Honolulu 2012 by Fallen Fruit


Our lunch at the GOMA Restaurant created by their Executive Chef, Josue Lopez, was a feast of discovery. We enjoyed:

Moreton Bay Bug poached in GOMA churned butter, saffron broth, seaweed, broccoli. A delicious light entrée, the crunch of baby fennel and sliced broccoli stalk complementing the soft bug flesh.  Saffron broth was poured over the composed ingredients at the table by the attentive and well informed wait staff.

Living Risotto of sprouted beans and legumes, broad bean, garden flowers, verjuice. This was the least successful dish of the lunch.  Rather than a risotto (there was no rice) it was more of a green porridge.  The chick peas and some of the beans were quite crunchy and the dish was heavily salted.  However, as part of the seven dish degustation, in a very small portion, it could work much better.  On top is not white cheese but freeze dried macadamia oil. The garden flowers were a counterbalance to the colour of the risotto.

Roasted Holmbrae chicken, textures of corn, sorrel, winter leaves. A satisfying main course with a tasty combination of flavours. The corn puree successfully under laid the succulent chicken, crisp kale and nasturtium leaves.

Wattle custard, Daintree chocolate paint, Daintree vanilla curd. What an exquisite flavour! The airbrushed chocolate was pretty spectacular. The dessert seemed to be very well thought out, from concept to execution.  Simple and complex at the same time.

Old fashioned whiskey cocktail . Nant single malt sorbet, blood orange and bitters, crisp honey. A fresh tasting dessert of citrus, whiskey and honey.  There is a Nant distillery in Brisbane city as well as Bothwell in Tasmania.  Lots of texture contrast – soft cherry puree balls, granular sorbet, honey leather, freeze dried cherry pieces, whiskey snow.

The Harvest catalogue is a beautiful production with commentary about the exhibition, the food related films that were shown and recipes using some very exotic ingredients from ten selected chefs.

Many thanks to Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Hilton Brisbane, Virgin Airlines and Radio National! Anne and Ann.


  1. Congratulations! And what a wonderful meal! I think my two favourite things in that cabinet were the grouping of ceramic jugs, big and small (with the sugar bowls, etc.),, and that amazing wooden tiered stand. I also loved the wallpaper. Congratulations on winning - now I hope you're going to tell us the winning recipe? (And I had no idea there was a whiskey distillery in Brisbane - must look that up next time I visit.)

  2. We didn't win for one recipe alone as we submitted the whole blog! Ann says her favourites are the Devilled Kidneys and the Scandinavian Ice Box Cake, mine is the spit raosted pineapple. I'm sorry we didn't meet up with you in Brisbane, the whiskey distillery would have been a great venue! Cheers.

  3. You must've felt like a kid in a candy store Anne!
    Vicki had told me about this exhibition and of course I thought of you immediately :) I wondered whether you were win such an awesome (and well deserved) prize - what a wonderful way to see it!
    What a gorgeous array of pineapplealia (you were in heaven, weren't you?!) and how lovely to see Ruby pop up in your last photo. She had to make an appearance, didn't she?! ;)

  4. Thanks Kylie, we really did have a great weekend, sooo lucky!