Edible Biography Banquet

The legendary tale of Australia’s first brewer James Squire - Sydney Australia, January 2016

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Edible Biography Banquet - Darlinghurst Goal Sydney, January 2016

At Sydney’s Cell Block Theatre of Darlinghurst Gaol, the legendary tale of Australia’s first brewer, James Squire, was brought to life as the world’s first ‘Edible Biography’. A seven-course feast drew inspiration from James Squire’s richly varied life story, as guests relived James Squire’s journey from criminal on the First Fleet to Australia’s most celebrated brewer. The story was told through an actor in various guises: the First Fleet boatswain, James Squire’s fellow highwayman and clergyman to lead the funeral.

Expectations were set with invitations that opened with a surprising gunpowder snap. At the gaol, guests partook in a multi-sensory onslaught that incorporated dramatic audio-visual elements; from a great sea-salt storm to get guests seated to all-consuming hop-flavoured nitrogen clouds, and a literal interpretation of James Squires One Fifty Lashes, brought to life with a live Cat o’ Nine Tails lashing. The evening finished on dramatic note by honouring James Squire’s passing and the enormous funeral procession that was held at the time. A coffin was ceremonially brought in and revealed the final course of cheese.

The menu channelled traditional 18th Century fare – incorporating beers form the range – with a contemporary twist. Beers from the James Squire range were matched to each course and served either straight up, or with a twist as a beer cocktail.

Photography by Dominic Loneragan