New Zealand Food History

the Aristologist

Convenor: Gail Pittaway & Alexy Simmons



Symposium of Gastronomy & Food History

Hamilton Gardens

1st & 2nd of February, 2020.

Gardens & Gastronomy.

Saturday 1st February


8.30 am


9.00 am

Parapara Garden.

Wiremu Puke

9.45 am

Ihumatoa, Gardens of Conflict.

Dave Veart

10.00 am

Dining with the Troops.

Alexy Simmons

10.25 am

Morning Tea

10.45 am

Not a Hollyhock in Sight.

Paul van Reyk

11.10 am

The Sam Garden; Chinese Market Garden.

Lorna Sam, interview by Alexy Simmons

11.30 am

Yee Sang : Prosperity Garden.

Siew Ling Ong

12.00 pm

Lunch - Picnic

1.00 pm

Cooking the Old Meals.

Dave Veart

1.30 pm.

Come into the Garden.

John Webster

2.00 pm

Restaurant in a Paddock.

George Biron

2.30 am

Fairy Bread.

Brigid McLay & Alison McKee

3.00 pm

Afternoon Tea

3.15 pm

'Tis an Unweeded Garden.'

Max Dingle

3.40 pm

Celebrate the Rose.

Jan Bennett

4.00 pm  

Remove to the Museum

4.30 pm

Recreating / Recatering? Katherine Mansfield's 'The Garden Party'. Public Lecture at the Waikato Museum.

Helen Leach

7.00 pm

Symposium Dinner -

Chim Choo Ree Restaurant.

Old Brewery Building, 14 Anzac Parade,


Sunday 2nd February


8.30 am

Kiwi Chestnuts.

Maria Teresa Corino

9.00 am

Garden Tour (Assemble at the Information Centre.)

10.30 am

Morning Tea

10.45 am

From Phenomenal Plant to Culinary Anachronism.

Alison Vincent

11.10 am

Fruits of Distant Gardens.

Maria Teresa Corino

11.20 am

Mother in Law's Tarama.

George Biron

12.00 pm


1.00 pm

Kumara or Potato?

Gail Pittaway

1.20 pm

Spuds Big Data; Why Grow?

Kate Jordan

1.50 pm

Beyond the Garden Party.

Nicola Saker

2.00 pm

Margaret Fulton, Gardens and Culinary Activism.

Donna Brien

2.20 pm

No Knives /Culinary Gadgets.

Mary Browne, Danny Tanaka, John Webster, Maria Teresa Corino, Dave Veart, Jan Bennett, Gail Pittaway, Alexy Simmons

3.00 pm

Afternoon Tea

3.15 pm

Pumpkins, Balloons and Boiled Missionaries.

Duncan Galletly

The Next Symposium

4.00 pm


Gardens not only feed us, but are romanticized as places for sharing meals and cultivating ideas. New Zealand food production history, cuisine and dining practices are intertwined with migration. Kumara, taro, and yam arrived with Māori settlers, New Zealand's first people. The delights of European agriculture—peaches, apples, melons, potatoes, corn and other foods—were introduced by missionaries and whalers. New dishes resulted from traditional recipes fused with new ingredients. The style of dining changed in response to the cultural milieu, ranging from the division and consumption of hāngi foods or a soldiers' mess ration to Victorian picnicking and modern al fresco dining on an apartment veranda.

Our Symposium setting contained a unique series of themed gardens reflecting four millennia of garden design as a repository of nature and food production, forms of art, and sites of entertainment and include Te Parapara Māori garden, the Tudor Garden, the Chinese Scholars' Garden, American Modernist Garden and an English Flower Garden. Locating the Symposium within this rich venue invited an important series of intersections of food, cookery, eating, dining, gardens and gardening. Being a late summer event several of the gatherings and meal breaks occured outdoors.