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First one hundred years of Australian settlement
Title : First one hundred years of Australian settlement First one hundred years of Australian settlement
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Source : State banquet in commemoration of the completion of the first one hundred years of Australian settlement : [menu]
Place Of Creation : Sydney
Date of creation : 1888
Format : Menu
Dimensions : 195 x 135 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

This 1888 celebratory dinner was part of a schedule of celebrations arranged in Sydney to mark the centenary of European colonisation. The press described the event as 'probably the most important event of the kind which has ever taken place in this or any other of the Australian colonies' (Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 1888, p. 3).

Several hundred men attended the dinner in the Exhibition building, including politicians, government officials, newspaper editors and church officials from all over Australia. The vice-regal party arrived under the escort of a detachment of the Sydney Mounted Police and were welcomed by a hundred-strong military guard of honour. In between lengthy eulogistic speeches the Sandhurst Military Band played operatic selections.

Even the menu cards were described in detail by the press of the day, as, 'in themselves works of art' (ibid). George Baumann of Pitt Street was the caterer and the cuisine was the height of fashionable French style cookery.

As early as the time of the first settlement in New South Wales, Governor Phillip employed a French convict chef. The 1850s gold rush brought many French to Australia, and assisted European-Australians in their quest to follow the fashion for French cuisine. This trend was begun by British royalty in the 18th century, and reinforced by Mrs Beeton in her famous cookbook.

Coverage year : 1888
Period : 1884-1913
Place : Sydney, N.S.W.
Further reading :

Bannerman, Colin Acquired tastes: celebrating Australia's culinary history Canberra, ACT: National Library of Australia, 1998

Peterson, T. Sarah Acquired taste: the French origins of modern cooking Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994

Symons, Michael One continuous picnic: a history of eating In Australia Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin Books, 1984 c. 1982

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