To bring together a community, where the whole far exceeds the sum of the parts, seems in fact to have a wonderful alignment with Mona and David Walsh’s ideals. So it’s perfectly fitting that on a glorious Sunday in summer, one can visit MoMa – or the Mona Market – and enjoy ‘stone soup’.
The MoMa Market always draws a good crowd, and lately, they’ve upped the ante by appointing a chef straight from London, Sarah Joseph, to be the food curator. The brief? To create community events that draw the visitors together and involve food.
And what are children studying these days? Stone Soup! While the exact origin will probably never be known, the first written version was by Madame De Noyer. The Madame was a journalist, dynamic and disruptive personality who got herself exiled from France and died in Holland in 1719. (I’d love to know what she got up to!).
A year later, her recipe for Stone Soup was published, and she tells it as a parable involving hungry Jesuits who visit a farmhouse and skeptical neighbours who eventually contribute what they have. In the beginning, the stone is tossed, and the soup when it’s done, with ingredients from the village, is tasty and shared.
In the spirit of stone soup, Sarah’s role has already expanded far beyond the original boundaries. Sarah is working with Mona, Design Tasmania and Newstead College in Launceston to produce a lunch with performance that hopefully will give disadvantaged kids a brighter outlook, and future.
The produce for the Stone Soup is sourced from the Bridgewater and Gagebrook community gardens. In other words, it’s all about community. Building strong, sustainable communities from the ground up. More power to Sarah and the team, I say.
In her past life, Sarah worked as PA and Project Manager to the famous chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, and originally came to supervise the food-based opening of the latest exhibition, “On the Origin of Art”.
She’s finding all her skills and experience (including working with Vince Trim the executive chef of Mona), are a sound base to do the important work she’s fine tuning now. And in the process of making the most out of the stone soup? The soup at MoMa is free to those who help, and bought by donation by those who don’t.
And they make two batches. One that’s served to the guests, and one that goes to Louis’ Food Van which feeds the homeless. If that isn’t win/win/win I’ll eat my hat – or the stone!
If you watch the video, it’s Professor Dorita Hannah on the microphone from UTAS who explains the soup, and the cloths that are yellow and removed from the pot were stained with fresh turmeric for the DesignTas exhibition.
I’ve included photos of some of the wonderful food which we tucked into, that’s usually on hand to make the market the celebration it is, and the stalls with handcrafts and artistic flights of fancy are well worth an inspection.
Make sure you visit MoMa on a Sunday before the weather claims its victims, and you miss out. And the stone soup is really worth the trip alone. Parents and kids have a lot of fun, and get to eat the results.
No stone was left unturned, or harmed, in the production of this post.