The MONA collaboration has done it again with an amazing line up of performance, art and food for the inaugural Dark MOFO.
The Lovely Deputy treated this Girl to the Red Queen’s Patron Feast on Sunday night. Curiouser and Resuoiruc was fashioned on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was extraordinary and exclusive, so I thought those who weren’t able to attend might fancy a bit of insight into the proceedings.
We wore gorgeous Chinese red and black silk jackets – not matching – we’re not the Bobbsey twins or anything – but they were tastefully his and hers and appropriately luxurious for the event. Very King and Queen of Hearts.
I know self-praise is no recommendation, but we did look awfully hot. Enough about us.
Dinner guests accrued at the Brooke Street terminal for the 4.30 pm departure on the MONA ferry where 42 Degrees South Premier Cuvee Sparkling flowed for the duration of the journey.
We arrived at GASP! to pass through an Arch of Swords – but with arms not weapons – to a recitation of Alice’s Adventures. Cocktails followed and they didn’t really stop, except for a change to your choice of Moorilla wine.
There was a serious selection of hor d’oeuvres. I am pleased to report that I have now tasted the witchetty grub – chewy on the outside, gritty custard on the inside. There were mountains of oysters and grilled scallops for the seafood lovers. If you have a thing for seventies cuisine you would have loved the fondue, a giant swirling mass of hot cheese with various dipping delights like bread hearts.
This Girl’s favourite however, was chess piece macaroons: beetroot with fois gras, and caviar and chocolate from memory although I’m bit hazy on that detail.
If at any time the eating and drinking got too much for you, there was a room-sized water bed on which to recline, with blankies and cushions to keep you warm and comfortable.
|Image by Jo Cook
There was entertainment all night although the music outdoors might have been drowned out by the rain. Before things got too grim, the Red Queen appeared at the door to the feast tent and invited us in.
Inside a maze of tables awaited us. Above each table was a line and hanging from it were knots of bread.
The plates were red Perspex hearts and the cutlery was a collection utensils, like long handled chopstick tongs, tweezers, scissors and a spoon placed on a Astroturf tablecloth. There were platforms of alfalfa perched at intervals along the table.
|Image by Jo Cook
The write up said seven courses: a mixture of individual and shared plates. I’m not sure how they did that count because it seemed like the courses would never stop. There was an incredible vegetable platter of different radishes, fungi and root vegetables. Next to it was a platter of what looked like a collection from a walk in the woodlands, but which was edible chocolate creations.
A large orange gift wrapped box was placed before each of us which contained a cup and saucer into which beef consomme was later poured from oversized teapots, a fois gras éclair and other morsels.
|Image by Jo Cook
Great plates of mixed cooked fish followed by plates of barbequed lamb were served. Somewhere in the mix, a can of Cheshire cat food snipped from a white fishing net and containing smoked mackerel in a seaweed jelly, was dropped in front of each of us.
It was this Girl’s fantasy meal where the dessert was as plentiful as the savory courses. Marzipan florets were reeled along the line in front of us to be plucked and eaten. Each guest received an individual dessert plate with a piece of chocolate pave or similar and other bits and pieces.
This Girl’s favourite plate was a sponge cake made in the shape of David Walsh’s head, covered in fondant and filled with cream and fruit. It was simply delicious and it was served with a tube of raspberry sauce for use in violent squeezes over his face.
Throughout the evening we were entertained by an assortment of musicians and if you wanted a break from the table, big fires were alight outside to huddle around and to toast homemade marshmallows over.
The meal was completed with digestives, a nip of liqueur and a small bottle of potion with an accompanying pill. I have no idea what they were but there were seriously alcoholic.
Eventually they piled us back on board the ferry, groaning and letting out our belts, and delivered us safely back to Hobart.
I didn’t know what to expect and I was initially worried when the ponderings around me suggested orgies and cannibalism. None of this eventuated fortunately. It was a night of excess however; a degustation of exquisite, quirky, creative, piss-take courses and plentiful alcohol.
Serious attention was paid to the detail. Everyone involved went out of their way to make it special and the vision, administration and skill that went into pulling off an event like Curiouser and Resuoiruc is to be commended. Yay Dark MOFO! and thank you for a fantastic evening.
What did you like best about Dark MOFO?
And if you remember the courses at Curiouser and Resuoiruc better than this Girl, I’d love to know!