Breaking Bread at TEDxSydney

Last year ARIA Catering won the Best Achievement in Catering award at the Australian Event Awards for their work on TEDxSydney. So we were very excited to see what they produced when the event returned to the Sydney Opera House for the second year running.
In 2013 it was all about crowd farming, with the ARIA Catering chefs creating an all-day menu with produce that had been donated by hundreds of farmers and backyard growers – even people growing herbs on their balconies contributed to the award winning feast.

So what challenge did Jill Dupliex, food curator for TEDxSydney, throw at ARIA Catering this year?

“The TEDxSydney tables will be a place to join up, break bread and share ideas in one big communal celebration. Food has the power to bring people together and good things always come from that”. 
With 2,300 people attending the event, ARIA Catering set out to create a signature meal to meet Jill’s vision. 

The first step was to bring the menu back to basics – focusing on fresh, simple food that would not only nourish the soul, but also the mind. 
The menu consisted of hearty soups, curries, flatbreads, chutneys and pickles - all laid out on communal tables ready for sharing. The meal was also entirely vegetarian, which must be a first for a conference of this size.

Collaborations and partnerships with local communities and social enterprises are always at the heart of TEDxSydney and this year was no different. The hearty broth served at lunch was made using ingredients sourced from local food projects that work to provide opportunities for asylum-seekers and refugees to integrate with Australian communities. Breads were made by The Bread & Butter Project, a social enterprise that trains refugees and asylum seekers as bakers. ARIA Catering also invited a team of indigenous apprentice chefs from the National Indigenous Culinary Institute to help them on the day.

We also love that ARIA Catering have the ability to make a meal of this size and style look simply amazing. From the brown paper covered tables, tin cups and terracotta dishes, to the colourful produce on display, they really have nailed the food and event styling once again.

The result, as you can see below, was an amazing meal enjoyed by all - exactly the way Jill envisaged. 

Lunch at TEDxSydney
Image by Harustudio

Catering set-up at TEDxSydney
Image by Enzo Amato (via Flickr)

Vegetarian menu by ARIA Catering
Image by Harustudio

Food styling by ARIA Catering
Image by Harustudio

The Bread & Butter Project at TEDxSydney
Image by Harustudio

Feeding time at TEDxSydney
Image by Harustudio

Sharing Ideas around the table at TEDxSydney
Image by Lumsdaine Photography (via Flickr)