Interior architect and co-owner of Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co, Pascale Gomes-McNabb in collaboration with the Johnston Collection cordially invites you to After the Meal: A Taste for Excess, a curated soiree of food, photography and opulence. Running as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, After the Meal brings together eight luminary chefs from around Australia to create dishes inspired by the home and antique collection of its spectral host, William Johnston.

The chefs – Shannon Bennett, Chui Lee Luk, Karen Martini, Neil Perry, Nicolas Poelaert, Pierre Roeloff, Brent Savage and Jock Zonfrillo – were invited to respond to the theme of hedonistic consumption and excess and came up with a range of dishes from breakfast through to a midnight snack. The culmination of these indulgent labours is exquisitely presented by Gomes-McNabb as a series of photographic tableaus throughout the William Johnston’s Fairhall house in East Melbourne. Each photographic installation was a collaboration between artist Amanda Morgan, photographer James Morgan and Gomes-McNabb.

Working closely with each chef, Gomes-McNabb has documented the dishes from prep, to cooking and assemblage, and finally feasting. Using the images from this process as well as the Georgian and Regency period furnishings and objet d’art that fill the house, she has transformed each room into hyper-real world of extravagant excess and sensorial overload.

While guests are invited to immerse themselves, it is also only an aperitif to what is a considered reflection on the excesses of contemporary consumption. Like the aftermath of the dinner scene in Thomas Vinterberg’s film Festen, After the Meal alludes to something more tragic and confronting lurking beneath the surface. This play on excess and expectation makes After the Meal good food for thought.

After the Meal: A Taste for Excess will be on display at The Johnston Collection from March 5 to June 22.

After the Meal: A Taste for Excess at The Johnston Collection
Tours start from Hilton on the Park Hotel
192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
(03) 9416 2515

Three guided tours Mon to Fri at 10am, noon and 2.15pm