From Fringe shows showcasing immersive sensory dining experiences to selling desserts featuring edible insects at pop-up stalls, the Post Dining team have made a significant impact in a short amount of time.
The guiding principle of Post Dining is to ‘reimagine dining’. The duo (that consists of Stephanie Daughtry and Hannah Rohrlach) will showcase this at their upcoming stall at Bowerbird Bazaar — which follows a three-week residency at the Central Market earlier this year — where they will sell brownies, shortbread and rocky roads but with an insect twist. Daughtry says she was surprised with how confronted people were by their desserts at the Central Market.
“It was the first time we presented them on such a viable scale where lots of people could come and experience them,” Daughtry says. “Previously we had just been doing our own events, and our audiences were quite small. The way we introduced bugs [at their events] had been part of a story and journey, so it made more sense. When you put them to people in the public, in a market environment, you get a different response. The response has been 50-50, people either think it’s amazing and the best thing they’ve ever seen or they think it’s the most revolting thing they’ve ever seen.”
Despite the extreme reactions, what’s important to Daughtry and Rohrlach are the conversations they start, as eating insects is a more sustainable way of sourcing protein.
“Part of the reason we do it is to open up that conversation. We don’t mind if people feel affronted by it because that is part of what we do — we are introducing something new to the market and we don’t expect people to pick that up right away. We are very conscious of trying to engage people and have that conversation, so that maybe once they walk away they’ll have a different perspective.”
Post-Dining has also collaborated with local Australian native food suppliers Something Wild, creating a green ant tea
Daughtry says they don’t want to be seen as “activists for the bug movement” as edible bugs are just one side to Post-Dining’s oeuvre that includes sensory engagement events and festival shows. “It’s about reimagining the interactions people have with really mundane tasks,” she says. “We like to break people’s expectation of how they consume things and how they are served. It just creates a really fun and engaging environment. It breaks down the barriers between the performers and the guests and the other people that are there.”
The next event for Post Dining after Bowerbird is a Fringe show.
“At the moment we are at a crossroad to how we move forward with Post Dining. This is the first time we’ve explored things in a commercial setting. We’re wondering if that is something we can develop further or whether we want to stick with our events or merge those two things together.”