Powerhouse Food examines food within the context of history and how its connectedness draws together land, creatures, people, roads, factories, markets and waterways, sustaining us and holding our futures.
Food connects us to Country, to industry, to innovation, to creativity and to each other and our shared histories.
It is a great equaliser: whether for fuel or pleasure, we all eat – yet our relationship to food reflects larger global economic trends, technological advancement and societal inequity.
To consider the future of food cultivation in Australia, we begin by acknowledging Country in practice. We recognise this fertile land was not discovered by early settlers but was the result of successful land management by Aboriginal people who have cared for Country for millennia.
Western Sydney is the food bowl of Sydney and characterised by an abundance of arable land. Over the next century it will play a role in how our future food is conceived, produced and distributed to the world.
What and where we eat is shifting dramatically as food production, supply and security becomes increasingly urgent.
Food sits at the nexus of science, community, industry and culture: from agricultural science to biotech; market gardens to labour supply chains; home economics to food scarcity; intergenerational lineage of recipes to fine dining menus; cultural cooking practices to institutional food preparation; cookbooks to social media recipes; the open flame to the microwave.
Food sits at the centre of the ceremony and poetry of our daily lives. We will collaborate with industry and community to share the complex, diverse and compelling histories and futures of food.
So, let us step forward with care. Care will determine the readiness we need for the decisions to come, as a meal is prepared, and we welcome our guests.
Vitocco Family Kitchen
Powerhouse Parramatta will feature the Vitocco Family Kitchen, a 200-seat demonstration kitchen that will bring together industry and community alongside Australian and international chefs and producers to engage with the complex science and diverse cultures of food.
Launching in 2025, The Vitocco Family Kitchen will present an annual program that will support direct connection with industry leaders and enable cultural connections with food, featuring learning and community led programs, cultural exchange and culinary industry events.
The Vitocco Family Kitchen has been realised through the generosity of the Vitocco family whose remarkable story of innovation and resilience is indelibly woven into the cultural fabric and histories of south west Sydney.
The Vitocco story in Australia began in 1955 when Domenic Vitocco Senior migrated from Italy and started his business in Bringelly. For more than 70 years the Vitocco family has continued to contribute to the communities of Sydney and NSW.
Vitocco Legacy Project
Vitocco Legacy Project will engage communities with the histories, stories and futures of agriculture, manufacturing, changing land use, food and cultural diversity, across south west Sydney. The Vitocco Curator, embedded within Powerhouse Parramatta, will research, collect and share the histories, innovations and entrepreneurial spirit of south west Sydney.
Over the next decade, the project will focus on three key areas: living cultures, documenting the cycles of cultural practices; community care, enabling community authorship; and vitalising industry, through sharing stories of aspiration and persistence. The project will bring together local knowledge, sustainable practices and collective experiences.
The South West Sydney Collection will feature objects that represent industrial, agricultural and manufacturing histories and innovations alongside the establishment of a platform that will share intangible family stories.
Australian Culinary Archive
The Australian Culinary Archive is the industry archive of Australian chefs and producers that have shaped Australian culinary culture and the international profile of Australian food.
The archives foundational donation, in 2020 was from the family of Margaret Fulton and has expanded with the collected the business and personal archives of 48 Australian food industry leaders including chefs, producers, writers and restauranteurs.
It will be a foundational resource for the Australian food industry and connect communities with these important histories.