MOVE OVER BUFFET, SHARE FEASTING IS HERE TO STAY
There are an estimated 7000 languages in the world, but one that speaks to us all: food. We’re made to break bread and build bonds. Think about a first birthday without cake, Thanksgiving without a turkey, or an Aussie summer without prawns! It’s hard to imagine any event or celebration without food, isn’t it? Our gatherings tend to revolve around food, keeping traditions alive and creating memories that last. Share feasting is one such way – the best in our opinion – to connect with one another. But, more on that later. First, let’s look at the benefits of social eating.
It connects us
Nowadays, mornings generally involve grabbing a double-shot-soy-latte on the way to work, or eating leftover crusts after cleaning up the toddler’s mess. Lunches are spent forking in mouthfuls between meetings, or absentmindedly picking at leftovers whilst scrolling socials. Dinnertime is often separated for spouses with conflicting schedules, or a solitary occasion for those living alone whether by choice or circumstance.
In a world that is vastly different to yesteryear, we need to work hard to reclaim mealtimes together.
Whilst our busy lives have led to the upward trend of eating alone, research shows the benefits of sharing a meal together. The University of Oxford interpreted data from a UK national survey, concluding that “communal eating increases social bonding and feelings of wellbeing, and enhances one’s sense of contentedness and embedding within the community.”
So, eating together plays an important role in our sense of belonging.
Even the term ‘companion’ is more about food than we may realise! It’s derived from the Latin com- meaning ‘with, together’ and panis meaning ‘bread’ or ‘food’. So quite literally, your companion is one with whom you share a meal. The natural connection between food and community is inherent.
It develops us
The dinner table does far more than nourish our bodies. It grows and develops us into the people we are today. We join together for a meal and receive an education. It is where we learn social norms and table manners, different viewpoints and perspectives. We learn to pass the salt, and portion our servings so that no-one goes without. We are taught to ask how the other person’s day was, and practice the art of listening. For a period of time, we put aside the preoccupation with self and lean into those around us.
Family traditions take place whilst gathered around a meal, and stories are passed down through generations. It’s an opportunity to learn about another’s culture, to discuss political or social events. It’s a way for romance to blossom between couples and then families to join in the interrogation. An invitation to eat together blesses those without family or community of their own. It even used to be the means of welcoming a newcomer to the neighbourhood.
The benefits of communal dining are rich, positively impacting our physical, mental, social, and emotional wellbeing.
Better than a buffet…
We say with confidence that share feasting is the ultimate way to break bread and build bonds.
As author of Feasting and commensal rituals puts it, “Feasting was an important means of social communication… [it] has been described as a kind of social glue – creating and recreating society by bringing people together to mark important events and ceremonies, through the communal consumption of large quantities of food and drink.” (Joy, 2018)
We agree that celebrations and food go hand-in-hand, but we hear you ask, “what’s so special about share feasting?” Let us give you 5 reasons why share feasting is better than a buffet, plated meal, or finger food:
- Makes it personal
When you share feast, you sit down to the table as if you were having family or friends over for dinner. This simple act of sitting down family meal style sets the tone for better conversation that goes beyond surface-level chitchat. You’re able to find out more about each other’s lives, discuss current affairs, and share memories together. Empathise, learn, and laugh.
- Connect over long tables
Being seated is one thing, but the layout matters too! Have you ever sat at a large round table where you had to try and lip-read what the person opposite was saying? It’s hardly conducive to quality conversation. Share feasting on long tables gives you the space to be physically distanced without being socially distant.
- There’s food in abundance
There’s no need for a post-event Maccas run when you’ve had a share feast. Reminiscent of the Lost Boys feast in Neverland, our dishes fill up the timber risers placed down the middle of long tables. Serve yourself, serve one another, and keep passing those bowls to your belly’s content!
- No drip-feeding delays
Share feasting gives the opportunity to enjoy all elements of the meal together. None of this drip-feeding tiny portions to the ravenous vultures waiting to bombard the next poor waiter who comes through bearing a platter (don’t laugh, you know it’s true). Instead, you get the full experience of all the food at once. Delight in the flavours and textures, and the reactions of those eating alongside you.
- Dance the night away
Whilst we know food is key, we also know there are other parts of a celebration that deserve the spotlight. By having a share feast, you help streamline the order of events. The meal is concentrated to a certain timeframe, allowing the freedom to move onto other important matters… such as carving up the d-floor. So you can get your moves on without waiting for the next rotation of food to be served.
If we’ve managed to convince you that share feasting is here to stay, then we’d love to chat with you! Our Executive Chef, Bruce McKenna, curates the perfect rustic Italian-inspired menu, sourcing only high quality, fresh produce to ensure the best culinary experience. If you are after something unique, Bruce is more than happy to customise the menu to suit your vision.
Leave the washing to us…
Our shared feasts make it simple to spend time with loved ones and friends… without the washing up!