Decades gone by will come to life for one Mortdale family, who will feature in a new television show that will turn their lives upside down.
The Ferrones are opening their kitchen to Australia for ABC TV’s Back in Time for Dinner – a seven episode series that may (or may not) prove the saying ‘in my day things were better’, rings true.
The family of five will discover how the post-World War II revolution in the food Australians eat has transformed lifestyles and defined the roles of men and women in the past 60 years.
The food-loving Ferrones will throw away their culinary comforts and everyday kitchen appliances and smartphones, turning their back on the 21st century.
Each week, they will learn how Aussies once shopped, cooked and ate, by taking on dietary habits, cooking fads and fashion of each era.
In preparation for their nostalgic journey, their kitchen was completely reconstructed to match the era they cook in.
The open plan kitchen and dining room is gone, and the Laminex replaces modern marble bench tops. And there’s no microwave or fridge.
The Ferrones must also adopt gender specific roles – a challenge for a career-oriented woman and a man who does the cooking.
Host and social commentator, Annabel Crabb, will help navigate the family through each culinary evolution and give the social and political context of each decade they experience, including changing gender roles of women, waves of immigration, obesity, and excessive food waste.
Along the way, the family will also meet people who have fascinating tales of living through the times or have played a part in Australia’s food revolution.
Among the surprise guests at the dinner table are Dawn Fraser, Stephanie Alexander, Peter Gilmore, Matt Moran, Deborah Hutton, Luke Mangan, Michelle Bridges, Adam Spencer, and June Dally-Watkins.
Carol Ferrone says the series plunged her back to a time where women were confined to the home with very little freedom, and gave her the chance to appreciate what women like her mother, had to go through.
“I hope the experiment will also be a fantastic challenge and will bring us closer together,” she said.
Peter Ferrone works in the coffee industry and his experience in hospitality means he usually wear the head chef’s apron at home – until now.
As the main breadwinner, the Italian-born food-lover has fond memories of cooking with his parents.
“You can be told those stories by our parents and grandparents, but you never know a person’s life until you are in their shoes,” he said.
And without their smart devices, the children are forced into spending time together.
Their eldest child Julian, 17, a history-buff, says giving up technology will be difficult.
“But this is tapping into my love of history and I'm going to jump into the deep end and really immerse myself,” he said.
“The best part will be the suits and the hats, and that I won’t have to do any housework.”
Their middle child, Sienna, 14, will miss using hairdryers and straighteners, but is excited to try hot rollers.
She will have to forgo her father’s favourite pizza and pasta dishes, as the family follows specific recipes popular to each decade where bland British-inspired food replaces contemporary tastes.
The youngest, Olivia, 10, looks forward to spending more quality time with her siblings.
“I’m excited about spending time with my family and playing board games because cause I don't really usually do it that much,” she said.
Back in Time for Dinner airs on Tuesday, May 29.