The impact of Mirka and Georges Mora on Australian art and food has been remarkable. Arriving in Melbourne in 1951 from Paris, they energised local society and transformed the culinary and artistic landscapes.
Their apartment became a hub for the bohemian set, and their cafes and restaurants brimmed with sophisticated food, sexual intrigue and creative endeavours. Mirka’s distinctive art, now collected by major galleries, was a vital part of this heady mix.
Their eateries were magnets to the rich and famous, a who’s who of the art world and those looking for a seriously good time.
Mick Jagger was a customer. As were Bob Dylan, Barry Humphries, Jean Shrimpton, Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Astaire, Maurice Chevalier and Graham Kennedy.
Launched in the year of Mirka’s 90th birthday, Mirka & Georges gloriously illustrates the Moras’ extraordinary story, with the couple’s classic French recipes, photographs from family albums and images from Mirka’s studio by internationally renowned photographer Robyn Lea.
Lesley Harding is artistic director at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She has written a number of books on Australian art and social history, including Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art (2016), and Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed (2015) with Kendrah Morgan, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction.
Kendrah Morgan is senior curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She has co-authored four books about aspects of Heide history with Lesley Harding, including Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed (2015), which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction.
Image: Mirka & Georges: A Culinary Affair – courtesy of Melbourne University Publishing