Chefs Embrace Bush Tucker
The Advertiser, Dec 26, 2006; By Peter Hackett; Pictures: Brenton Edwards
Bush tucker is good for you, after
all it sustained the original inhabitants of this country for
thousands of years.
Bush food has worked its way on to the menus of Adelaide
eateries, more as a novelty than nutrition.
But Aboriginal chef Mark Olive says bush food is healthy and
abundant, despite the drought.
"I have been cooking with this stuff for about 25 years," says
Olive, who has his own TV show, The Outback Cafe, on the
"There as always been interest in bush food. It's very healthy
for you. It's just been a matter of supply," he said.
But that is changing, with the Outback
Pride Bushfoods Project, a community-managed native food "garden"
in South Australia's Outback and the creative input of walkabout
chef Mark Olive into the new book Outback Cafe - Tastes of the
Outback - a collection of recipes using native foods,
including produce from indigenous gardens in the Pitjantjatjara
Lands of the state's Far North.
Established in 2004 by horticulturalists Mike and Gayle Quarmby,
with SA and Federal Government support, the bush food project at
the remote Mimili and Amata communities produces desert raisins
(bush tomatoes), quandongs, tanami apples, desert yams, native
oranges, rock figs and desert limes.
Food not consumed by the communities is marketed by the Quarmbys
as relishes, sauces and bush food pies under the Outback Pride
Mike Quarmby says there is now a demand for 10 tonnes of
Vitamin-C-ruch desert raisins from buyers such as Adelaide's Hilton
International Hotel, the Red Ochre Grill and local food
"The communities have taken a real pride in their plots and have
shown a lot of initiative in managing and maintaining them," Gayle
Mark Olive, who was born in Wollongong and trained as a chef
there, has taken two years to compile the Outback Cafe recipe