The Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park
Taste of Kakadu in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is a very special Indigenous Food Festival celebrating local bush food culture. I was fortunate to be part of the festival during the 2019 Taste of Kakadu.
The Bowali Visitor Centre
The scent of freshly cooking food wafts on the air around the Visitor Centre. Located five kilometres from Kakadu’s main township of Jabiru, the information centre has transformed into an outdoor kitchen.
Mark Olive, one of Australia’s popular indigenous chefs is cooking up a storm in a free Masterclass cooking demonstration. It’s the first official day of The Taste of Kakadu Festival, an immersive indigenous food festival celebrating Kakadu’s indigenous cuisine, culture, and country.
The annual festival is held in May at the start of the dry season. Last year (2019) it ran for 10 days from May 10 to 19. Visitors to Kakadu during the Festival could choose from an assortment of interactive food experiences, designed to give an insight into how Australia’s oldest living culture – estimated to be 65,000 years – have prepared native foods, like crocodile, buffalo, barramundi flavoured with local fruit and bush herbs, for tens of thousands of years.
Under the shade of a pop-up gazebo, Mark is whipping up a kangaroo stir-fry with Singapore noodles, using fresh vegetables and herbs, including thyme, chili, rosemary, lavender and native mountain pepper.
“Did you know native pepper helps stop your food from spoiling?” Mark asks the audience of onlookers.
Here’s a PDF copy of my story published in BNE Magazine #37
This year’s festival is from 22-31 May and is one heck of an opportunity to learn from our nation’s First Peoples and how they have sourced food and lived in harmony with this land for over 60,000 years.