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Kambarang - Celebrating a Bounty of Bush Foods

Dec 9, 2015 -- Posted by : admin

Sixteen Aboriginal hospitality students from WA’s Kimberley, Pilbara and South West regions travelled to this year’s Margaret River Gourmet Escape to join a series of Master classes. Working alongside the cooking stars; Mark Olive, Josh Whiteland and a range of other industry professionals, their ‘classroom’ was the Kambarang South West Aboriginal Gourmet Experience - for 100 guests! 

The Kambarang gourmet experience showcases a creative fusion of contemporary and native bush flavours, with locally ‘foraged’ ingredients such as lemon myrtle beer battered reef fish served with quandong sea celery mayo dips. Foraging expeditions are part of the students' on country training activities during the lead up to the cooking tutorials. Josh Whiteland, who has inspired many great chefs at previous Gourmet Escapes with his knowledge of native foods, said “we collected grains, sea celery, saltbush and dune spinach and identified native medicine and food plants”.

The ‘cutting edge’ of the week-long coaching is when the students – aged between 15 and 17 – are fast tracked into a real life restaurant situation where they prepare, plate and serve the five course gourmet menu. This exercise reflects the main aim of the Kambarang event which, alongside the staging of a uniquely different long table lunch, is to give indigenous students from remote communities an opportunity to gain first hand insights into what the hospitality industry is all about and to boost their confidence and self-esteem to do the job.          

This year’s celebrity guests included the famous Italian born chef Antonia Carluccio and one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers, Dr Richard Walley. Kambarang is one of the six seasons on the Aboriginal calendar - marking the transition between the flowering plants and the end of the rain, it is a bountiful time for local seafood such as crab and abalone. The lush menu of fresh culinary creations was served with some ‘shy' smiles, a pride and passion for country and a portion of heart-melting cuteness.                             

Local Aboriginal art, artefacts and music decked the venue with ‘glitter and glam’ as the Merindas, whose music is influenced by Motown and the Sapphires, set the ‘soul train’ rolling.   

The Kambarang Aboriginal Gourmet Experience is staged in November, as part of the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. The event provides a unique opportunity for Hospitality High School students (Cert I & II) from remote communities throughout WA to gain hands-on experience creating European style gourmet cuisine, ‘flavoured’ with their own special touch. Proudly driven and supported by Mark Olive (the Black Olive), Josh Whiteland (Koomal Dreaming), Roelands Village, South West Institute of Technology, Prepare Produce Provide, Outback Academy, WAITOC (WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council) and Moontide Management.

Venue: The South West Institute of Technology Margaret River Campus

Date:  The next Kambarang Experience will be staged in November 2016 - check our WAITOC events calendar here

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