Australian Native ingredients win big in the MasterChef kitchen
This year has been a pretty rubbish one, so it’s important to celebrate the good things, right? That’s what keeps us all going.
Earlier in the year, we were asked to provide some Australian native ingredients for the pantry in 2020’s Masterchef: Back to Win season. We were thrilled at the thought of native Aussie herbs, nuts, seeds and fruits getting the exposure they deserved (and just a little excited at The Australian Superfood Co being referenced — repeatedly! — in a primetime spot!).
Everyone at The Australian Superfood Co has been glued to this season of Masterchef, which we’ve watched between lockdowns, cooking family dinners, making sourdough (I know…), and sewing masks. It’s been incredible to see all the contestants using native ingredients, from both the pantry and the kitchen garden, and watching Laura and Emelia producing delicious Grand Final menus, using ingredients like Salt Bush, Wattleseed, and Davidson Plum was the icing on the cake for us.
Australian native ingredients are finally having their time in the sun, recognised for their cultural, environmental, nutritional and culinary relevance. Along with everyone at The Australian Superfood Co, I am committed to ensuring this continues, until these ingredients are no longer seen as being a new trend; I want to see them become mainstream ingredients in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries both here and overseas. The day Mountain Pepperberry and Lemon Myrtle are staples in supermarkets will be a good one for us!
There are so many Australian chefs who have been championing native Australian ingredients for years, highlighting their culinary and cultural importance. In 2019, Ben Shewry, head chef at Melbourne’s Attica, created a decadent degustation, celebrating native produce. Diners were treated to crocodile, emu, Desert Lime, black ants, and Bunya nuts.
Masterchef judge Jock Zonfrillo has a similar respect for these ingredients, and Indigenous culture; his restaurant in Adelade, Orana, is dedicating to promoting Indigenous produce.
Of course, there are so many other Australian cooks, chefs and F&B manufacturers ensuring these ingredients become staples in our kitchens. James Viles, Mark Olive, Peter Gilmore, Paul Iskov and Jed Gerrard, Dan Hunter, Matt Stone, Jo Barrett, Kylie Kwong, and Ben Devlin – we are so appreciative of the work you’re doing, and making sure that using Australian native produce isn’t just a token gesture – it’s a movement, and a path forward.
COVID-19 has thrown many, many, MANY curveballs into 2020, but – for me – it’s really highlighted a need to slow down, to appreciate what we’ve got, and never to take anything for granted. As planes stop flying and borders close, why wouldn’t we utilise what’s in our own backyard?
Oh, and anytime Emelia and Laura want to cook for us, we’ll gladly welcome it!