STUDENTS’ perceptions of so-called “Australian food” were challenged during a visit to Camden Haven High School by chef Clayton Donovan.
The hatted Indigenous chef and star of ABC Television series ‘Wild Kitchen’ demonstrated Indigenous foods for dozens of students and staff, who listened, watched and then sampled the food.
Before Friday, many of them would probably have listed meat pies or and Vegemite when asked to list traditional Aussie dishes.
A bench sprinkled with native ingredients and a barbeque plate laden with minced kangaroo soon changed that.
Clayton says he enjoys sourcing plants from the bush and introducing the wider community to amazing native ingredients.
The Kangaroo San Choy Bow with native bush tomatoes he whipped up at Camden Haven High School smelt delicious and tasted even better.
“It’s so beautiful it’s hard to describe,” said student Corrin Fardy.
“To me it’s like a leafy taco,” said Jordan Eggins.
Clayton also led a smaller mentoring session, which allowed him to share his experience and understanding of Aboriginal culture, and opportunities in the hospitality industry.
“I love working with young people, as I’m hoping to get more of them getting interested in food,” Clayton said.
“Showing how to use ingredients like Davidson plums and rosellas, which are a native hibiscus, is important to me.”
“Native food is for everyone to understand.”
Clayton’s passion for fresh, local ingredients, combined with his work on ABC television series Wild Kitchen, has seen his public profile skyrocket.
At the conclusion of his first session at the school, one year 7 student was bold enough to ask Clayton to pose with him for a “selfie” photograph.
Home Economics teacher Cheryl Harland said the students were excited in the lead up to Clayton’s visit.
“It’s amazing to have Clayton come to our school; he’s the perfect person to inspire those students with an interest in food to take it further.”
Clayton Donovan will be the guest presenter at this year's Slice of Haven food and wine festival.
For your chance to see and sample his creative, distinctly Australian food come along on to the Slice of Haven, on May 29; the festival takes place along the Camden Haven River foreshore, behind the Laurieton United Services Club from 10am-5pm.
Entry is by voluntary gold coin donation. Slice of Haven is a fully catered and licensed event - no BYO food or drink. Please leave your pets at home.