Fancy a breakfast of Cantonese-style fried rice with roasted mealworms? As part of Good Food Month, Wild Tucker @ Eveleigh will see chef Kylie Kwong cook up her take on Australian-Chinese fare using native plants and edible insects. “Discovering these incredibly delicious and sustainably produced ingredients has completely revolutionised what we do at Billy Kwong,” she says. “It was like discovering a whole new culinary language, a whole new palate with which to create – energising, reinvigorating, exciting!” Also forming part of Kwong’s live cooking demonstration will be stir-fried crickets with black bean and chilli, crushed wood 'roaches and chilli-cricket sauce, and steamed prawn siu mai dumplings with goji berries and dehydrated black ants.[fold]
Entomologist – or, insect expert - Skye Blackburn of Bug Shop will be on hand to talk about bugs’ nourishing and eco-friendly qualities. “In western society, eating insects isn’t something we grow up with,” she says, despite the fact that bugs are high in protein, low in fat and rich with calcium and iron. “In this day and age, people are looking forward into the future and thinking more about their food choices.” With a mild, nutty flavour, insects can be added to cookies, dips, pancakes or stir-fries as a powder, and Blackburn will bring along whole roasted scorpions, ants and wood cockroaches for guests to check out on the day.
“Eventually, we’ll have to go back to the land and start living off it,” says Aboriginal elder Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo, who showcases native ingredients on the menu at Camperdown’s Gardener’s Lodge Café. At this event, she will tell stories of how insects and bush foods are eaten in her culture and what they symbolise. “Because bush plants are native, they’ll grow anywhere and they survive - lillipillis grow nearby, and I get warrigal greens from the local school.”
Guests will be able to try or take home Van-Oploo’s kanagaroo pies, lemon myrtle butter biscuits, munthari berry and rhubarb bread, and finger lime marmalade. Kwong is keen to get guests excited about using native foods like these, plus saltbush leaves, sea parsley and samphire, at home. “It’s my way of supporting our very precious Indigenous Australians and their extraordinary heritage and sacred culture. It is about respect.”
Wild Tucker @ Eveleigh is on October 19, 10.15am-11.30am at Eveleigh Markets, 243 Wilson Street, Darlington.
For more information, visit sydney.goodfoodmonth.com/details.