Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Our cuisine identity started well before anyone realised, with Aboriginal Australians using their knowledge of the local produce to create food.
  • Chefs and Australian consumers need to make sure that they respect and embrace Australia’s own native ingredients.
  • We have a multicultural kaleidoscope of exciting and creative cuisine. This allows Australian cuisine to be a celebration of food diversity.
  • As Adam Moore states best, ‘We need to embrace the change, be proud of what we can produce, and fly the Australian flag loudly and proudly!’

We speak with Chef Adam Moore, Corporate Chef AUS/NZ Cerebos (Australia) Limited, to find out more about his thoughts on Aussie Cuisine.

“A strong or close-minded biased opinion has challenged, or created animosity, across our thinking, and has hindered our nation’s identity of our cuisine. When united as one (brain), we can create multiple innovations like the ones in Australia with our long-time neighbour New Zealand, like the Pavlova, Lamington, or ANZAC cookie. We need to embrace the change, and be proud of what we can produce, and fly the Australian flag loudly and proudly!”

Definition

AC: What is Australian cuisine?

Chef AM: The most debated question since Federation!

Australia has been lucky due to its physical location and isolation. We have been inventive and proud of the country we have the pleasure of living in. Our cuisine identity started well before anyone realised, with Aboriginal Australians using their knowledge of the local produce (essentially the original superfoods), to support life and customs. When European settlement started, we chose not to understand what the local cuisine was. Jump to modern Australia, and we still hardly use these fantastic ingredients – or sparsely use them without any knowledge or understanding. We have great advocates of native cuisine and ingredients, like Chefs Vic Cherikoff and Clayton Donovan, but unfortunately, it’s not amongst our celebrated iconic national dishes. Chefs and Australian consumers need to respect and embrace Australia’s own native ingredients.

So what is our identity on the global stage you ask? Well, let’s look at what we are been recognised for.

We are the lucky country, as our farmers and producers have worked and tilled the land and sea, to produce one of the best pantries in the world. It is at our fingertips, with high quality, and such a diverse range of ingredients, yet this is just not why we are interesting to others or are even recognised for.

We are also on the doorstep to Asia, like the US is to Latin America, which has greatly shaped and has helped create our identity and form the food that adorns our tables and our taste buds, but this singularly is not our identity.

One of the other factors that has created our unique cuisine is the steady influx of multicultural nationalities that have arrived since early times to help build and establish this young country. Culture, religion, customs, beliefs and techniques have challenged what our food is, or how it’s viewed. We have one of the largest Greek populations outside of Athens; we have large Italian populations throughout the country, but also have multiple nationalities from all of Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

So in summary, Australian cuisine can be pinpointed to:

  1. Beautifully grown or produced ingredients, and produce that is of a high quality;
  2. Asian influence on skills, techniques and ingredients;
  3. A very strong migrant population that has defined culturally on our plates.

So based on those 3 points, we have created what could be referred to as “fusion food”. A multicultural kaleidoscope of exciting and creative cuisine, that can celebrate diversity, and have a more meaningful, or powerful history, of what defines Australian cuisine. My ambition is to ensure that we will still embrace it, and also utilise, and recognise our native indigenous ingredients.

Influences

AC: What do you think were the primary influences behind its evolution?

Chef AM: A strong or close-minded biased opinion has challenged, or created animosity, across our thinking, and has hindered our nation’s identity of our cuisine. When united as one (brain), we can create multiple innovations like the ones in Australia with our long-time neighbour New Zealand, like the Pavlova, Lamington, or ANZAC cookie. We need to embrace the change, and be proud of what we can produce, and fly the Australian flag loudly and proudly!

Image:

M, Reynolds. (22 April 2016). Chef of the Year’s spectacular judging panel announced. Food Service News. Retrieved from
http://www.foodservicenews.com.au/latest/chef-of-the-year-s-spectacular-judging-panel-announced