Here at Cully Fest we love food and that’s why we’re delighted to have First Food Co on board. A joint business that celebrates the excitement of native Australian bush cuisine.
By Tristan Evert
Karen Perks and Dale Chapman are fast approaching their first birthday as partners in First Food Co and will be bringing their expertise to you at Cully Fest. First Food Co operates out of Salisbury, however Co Director Karen Perks said catering can take them anywhere in Queensland and New South Wales.
“We travel around a lot with catering, we do major events and also travel to indigenous communities to help them establish growing on their own country,” Ms Perks said. “We specialise in bush foods, everything from products like lemon myrtle scones to native jams and relishes, which we sell to restaurants and bulk supply to food partners.”
Owner, Dale Chapman has spent majority of her life creating remarkable bush flavours and is now an expert in the field of bush tucker. She has more then 30-years experience and will be bringing it all to Cully Fest during her live workshops and talks.
“I was four years old when started and loved to cook for my family and continued my passion in to an apprenticeship at 18 years old,” Ms Chapman said. “My goal with First Food Co is to to share the uniqueness of the oldest living culture and foods in the world and to be a driving force and major player in the industry.
“We need to get people all over the world embracing Aboriginal culture and Australian bush food.” Unlike most chefs, Dale’s involvement springs right through from harvesting and production to delivering messages around the globe. Dale has travelled the world teaching chefs the secrets of native Australian bush foods and how they can blend in to modern cuisine.
“I have been to Italy, where I was 1 of the 1000 chefs invited to represent Australia and I have lectured in France to create awareness of Australian native ingredients,” Ms Chapman said. “It was very well received and empowered me to continue with my love for food.”
In both 2004 and 2006 she was invited to the French Rivera to lecture and demonstrate her unique indigenous cooking techniques. Although as an indigenous chef, Dale aims to promote and encourage the use of native Australian flavour, First Food Co are also highly involved in creating a sustainable future for native foods.
They regularly visit their growth areas to assist in harvesting and check on production. First Food Co also visit indigenous communities to assist in creating a green future. “I think it’s really important to visit these indigenous communities as it firstly assists economic development by teaching them to grow in their own country and it secondly establishes our supply chain,” Ms Perks said.
Being able to share the excitement of the flavours of bush foods and products is what it’s all about for First Food Co and Karen said they are looking forward to meeting other people who are interested in learning about the culture. “We live in a fast paced society where we don’t take the time to stop and go out in the country to learn from other people,” Ms Perks said.
“Cully Fest allows everyone to enjoy different experiences so it plays a major role in the connection between city and country,” she said. Dale and Karen will be on show at Cully Fest with live demonstrations and talks. Providing you with a first hand insight in to the world of Australian bush cuisine.