Chef Clayton Donovan Drops In To Tjapukai
December 14 2016
Tjapukai recently had a visit from renowned Indigenous chef, Clayton Donovan, to review and enhance the food and beverage offering at the iconic Indigenous tourism attraction.
Donovan, the host of ABC cooking show, Wild Kitchen, is well-credentialled to lend his expertise to Tjapukai as Australia’s only hatted Indigenous chef. Throughout his career, Donovan has championed the use of native ingredients to be a mainstay of wider Australian cuisine.
Donovan said, “Native ingredients are easily accessible and are our original superfoods. Many native ingredients contain higher levels of vitamins than regular fruits and taste great too.” He then added, “Far North Queensland has some of the best surrounds to grow native ingredients and we will be exploring more ways to feature and celebrate them at Tjapukai.”
As part of his visit, Donovan guided the Tjapukai food and beverage team to further implement and promote native ingredients into additional, new menu items.
Donovan introduced ingredients including fingerlime, native mint and bush dukkah to the Tjapukai menu while other native ingredients will extend to accompaniments, breads, and also the famed Tjapukai buffet which already includes kangaroo, crocodile and emu.
With an abundance of resources already available in the surrounding natural environment, Donovan also explored new ways to integrate Tjapukai’s existing facilities into bringing its food story to life.
“I really enjoyed my time working with the team at Tjapukai. They are group of talented people who are inspired to showcase native ingredients in any way they can throughout the organisation,”
“The team already brought ideas of their own to the table to better integrate native ingredients into their offering. I’m excited to maximise these ideas and put them into practice at Tjapukai,” Donovan said.
Buoyed by Donovan’s visit to Cairns, Tjapukai Head Chef Stephen Payne said, “It was a great opportunity to have Clayton visit Tjapukai. Clayton brought some fresh, new ideas to the kitchen and everyone is looking forward to implementing these additions throughout the new year.”
Donovan plans to work closely with Tjapukai over the coming months which is also part of an engagement with Tjapukai’s management partner, Cooee Traveller.