MEDIA RELEASE: Taste of Kakadu Festival

In Attractions, Australian Cultural Exports, Australian Domestic Tourism, Featured Home Page News, Northern Territory

Media Release 22.3.22

22 March 2022: Kakadu – the world’s oldest living culture – is preparing to showcase its famed bush tucker in the Top End’s premier Indigenous food and culture festival, A Taste of Kakadu, which will be staged across Kakadu National Park from Friday 20 May to Sunday 29 May 2022.

As much a celebration of the heritage and culture of the local Bininj people, the Festival will serve up a menu of ancient cuisine with modern twists.

Over nine days, visitors can embark on guided foraging walks where ‘super’ foods and delicacies such as Kakadu plums can be tasted. They can experience Kakadu staples such as crocodile, barramundi and buffalo cooked in traditional style inground ovens. There will be nightly cruises on crocodile-filled billabongs where guests can enjoy bush tucker inspired canapes. And the first-ever Kakadu Dreaming ‘Dinner under the Stars’ will be staged at the Warradjan Cultural Centre at Cooinda.

Under the direction of Cooinda Lodge Executive Chef, Paul Garreffa, Dinner under the Stars will feature Kakadu staples such as wild local-caught barramundi, buffalo, kangaroo and crocodile ‘popcorn’. Native herbs, vegetables and fruits including Kakadu and Davidson plum, warrigal greens, lemon myrtle, wild thyme and basil, and wattle seed will be incorporated in the four-course menu. Kakadu Kitchen’s Ben Tyler will also debut his Kakadu Kitchen Green Ant Alcohol Free Spirit at the event, a drink designed to provide a genuinely refreshing taste of Kakadu.

A highlight of the evening will be a guided stargazing session that will provide both European and Indigenous interpretations of the night sky.

Crocodiles and barramundi are the two most popular inhabitants of Yellow Water Billabong at Cooinda in Kakadu National Park, and each evening during the Festival there will be a Yellow Water Sunset Cruise, with the spectacular vista complemented by a delectable array of native-inspired canapes and a glass of sparkling wine.

Other festival highlights include:

  • Modern Australian Indigenous Ground Oven Class.  Learn and sample local meats and flavourings in season. Krystle Dalton and Lewis Ah Fat, the next generation of Bininj and part of the team at Cooinda, will showcase the best of the best of indigenous cooking right from their own backyard.  Chef Paul Garreffa Executive Chef at Cooinda Lodge presents a modern approach to Indigenous Cooking with local indigenous ingredients that combines traditional flavours and modern techniques. Learn the dish from scratch, cooking outside and take home the special recipe card to try again and again. It will provide lasting memories of Kakadu;
  • Native Ingredient Inspired Cocktails at the Croc – each evening at the Escarpment Bar at Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel (aka The Croc) delicious Kakadu-inspired cocktails will be served made from local ingredients. Try the famous Green Ant Cocktail highly prized for its medicinal and citrus like qualities, with the humble green ant adding a unique taste sensation;
  • Taste of Kakadu inspired buffet will run on Friday and Saturday nights at The Escarpment Restaurant in the Crocodile Hotel at Jabiru. The buffet will showcase the very best flavours from the NT and Kakadu. It will be a celebration of the distinct bush flavours;
  • Kakadu’s Indigenous art has been handed down through 65,000 years and today the region boasts a wide range of incredibly talented artists who will share their talents in intimate art workshops at the Ochre Gallery in The Croc hotel in Jabiru. Local artists will guide participants through the art of indigenous painting, sharing information about the various art styles and meanings behind them, and the opportunity to take home your very own painted canvas. All painting materials are supplied;
  • Join some of the traditional owners of country at the Warradjan Culture Centre as they teach the art of weaving and damper making, which is a very important social and cultural activity for the females of Aboriginal culture. An authentic way of sharing the experiences and knowledge passed down through generations, each participant will be able to bring home their own piece of Kakadu craft;
  • Paul “Yoda” Iskov from Fervor returns to Taste of Kakadu with an informative open-air cooking demonstration;
  • Anme Garri-ginj-ye (Let’s cook food): visitors will be able to experience and taste a range of seasonal bush tucker in the beautiful surrounds of the Murdudjurl Patonga Homestead Community at the edge of the Jim Jim River system.
  • Man Me Exhibition: In a collaboration between Marrawuddi & Injalak Arts Centre, be inspired by beautiful food-themed art from local artists.

For the full program of Taste of Kakadu, visit: https://parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/taste/program/

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