Three National Indigenous Culinary Institute students are serving up 5-star bush tucker at Sydney's Noma restaurant.
By
Tara Callinan

Source:
NITV News
12 Feb 2016 - 12:41 PM  UPDATED 12 Feb 2016 - 4:26 PM

Abalone schnitzel served with bunya nuts and finger lime, a seafood platter draped in crocodile fat and a side of cured egg-yolk fermented in kangaroo juice.

This contemporary order of Indigenous cuisine will set you back $485 dollars at Sydney’s latest pop-up sensation, Noma.

The Danish born restaurant has arrived in Sydney for 10 weeks, under the guidance of its founder and head chef, Rene Redzepi.

“I’m drawn to this unique landscape; it’s so different to what we have at home. The ingredients are so different and the diversity is huge.”

“We’re here to learn from the Australian landscape,” he said.

To do this effectively, chef Redzepi has employed three Indigenous students to work alongside him.

“My reaction to working at one of the best restaurants in the world ... well, I was blown away,” said Luke Bourke.

“I put my fists in the air and screamed,” said Steven Thorpe.

Luke and Stephen are two aspiring chefs from Sydney’s National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI).

Spearheaded by Barry McDonald, the NICI offers elite training and experience to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders hungry for success.

“Its a unique experience, perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with one of the world’s greatest chefs,” said Mr McDonald.

According to Mr McDonald, chef Redzepi is a big fan of his program and traditional cooking.

“Rene has travelled extensively throughout Australia to learn about Indigenous food prior to designing his menu.”

“The students will have a unique opportunity to work with native ingredients that are not often used in most restaurants,” he said.

For the students, it’s also an opportunity to educate their international guests and mentors.

“I have been able to share information about the importance of food and culture ... which allows them to understand the food and its worth to the Indigenous people of this land,” said Luke.

“I have spoken to many of the chefs and waiters about the importance of culture and cooking with native food, which represents to me a revival of culture,” said Stephen.

Now in their third week at Noma, the students have mastered Chef Redzepi’s exclusive 12-course menu.

But you’ll have to join 27,000 others on a long waiting list to get a taste of Noma’s native grub.

Noma Australia is located at Barangaroo in Sydney NSW, a site of great significance to the Gadigal people of the Eora nations.