Indigenous Flavours for the Teen Chefs

SIS cooking, Teen Chef

The theme for the 2023 SIS Teen Chef, was ‘Indigenous Sustainable.’ It took some time between researching and discussing, for all of us to decide what we could cook, and that would fit the theme. In two pairs, we developed our own unique recipes with Sebastian MacPhie and Alex Charlton on mains, and Lily Lawson and I were in charge of dessert. Once we knew our recipes, we were able to experiment during two practice sessions in the Food Studies kitchen.
We got an idea of what we needed to change beforehand through trial and error. We were lucky enough to have Tracy provide several of the Indigenous ingredients such as finger lime, pepper berry, Davidson Plum, Warragul greens, and lemon myrtle. These sessions were super helpful and fun for us to try each other’s dishes as well as get feedback about the flavours and presentation from teachers. On the day, we first served the judges pan-fried barramundi with Davidson plum beetroot puree, Warragul greens, roasted lemon and parmesan broccolini, and roasted potatoes, then to finish, an indigenous spiced myrtle cake with lemon curd, honey cream, and dehydrated finger lime. Before this experience, cooking with indigenous ingredients was something mostly new to us, so it was great for us to try new flavours and learn how to incorporate indigenous ingredients into cooking.

Lily Reynolds - Year 10

The experience of being part of SIS Teen Chef was amazing. We got to meet judges from the Australian Culinary Federation and all 11 schools got to sit down and introduced themselves to each other. They showed us to the kitchens and told us where everything was. When we entered the kitchen, it was overwhelming seeing the amount of food on the trolleys. The timer was about to start and we had 30 minutes to get our ingredients and measure them out. After the 30 minutes, we had 90 minutes to cook 4 main plates. Leaving the barramundi until the last 10 minutes was stressful but it turned out perfect. We then had to hand our favourite plate to the judges and the second best to the table where we got to see all the other school’s amazing dishes. We got great feedback and were very happy with the results. At the end of the judging, I went up to one of the judges for more feedback and he told us that next year he would be happy to come to Woodleigh to help us plan the recipe which is incredible.

Sebastian MacPhie – Year 10