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Indigenous chef Luke Bourke to host First Nations cooking class at Sydney Seafood School

Phoebe Blogg -

Stepping into the festive season in full swing, Sydney Seafood School has announced the launch of its First Nations cooking class.

Held in collaboration with the National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI) and renowned sous chef of Rockpool Bar & Grill, Luke Bourke, guests will learn how to create the ultimate Christmas entertaining menu using native ingredients.

The special edition class will feature popular species including prawns, Barramundi and Kingfish. Attending guests will also be taught how to ethically source and cook with saltbush, warrigal greens, Davidson plum and more.

Recipes featured within the class include Kingfish tartare with Davidson plum and seaweed, fresh prawns with a lemon myrtle Marie Rose sauce and barramundi with pepper-berry and river mint yoghurt.

First Nations chef Luke Bourke. (Image: Supplied)

"The First Nations cooking class is all about reconnecting with the history of Australia's land and sea. Guests will discover how to find, harvest and cook local native ingredients and learn about the history and nature of the food – not only for consuming but other essential uses for those native ingredients in your everyday life," chef Luke Bourke said.

"Guests will be shown a demonstration by myself of three dishes, we will go through them step by step and the guests are free to ask any questions during this time and take some notes. After the demonstration, it's their turn! Guests will be asked to jump into the kitchen and recreate the three dishes at their own pace, but with a little help from myself and the team at Sydney Seafood School.

"Finally, we all get to sit down to enjoy the food prepared and have a laugh and chat about my life as a chef and why seafood is very important to my aboriginal culture."

When it came to how this Indigenous-inspired cooking class initially came to life, Bourke confirmed that it was Sydney Seafood School manager, Sally Webb who sparked his interest in the opportunity.

"The idea of starting a First Nations cooking class experience first started with Sally Webb, she sparked the interest with me about one year ago with a message saying they would love to have me into the SSS (Sydney Seafood School). I first heard about the school when famous chefs of Sydney used to run classes back in the day," he said.

"I was thrilled at the chance to be involved with the seafood school and could not wait to teach a class about my culture and its food. I was the first Indigenous chef to run a class using indigenous ingredients at the seafood school and would you believe the school has been around since 1989, so to be the first was an amazing feeling.

"This class is a unique experience and it's not every day you get to be educated not only about seafood but native indigenous ingredients as well and how both work together to create beautiful dishes."

Kingfish with Davidson plum. (Image: Sydney Fish Market)

When it comes to the food and the cultural aspect behind such native ingredients, Bourke shares that native ingredients do play a significant role in his passion and work as a successful Chef.

"For me especially, native Ingredients play a huge part in who I am and always will be as a chef, that's my identity and they are my culture. The culture of Australia's Aboriginal people is one of the oldest in the world, the Aboriginal Australian Culture dates back more than 60,000 years," Bourke told Style Up.

"I still have a lot to learn but every day I learn more and more about my culture and that passion is very strong. From learning about the aboriginal calendar and finding out when the native indigenous ingredients are in season, to harvesting and preparing them.

"This is a regular practice for me because I try to implement indigenous food throughout my daily life where I can."

Cooking with a small class of only four to six others, this experience has been designed to give attendees an intimate hands-on learning experience.

The First Nations Cooking Class will take place on Saturday 2 December between 11am-2pm at Sydney Seafood School, Bank Street, Pyrmont.

Tickets can be purchased at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au

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