Indigenous chef, Clayton Donovan, has joined Cooee Traveller to review and enhance the food and beverage offering for its clients, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns and Wilpena Pound Resort in South Australia’s Ikara-Flinders Ranges.
Donovan is Australia’s only hatted Indigenous chef and hosts ABC cooking show, Wild Kitchen. With experience in his own highly-acclaimed restaurant, Jaaning Tree, and leading roles in top Australian and UK restaurants, Donovan will lend his considerable expertise in designing new menu items and developing Indigenous talent for Cooee Traveller’s clients.
As part of his role, Donovan will implement and promote native food ingredients which have been used by Indigenous people for over 40,000 years.
With Tjapukai and Wilpena Pound Resort being amongst Australia’s leading Indigenous tourism ventures, Donovan is a natural fit to showcase native ingredients in their respective food and beverage departments.
“Cooee Traveller is passionate about making native ingredients a core proposition for their clients, and also about nurturing the next generation of Indigenous tourism and hospitality talent.
“I’m ready to combine my background with Cooee Traveller to ensure Australia has a solid Indigenous tourism offering going forward, and who better to do that than with Tjapukai and Wilpena Pound Resort,” Donovan said.
In the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, Donovan has spent time with Wilpena Pound Resort Head Chef, Rob Lee. Donovan and Lee are working together to create a revised menu which will feature more seasonal and local native ingredients.
Donovan and Lee will trial items such as saltbush and pepperberry squid, local lamb rump with a native rub, and for vegetarians; a tasting plate featuring bush, mirin pickled vegetables, aniseed myrtle and wattleseed balsamic reduction.
Lee said, “We are excited to learn from Clayton and have discussed lots of ideas during his time working with us. We will implement a new menu which features native ingredients that Wilpena Pound Resort guests are sure to enjoy.”
Donovan joins a growing collective of industry experts who are unified in showcasing Indigenous tourism with Cooee Traveller.
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