Cooking with the Marrung Junior Chefs

I have been fortunate to be able to cook with the Murray students, based in Stawell. I did two cooking classes: one for high school students and one for primary students. The high school students came to Dimboola where we ventured to the Dalki Garringa Nursery.

The beautiful staff there talked about the bush plants they have. I had gotten up earlier that morning to make lemon myrtle scones and wattleseed damper to share with the staff at DG and for the students. I made some bush green tea which had green ants in it. The students loved it, and even if they didn’t love it, they still tried it. I also brought out my bush dukkah, which the students loved and ate all up.

After the nursery tour, we came back to my place and I took them on a garden tour, highlighting the myrtles growing, saltbush, muntries, and the seasonal vegetables in the garden. After the tour and a chat with the chooks, we got into making lunch. I brought out all the different ingredients they could add to their chicken and skewer them to make their chicken souvlakis with bush greens. They did a fabulous job. After that, we made muntrie pancakes with river mint. The junior chefs worked hard and did such a great job.

On another day, I was invited down to Stawell West Primary School to work with the Marrung primary students. We did two sessions. The first one in the morning was with the prep to grade 3 students. We had eight students and went through all the bush ingredients I had brought down. Then, we made some damper. The junior chefs made their own little dampers and could use saltbush or wattleseed; most students chose both flavors. After that, we worked in pairs to make muntrie pancakes. They loved adding butter and syrup – and who wouldn’t?

In the second session, we had grade 4-6 students. Eight more students made the same two items. What a day of flavors and busyness in the kitchen! The junior chefs loved it. I'm looking forward to cooking with them again in the future.


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