The Kitchen Playground
“ My home kitchen is my playground, here I have the freedom to explore, create and discover new flavours … my recipes can contain many contradictory elements, if they work that’s great, if not it’s all part of the learning experience and I’ve had a lot of those…not much goes to waste though..my dog, Barney, always willing to try anything new, approaches his tucker bowl with a positive attitude and a waggy tail”
As well as running her business, OutbackChef, Jude is an industry advisor, speaker, author of The OutbackChef cookbook and a regular contributor to The Aussie Radio Show
She has worked with the indigenous children at Tiwi College on their healthy eating program “Taste It, Do It, Live It”, done specialty theme nights at many of the Australian mines, bush food cooking classes, taught the teachers via the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program, cooking demo with Huxtaburger at Taste Melbourne, given classes at Ceres Environmental Garden and cooked crocodile at Fred’s Paddock in Darwin.
She has given talks and curated art exhibitions featuring the artwork of the Aboriginal people of Australia illustrating their cultural connections and the spiritual significance of wild-harvested bushfood, some include North Carolina, USA., Osaka, Japan and at Federation Square in Melbourne.
With a family background in growing food as well as cooking a lot of experimenting always happened; chocolate and confectionery, slightly outside the family square, became a focus. Deciding to take it further Jude travelled to Germany to study. She has a Diploma in Confectionery at the Confectionery Acadamie in Solingen; although she still maintains that a huge chunk of her knowledge came from being mentored by two retired confectioners who had spent a life-time working in the industry at places such as Red tulip, Darryl Lea and Cadbury…”hands-on experience is always the best way to learn“.
Then the art world beckoned and her passion for Aboriginal art became a job. “It was one of those quirky things that happen, it was really only going to be part-time 2 days a week and ended up being full-time for 10 years!” Jude is still a consultant with Red Desert Dreamings Gallery in Melbourne.
Jude gained a lot of knowledge about bush tucker through her involvement in Aboriginal art. She learnt about the Dreamtime stories from the artists, depicted on canvas in vibrant colourful shapes and designs showing country, food hunting and gathering, the importance of the elements and the spiritual significance of what they painted. These paintings not only increased her knowledge, but also fuelled a desire to go further with Australia’s native bush food…OUTBACK CHEF was a natural and passionate progression.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you” – Frank Lloyd Wright