Over the next three months, Hunt Hospitality will be introducing menu specials at its pubs that use traditional native ingredients.

The dishes at each of the group’s pubs will be different, in order to use ingredients that are native to the region. The initiative reflects both the company’s corporate objectives, as well as the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), that it began last year.

“At the root of Hunt Hospitality’s corporate objectives is the company motto: Recalling tradition with a twist of today. Beyond weaving this into daily operations, we take this motto further by applying it in conjunction with our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP),” stated managing director Stephen Hunt.

“As one of the first hospitality groups to begin our RAP, it was important to our team to celebrate the diverse culinary heritage surrounding our venues. Recalling the traditional native ingredients of each venue’s region with a twist to produce dishes that create a unique and memorable dining experience.”

The roll-out of these special menu items begins at Seabreeze Hotel in Nelson Bay on the NSW Central Coast. For the main, the Snapper fish with shrimp in Lemon Myrtle cream sauce showcases the delicate flavours of Australian seafood complemented by the aromatic essence of Lemon Myrtle. Accompanied by chat potato fondant, roasted brussels sprouts, and cherry tomato confit, the dish is elevated with a topping of Finger lime caviar, fresh herbs, and coriander oil for a burst of flavour.

For dessert, a Wattleseed and berries cheesecake offers a delightful fusion of creamy cheesecake infused with Australian native spice Wattleseed, paired perfectly with fresh berries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

“We settled on these dishes after careful consideration of both traditional indigenous ingredients and modern culinary techniques. Our team collaborated closely with local Aboriginal suppliers to source the highest quality native ingredients that reflect the rich heritage of the region,” Hunt Hospitality International COO Ricci-Lee Wheeler.

While each of the venue’s head chefs create these special dishes – Seabreeze Hotel head Chef Geraldine Roque (pictured) created the dishes above – working with local indigenous suppliers is a critical component of the process.

“It was important to us to strengthen our partnerships with Indigenous suppliers to facilitate this initiative. Each venue’s team has taken the time to foster these relationships and learn the importance of the native ingredients. This has allowed us to contribute to the local community and spread awareness and knowledge of the local ingredients available in each venue’s region,” stated Hunt.

The hope is that through these dishes, more people become aware of often under-utilised native ingredients, and how they can be used in dishes prepared by talented chefs.

“Alongside highlighting these dishes on our specials boards, we intend to highlight them on social media with images of the dishes with in-depth descriptions of the ingredients,” explained Wheeler.

“It is no longer just about the food, but the important place that native ingredients have in the Australian hospitality industry.”

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