Welcome to the RiverMint Dining news blog, where food adventures, tastings, supplier news and recipes will appear. Passionate about Australian native foods and native flora and fauna, each day we endeavour to learn something new and to experiment with a different ingredient.

Whilst working in Europe and the Caribbean, it became increasingly apparent that eating seasonally and locally was a given, not just a sale’s pitch.  Fresh food, cooked simply, with respect for tradition whilst applying a modern twist, is the norm. The Slow Food movement, so prevalent throughout Italy, is inspiring, as are the traditional markets of the Balearic and Caribbean islands. You will hear more about the foodie treks and the chefs and producers discovered over the past 12 years in upcoming posts.

More importantly, through travel and upon return to Australia, my personal focus is on understanding and utilizing ingredients that are native to Australia. Australia is the only country in the world that traditionally eats the animals on its national Coat of Arms. We are all becoming familiar with the kangaroo meat on a Coles shelf, but how many of us has eaten finger lime or wattle seed lately?

I firmly believe that all Australians can connect and communicate with each other through food. Our native foods are considered sacred amongst many indigenous communities and hold great cultural and spiritual significance.  Listening to and learning from those with knowledge passed down for generations will enable an ongoing process of reconciliation – a sense of place and a connection to Australian land and heritage. If we can develop an understanding through foods native to our land, we start to make small steps towards a renewed respect for and appreciation of the Australian landscape, its traditional owners and the superfoods that are right on our doorstep.

Consider biodiversity, jobs with purpose for remote communities, connection to land, renewed respect, ways to boost the local economy – all can combine and translate into the formation of an Australian food identity. There are chefs, producers and organisations throughout Australia who share this common goal. Join us in learning more about them and the native Australian food industry.

Some of you may ask, “Why the name RiverMint?”. Growing up in Central Queensland brings back memories of stinging nettles, BMX tracks through cattle country, climbing water towers, attending Day camp to learn about Gunyas and Witchetty grubs and jumping from swing ropes into creeks surrounded by native Rivermint. This is a spearmint-flavoured herb that grows along rivers and creeks in South East Queensland and will feature often on RiverMint menus and at various pop-ups that we hold in 2017.

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and thank you all for your ongoing support in 2016. We look forward to sharing with you some of our experiences and new discoveries in 2017.