What is your cultural background?
I'm a fifth generation Tasmanian so any cultural impacts towards my food experiences as a youngster were limited! I grew up with packet tacos bing my favourite meal developing my love affair with Mexican cuisine.
How has Australia’s diverse culture impacted on the foods you cook?
Australia is a young country that is influenced by its multicultural background. This is one of our biggest strengths when it comes to food. Our hands are not tied by tradition. We have so many bases to choose from when we think about food. Every country town in Australia has a local Chinese family that runs the Chinese takeaway. We steal from different cuisines and mash them together with careless abandon. This exposure to multicultural cuisines has led to my passion for Mexican food.
What role does food play in bringing cultures together?
Eating is a necessity of life so why not make it an enjoyable experience. Food brings people together; certain flavours and smells evoke memories and provide a channel for conversation amongst the people who have gathered. Sharing of family recipes and food traditions can unify a group and connect cultures like a two way street.
Why do you think it’s important to learn about and understand the different cultures of the people you work with?
Cultures have different traditions, religious beliefs and customs and understanding these often helps to understand how a person operates. Australians can often be misinterpreted by other cultures so it is important that we understand and appreciate each other's ways and customs so we don't offend or miss understand each other.
Why should Australians get involved with A Taste of Harmony?
A Taste of a Harmony is a fantastic initiative to bring together people from different cultures to unite over culinary delights. Food helps to overcome the social barriers that can stand between people from different cultures.