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Press Release: Shining a light on bush tucker - International Lighthouse Weekend

Issued: 29 July 2014

CAPE Otway Lightstation is going native for International Lighthouse Weekend in mid August by cooking up a storm with bush tucker.

As the Lightstation joins forces with 404 lighthouses in 43 countries to raise awareness of lighthouses and the need to preserve them, the Cape Otway heritage precinct is also celebrating its first people – the Gadubanud.

Over the weekend they will dish up a fusion of contemporary flavours, blended with traditional seafood, herbs and spices.

Brad West, a descendant of the Gulidjan people, who is a guide at the Lightstation’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre, will steam snapper fillets infused with bush tucker flavours, in baskets made from the strappy leaves of the Lomandra, over an open fire.

“Lomandra was used by the women to create fish and eel traps and woven into basketry and water carrying vessels,” Brad said.

“I like to make Lomandra baskets for steaming fish.

“We salt the fish down with some coastal saltbush, and marinate it with mountain pepper which grows in the Otways. The wild rosemary is pungent and has a heavier flavour than European rosemary.

“When you steam the fish all those flavours come through including the starchy sweetness of the Lomandra.”
Brad will cook and serve the fish, with Warrigal Greens, at 11am and 2pm on Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 17.

The native spinach was popular with Captain Cook who encouraged his men to eat it to ward off scurvy and it’s said that Joseph Banks returned to London’s Kew Gardens with seeds which were cultivated, making it the first Australian plant to be grown abroad.

Brad said the Warrigal Greens grew on site at Cape Otway where he planned to highlight edible native plants for visitors.

During the International Lighthouse Weekend celebrations visitors can also cook damper on an open fire and enjoy a four course dinner at the Lightkeeper’s CafĂ© on Saturday, August 16, which will be served by historical dramatisation performers, Characters of the Cape.

New Lightstation chef Sue Ladewig said the dinner would include a tasting plate of desserts.

To book for the Lightstation Weekend dinner call 5237 9240.

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