“I’d like to fully disclose that I am not of Anangu descent,” Mark explains. “However, over the last two years while at Longitude 131°, I have made myself very familiar with the local bush ingredients. Every day I try new applications with bush produce to improve my knowledge, as well as of those around me.”
Mark learned to incorporate local ingredients into his menus with an experimental ‘taste-and-evaluate’ technique. He was determined to normalise the use of the unique bush flavours so as his team would feel confident cooking with them, and guests would be prepared to try them!
Guests at Longitude 131° are invited to sample these flavours as part of the dining experience during their stay, learning what each ingredient brings to the table and how their flavours can vary according to the way they are prepared.
Pepperberry is sampled both fresh and in its roasted, ground form. It’s an aromatic spice used at Longitude 131° mixed with hollandaise sauce in the house-made eggs benedict. The Pepperberry leaf is also used to cold-smoke items such as Tasmanian Petuna ocean trout.
Lemon myrtle is an Australian shrub naturally occurring in the wetter subtropical coastal areas of New South Wales and South Queensland, with a fresh fragrance of creamy lemon and lime. Guests will taste the native herb with Cone Bay barramundi, or in Chef Mark Godbeer’s popular lemon myrtle sorbet served with blueberry, river mint and poached riberry salad, Quandong puree and butter tuile. Find the recipe below.
Quandong is immediately native at Uluru, a bright red fruit with leathery texture and tart flavour, they are known as a desert peach and are an important food source to the Anangu. Made into a delicious relish or incorporated into various desserts.
Wattle has been routinely used by Indigenous Australians for a wide range of purposes; from food and medicines to weapons and instruments. Breads are baked in-house at Longitude 131° and are kneaded with native wattle seeds and grains, whilst accompanying condiments include native berry jams, single-origin honey and house-made dukkah. Wattleseed and cinnamon scrolls are a staple at morning tea.
Muntries can also be sampled, small native green berries with a reddish tinge and the flavour of spicy apples. Served as a jam with fresh bread at breakfast, or with apple cider pork at dinner.
Daily changing menus are created with a genuine outback influence by following the Indigenous seasons as recognised by the local Anangu people:
Kuli – The Hot Time – December to March
Nyinnga – The Cold Time – April to July
Piriakutu – The Windy In-Between Time – August to November
In following these seasons, ingredients are prepared according to the climate. An example is ‘Karkalla’, also known as pigface, a succulent most commonly found among sand dunes, in clay and on salt flats throughout Australia. In the Kuli season, Mark highlights the refreshing aloe-like texture by pickling it with spices and serving it chilled with hot chicken for a refreshing contrast. In Nyinnga, he sautés the Karkalla with salt and brown butter, rendering it hot without losing the aloe texture.
A professional chef for more than 15 years, Mark spent a decade travelling the world whilst working onboard privately-owned motor yachts, gaining a useful skill in catering to the palates of elite clientele in remote locations. “Being a yacht chef for so long meant delivering five-star cuisine on a yacht very far from fresh produce – and for weeks at a time,” Mark said.