A serving of home

Spearheading the return to native produce

Featured in

  • Published 20221101
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook
BERO, Nornie 1

Having worked as a professional chef for more than two decades, Nornie Bero knows her way around a kitchen. But it was growing up on Mer Island in the Torres Strait that taught her the most enduring lessons about food: the value of living in harmony with the land, the versatility of native produce and the creativity inherent in cooking. Now the owner of the Mabu Mabu company and its renowned Melbourne restaurant Big Esso, Nornie continues to spread the word about the bounty of Indigenous ingredients that Australia has to offer – and how they benefit our palates, our pantries and our understanding of who we are.

CARODY CULVER: Your upbringing was central to your relationship with food. Can you tell me what it was like growing up in the Torres Strait with your dad and the role that you played as a kid in nurturing and preparing produce?

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

Nornie Bero

Nornie Bero is from the Komet tribe of the Meriam people of Mer Island and was raised in the Torres Strait. A professional chef for...

More from this edition

Finding the fundamentals of culture

MemoirValuing a job that creates something tangible is probably why, on leaving school, I opted to become a chef; I liked the idea of making food, and hopefully making people happy. It’s probably why I farm, because doing something physical, to produce something you can actually touch, is wired into me.

Witches’ brew

EssayAnthropologist Solomon Katz proposed in the 1980s the intriguing ‘beer before bread’ theory, which suggested that early agriculturalists were driven to farming not by their wholesome desire for crusty loaves but by their lust for that other staple grain product: beer.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.