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Indigenous Fusion Food to Cater for Any Event – Pawa Catering

By Leigh O’Connor.

Ever tried indigenous fusion food? Most of us haven’t and certainly we are missing out!

Pawa Catering in Melbourne has made it a mission to showcase the incredible flavours of native ingredients in its catering offerings to the Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs. As we celebrate NAIDOC Week from July 7-14, we discover what initiated husband and wife team Niyoka Bundle and Head Chef Vincent Manning to set up this innovative and creative business.

Taking its name from the word meaning ‘to cook’ in the Gunditjmara language, Pawa merges classic Western and European favourites with locally sourced native ingredients to create an indigenous fusion experience like no other.
Indigenous Fusion Food to Cater for Any Event – Pawa Catering

Niyoka’s mother is from the Gunditjmara people in Warrnambool, Victoria and her father is from the Yuin people of Bega, New South Wales:

"Wherever I can, I like to use ingredients from my families’ countries and I have always been inspired by my Grandfather, who revived the Gunditjmara language and helped keep our culture alive,” Niyoka explains. "Naming my catering company Pawa felt natural, a way to honour him.”

Cooking comes naturally to her, something she has done for her family from a very young age and now the catering business allows Niyoka to do what she loves while showcasing all of the incredible First Nations indigenous ingredients many Australians haven’t had the opportunity to try.

Originally from the Isle of Man, Vincent has more than a decade of experience as a Chef and enjoys combining his passion for traditional French and Italian cuisine with indigenous ingredients and flavours.
Indigenous Fusion Food to Cater for Any Event – Pawa Catering

"I believe native Australian ingredients are extremely versatile and add flair to all styles of cuisine. It’s my job to bring the Pawa team’s ideas to life,” he says.

Pawa is also dedicated to providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly product and place of employment for Aboriginal communities, leading the way in the native product sector and working daily to continue empowering others.

From moreish finger food to vibrant salads and colourful canapés such as native thyme and mushroom arancini, the dishes highlight the incredible produce that is native to Australia, giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Indigenous Fusion Food to Cater for Any Event – Pawa Catering

"People look forward to the food. It’s what they remember. It’s what they talk about for weeks, even years to come,” Niyoka says. "The taste, the smell, what it looks like – the right food can elevate an event, celebration, or festival.”

From Pawa’s native fusion menu, expect plates such as homemade puff pastry kangaroo pie, beef, wattle seed and quandong sliders, native lemongrass crisp vegetable rice paper rolls and native riberry and white chocolate sweet tarts.

You can also order mixed platters, savoury and sweet boxes and hot canapés such as native spiced pulled pork sliders, rabbit spring rolls and pork belly bites with quandong reduction.
AGFG acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea, and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, to the Elders past, present and emerging.

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