Connecting With Fitzroy Crossing Youth Through Food

I've been back from WA for a week now, fully immersed in catering and teaching. Before my time there becomes a distant memory, I'm eager to share my experiences working with the youth.

Earlier this year, I reached out to my friend Marcelle and inquired about returning to Fitzroy Crossing to collaborate with the local kids and help them organize their own event by year-end. Marcelle and her team enthusiastically made it happen.

The second week of the holidays was earmarked for Fitzroy Crossing. The travel logistics were quite the adventure—over four hours of driving to Adelaide, followed by two flights from Adelaide to Broome, and then another four-hour journey to FX. After arriving in Broome on a Sunday evening, I enjoyed an early night at the hotel before setting off around 6 a.m. for FX, with a pit stop at the Good Cartel for my essential coffee fix.

Arriving at FX just after 10:30 a.m., I checked into the workers camp and promptly headed to the shire to meet Megan and Tahlia. We discussed the logistics of the week ahead, and Tahlia kindly joined me in organizing lunches for the kids and assisting with evening meals. We dashed to IGA to gather items needed for lunches and dinner, and then our kitchen marathon began.

Our menu for the week was diverse: crumbed chicken strips, fat chips, and vegetables kicked off our culinary journey. The next night featured corned beef, velouté sauce (prepared by one of the older boys from the previous night, to rave reviews), fried scones, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Wednesday brought chicken curry and rice, along with more fried scones. Thursday's highlight was lasagne with salads, and we wrapped up the week with gravy beef on Friday.

My days typically began after 9 a.m., with a break in the afternoon. The kitchen was a bustling hub, with kids of all ages dropping by—some for just a few minutes, others staying for hours. Some returned each night to lend a hand, while others simply popped in to say hello. Our meals were part of the kids' holiday program, catering to between 70-100 young appetites each night.

I'm eagerly anticipating my return in the June holidays, excited to reunite with these budding chefs and continue our culinary adventures together.


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