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Tuesday 13 June 2023

Indigenous food to take a starring role at Sydney Opera House

Indigenous chef Mark Olive is to open a new restaurant at the Sydney Opera House in July.

To be known as Midden by Mark Olive, the eatery will showcase the talents of the Bundjalung man, who will helm the venture.

Olive will create a menu that draws on his Indigenous Australian heritage and heroes a produce-focused menu of native Australian ingredients – from wattle seed and bush honey to saltbush and succulents, the press release says.

Midden by Mark Olive will replace Portside in the western foyers of the Opera House.

Seasonal menus will feature choices like damper bread infused with native herbs served alongside whipped eucalyptus butter and blue gum-smoked barramundi; wallaby shanks braised in bush tomato, and quandong-glazed chicken stuffed with warrigal greens.

Matinee high teas will be served on Wednesdays and weekends.

“Opening a restaurant at the Sydney Opera House on Tubowgule, Gadigal country is a dream come true," says Olive.

"I could not be prouder to follow in the pioneering footsteps of leading Indigenous Australians like Rhoda Roberts, Justine Saunders and Stephen Page, who have brought incredible First Nations storytelling to this place over the past 50 years.

"Of course, the land on which the Opera House stands was a gathering place for ceremony and culture for thousands of years before the building itself was ever conceived and I hope the menu we’ve created will give guests a real taste of that millennia-old history and maybe even inspire some to cook with our vibrant native ingredients at home too.”

Sydney Opera House Chief Customer Officer Jade McKellar said: "We’re excited to welcome celebrated Indigenous Australian chef Mark Olive and Doltone Hospitality Group on board.

"Together, they will deliver an inspiring new dining experience that embraces Australia’s distinct and diverse native produce within one of the most iconic settings in the world.

"Midden by Mark Olive will be integral to the Opera House and all it stands for, and I can’t wait for our visitors and audiences to enjoy this unique food offering that celebrates our First Nations’ heritage.”

Midden will open daily for lunch and dinner plus for the matinee high teas.

For trading hours and bookings visit the Sydney Opera House website.

Image: Yazzen Omar

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