Parrtjima burst on to the Alice Springs social scene in 2016 in an explosion of light, and has continued to evolve and impress ever since. That tradition continues in 2020, with two exciting new experiences added to the program.
Merne, pronounced mer-na, (which loosely translates to ‘food’ in the local Arrernte language) is a gourmet dining experience under the stars at the magnificent Alice Springs Desert Park. Diners will enjoy delicious dishes featuring native bushfoods, each carefully crafted to take tastebuds on a journey of discovery. The people showing them the way are chef Mark Olive, of The Outback Café fame, and Rayleen Brown, co-founder and owner of Alice Springs caterer and bushfood supplier Kungkas Can Cook. Mark fuses bushfoods and culture with contemporary cooking, while Rayleen, an Arrernte woman, supplies only wild-harvested bush tucker sourced directly from the women who gather it.
Participants in the Future Stars Indigenous Employment Program will form part of the hospitality crew for the dinner. The work-ready program teaches life skills and helps participants transition into sustainable long-term employment.
Another exciting addition to the program this year is a cooking Masterclass with Rayleen and Mark. This hands-on experience will see participants create new cuisine from ancient foods, and learn how to incorporate them in everyday cooking. They will also learn about the stories that connect the bushfoods back to their Country and their people.