Multi-hatted Australian chef James Viles, celebrated for his commitment to sustainability, will return to wilderness safari lodge Bamurru Plains next year to host a ‘Wild Tastes of the Top End’ culinary safari over the weekend of 24th to 27th March 2024.
Not the usual gourmet weekend, ‘Wild Tastes of the Top End’ will be a mix of foraging experiences and a specially curated menu designed around locally sourced produce and ingredients foraged from Bamurru Plains, an off-grid Luxury Lodge of Australia, located on the spectacular Mary River wetlands on the edge of Kakadu National Park.
Over four days, guests will embark on this one-of-a-kind, forage and feast-style safari, sampling native ingredients and wild bush flavours that are characteristic of this Australian Top End habitat and ecosystem. This will include green ants and wild honey that feature with the burnt pineapple and pandan custard on the menu later that day. Or Wattle Seed that provides a distinctive flavour to the tiramisu served with bush series chocolate. For main course, it might be locally caught Mary River Barramundi cooked in melaleuca and macadamia burnt butter.
Led by Viles and the Bamurru Plains Head Chef, guests will explore the floodplains and savannah woodlands that border Kakadu National Park and unearth the natural beauty and rich diversity of this unique Northern Territory food bowl.
One of Australia’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs, recognised for his commitment to sustainability and connection to nature, James is renowned for an approach to food that promotes a sustainable and respectful food culture – an ethos shared by Bamurru Plains, a Wild Bush Luxury experience and one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia.
“For me, the most exciting aspect of the ‘Wild Tastes of the Top End’ experience is the vast and diverse amount of ingredients accessible in that part of Australia. It really is its own eco-system, and there’s no other way to be closer to Australia’s finest native and wild ingredients than at Bamurru Plains,” said Viles.
“I really hope guests will get involved, learn about the ingredients on our doorstep, the wild bush cooking techniques and share great memories that are centred around good food and stories.”
James’ acclaimed Biota Dining in Bowral in the Southern Highlands was one of the most awarded regional restaurants in NSW before closing its doors in 2020 following the bushfires that devastated much of the surrounding region. His menus are deeply connected to the land, gathering inspiration from his travels across Australia including Bamurru Plains – a destination he has visited many times over several years.
At Bamurru Plains, James will be working with roast wild duck prepared with “floodplain findings”, and serving slow cooked buffalo rib, threadfin salmon pastrami and crocodile katzu – all sourced locally.
“James’ respect for sustainable food culture and his love of Australian native ingredients goes hand-in-hand with our ethos here at Bamurru Plains. We’re excited to see what dishes he creates for and with our guests in 2024,” said Bamurru Plains General Manager, Matthew Bowen.
The three night/four-day ‘Wild Tastes of the Top End’ experience is priced from $5,400, per person, twin share in a Safari Bungalow.
The experience includes a four-day itinerary with bespoke menus and hands-on culinary experiences; guided wilderness experiences such as airboat and overland open-air 4WD safari drives; three nights’ accommodation at Bamurru Plains, offering a nature immersive stay; all-inclusive meals and beverages including Australian wines and spirits from a generous open bar and return charter flights from Darwin to Bamurru Plains.
To book, go to www.bamurruplains.com
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