Coincidence is a funny thing. Just a week or two ago I was driving home, engrossed in an ABC radio program about the Kriol language of Northern Australia – a dialect previously unknown to me. Kriol, which was developed in the early 20th century, is spoken in the far north of the Northern Territory and Western Australia and has an estimated 20,000+ speakers. Imagine my surprise then, when an email announcing a new television show celebrating Kriol culinary traditions dropped in my inbox today!
Premiering on Wednesday April 2 on NITV (Channel 34, Free to Air), Kriol Kitchen is a new cooking show inspired by the fresh tastes of Kriol cuisine and accompanied by a yarn or two from sisters Ali and Mitch Torres. The sisters invite special guests to divulge recipes inspired by their rich Kriol lineage in the culturally diverse northern part of Australia, a melting pot of Aboriginal Australian, Malaysia, China, Japan and the Philippines influences.
“Kriol Kitchen makes the connection between cuisine and Australian history, showing just how fragrant Australia is with diversity and culture,” said NITV Channel Manager Tanya Denning. Many Australians are unaware of the long, culturally rich trading history of the northern and north-western regions of our country and this new show will highlight the impact this has had on the unique culinary traditions of the area. Celebrating the Asian influences on the local foods, Kriol Kitchen shares dishes and stories that will excite many a jaded tv cooking show devotee.
Sometimes revealing long held family secrets, the guests impart some deadly recipes featuring liji liji, coral fish and bush fruit, seasoned with flavours such as lemongrass, chili, ginger and coriander, while sharing the stories of their mob along the way.
This is a refreshing new take on Australian cooking shows, sharing an exciting facet of indigenous cuisine that will be unfamiliar to many of us and with a strong focus on seafood, chilli and bush foods. The girls looks like fun and the food looks fabulous – I’ll be watching!