Native Eats is the brainchild of Martin Tong (that’s me, hi!). I have been a passionate and dedicated home cook for many years, always challenging myself to prepare more innovative dishes and create large scale food events for family and friends, often cooking for 30-50 people on my own. In 2017 I completed a Master’s of Gastronomic Tourism through Le Cordon Blu and Southern Cross Uni (yeah, it’s a thing), which gave me the skills and confidence to pursue this business concept.
The inspiration for the use of native ingredients came from a moment in the Queen Vic Market, where I was working. A tourist came up to ask where they could find cooked kangaroo meat in the Queen Vic Market. We were stumped. The answer of course is that you can’t find anything like that anywhere in the Queen Vic Market, nor any other market. I was already using kangaroo more and more often as a beef replacement for environmental reasons, so I started to think - maybe I could be the person in the market the friendly visitor was looking for. Thus Native Eats was born.
My food philosophy is that doing it yourself is usually better; that there is love in the homemade and that good food doesn’t always need to mean professional food. I want to demystify native ingredients by taking them out of the kitchens of the elite chefs (no disrespect meant - they do amazing work!) and into the home kitchen to be enjoyed by everyone.