Wandarma supports Bega Cook-Off

The Bega Valley Tackling Tobacco Network teamed up with the Heart Foundation to host the healthy food cooking competition at the Bega Showground on Tuesday, April 12.

The five teams taking on the challenge were Southern NSW Health District, Katungal Community and Medical Services, Wandarma Drug and Alcohol Service, Grand Pacific Health and Bega Valley Shire Council.

“The teams worked together, cooking and presenting the meal to the community for judging,” the Heart Foundation’s regional health promotion coordinator Andy Mark said.

Council team member Steven Luff and James Pittman said the key to cooking healthy food was “fresh veggies” and “no salt”.

Days like this are always a good thing because they raise awareness. – Steven Luff

“Days like this are always a good thing because they raise awareness,” Mr Luff said.

The teams were also encouraged to include Australian ingredients lost from the diets of many Australians since European colonisation, such as mountain pepper leaf and lemon myrtle leaf.

The teams were also encouraged to include Australian ingredients lost from the diets of many Australians since European colonisation, such as mountain pepper leaf and lemon myrtle leaf.

Both the leaf and berry of the mountain pepper plant can be used as a spice and is exported to Japan to flavour wasabi.

“Because of the change in diet and introduction of flours to the diets of elders and the community many need the replenishment of what they used to eat,” council’s Graham Moore said as the oil sizzled in his team’s saucepans.

The council team were preparing a chicken curry and said Australian birds like the pidgeon, emu and wild turkey could have been used in the dish.

Alec Harrison of Malua Bay travelled to Bega for the day’s cook off.

The winning team on the day consisted of Kay Lane, Erika Luff, Donna Wade, Julieann Lyons, Kate Stevens and Heather Black of Katungal who prepared a beef, broccoli, snow pea stir fry with warrigal greens.

“It was a combination of good teamwork, knowing the ingredients, being adventurous and having fun,” Katungal’s Heather Black said after the team’s victory.

Grand pacific Health and Wandarma both finished an equal second while Southern NSW Health District and the council team competed well but failed to impress the judges.

After the competition the community had the opportunity to tour the new hospital.

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