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Mark “The Black Olive” Olive

Mark Olive is a man with a plan.

And it’s a far GREATER plan than just teaching us how to cook pancakes with muntrie berries and wattle seed (although they were really tasty).

Mark is a renowned Indigenous Chef and part of a plan at the Roelands Mission to teach young Indigenous adults how to cook using ingredients from the bush. But much more than that, it’s about teaching vital social skills and life skills.

Whilst driving through Australia’s South West we popped by to hear about the great work they’re doing and to swot up on bush food and Indigenous ingredients.

Situated about 160km south of Perth, there’s a ten strong team at Roelands teaching not just cookery, catering and hospitality, but helping the younger Indigenous generation understand important lessons about their history. Old craft techniques are taught and stories are told through music and spoken word, reconnecting them back to the land.

The confidence and sense of identity these teachings instill give the students a brighter opportunity for the future.

BUT ANYWAY, back to those pancakes!

A lot of bush fruits are quite tart making them great for desserts. In our pancakes we used a combination of muntrie berries and wattle seed. The berries have an apple and cinnamon taste adding a lot of flavour, and we mixed the ground down wattle seed with cold water to add a touch of savoury.

If you’re in the area and have the chance, pop into the Roelands Mission and say hello. They’re doing great work for the local community and any support they receive is greatly appreciated by the fantastic team they have working there.

And you may even be allowed to flip a few pancakes.