Black Olive Catering was proud to be part of ‘Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure’
Over two days, 56 of the international audience members indulged in an interactive lunch with Mark “The Black Olive”, Australia’s most acclaimed Aboriginal Chef. Showcasing his specialities which have gained world-wide recognition, Mark treated his guests to a cultural experience of indigenous food, art and storytelling.
On arrival the groups were given a tour through the Black Olive Gallery, which features works of art from a range of local artists, including award-winning photographer Wayne Quilliam, and other pieces from the Koorie Heritage Trust collection.
With native fruit punch or De Bortoli Sparkling Pinot Gris in hand, the guests sat down to watch The Black Olive’s infamous native herb presentation on centre stage, which introduced them to the unique flavours found in Australia’s outback. Mark followed with a cooking demonstration utilising a beautiful array of native indigenous meats, fruits and produce whilst speaking about the historical significance of ancient Aboriginal Australian food.
After sampling all the culinary delights from the specially prepared menu, each guest was presented with a signed copy of Mark’s Outback Cafe cookbook, an exclusive photographic Melbourne calendar and a sachet of dried herbs, as a memento of this true Australian experience.
Victorian itinerary on Oprah.com / Australian itinerary on Oprah.com
Footnote: The Oprah Show airs in 145 countries around the world, and oprah.com receives an estimated 59 million hits per month.
What a great promotion this project was (and will continue to be) for Australian tourism!
Read some of the audience testimonials:
“I am writing to say a big Thank You to Mark and his incredible staff for hosting us at The Black Olive while I was a guest in Australia with Oprah. It was definitely a highlight of my time in Melbourne. I am not an exceptionally adventurous eater so I was incredibly surprised when I sampled the food that was prepared for us and it was so amazing, I had seconds! The experience is one I tell everyone about and one that I will always remember. Thank you again!”
From Molly Plautz (Ultimate Viewer). 27/02/2011
“Dear Mark – I am one of Oprah’s Ultimate Viewers that was lucky enough to be with you in December. Our time with you was so very special!!! I felt as though we had known you for ages. Your gracious demeanor, warm smile and love for what you do and for Australia itself was captivating!!! The gifts you gave us were so generous, such a reflection of yourself. We hope that our paths cross again someday. Come to Chicago (when it’s warmer!!). Again – thank you!”
From Terry Hollister (Ultimate Viewer). 02/02/2011
“In September I was one of the lucky ones sitting in Oprah’s audience when she announced we were all going to Australia! Somewhere I’d always wanted to go! The trip has come and gone but the memories remain. The trip planned for us included the BEST of Australia! One of the highlights of my trip was Mark’s cooking class. Mark welcomed us like family and then, in his warm casual style, introduced us to the flavors and foods of ancient Australia. Flavors I’d never tasted and meats (crocodile, kangaroo and emu) I’d never tried. What an amazing experience! Please thank Mark for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share some of Australia’s history, culture and food with us.”
From Elizabeth Toole (Ultimate Viewer). 22/12/2010
“Dear Mark, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you. You have a magnetic personality that we all adored. Not to mention your amazing ability to cook a feast that is worthy of Oprah herself. As I tell some stories about my trip to your beautiful country I always make certain to tell about the beautiful Chef who cooked me crocodile, kangaroo and the best salad I have ever tasted. While we were at the taping of Oprah as we were leaving we saw you standing there. We so wanted to ditch the Opera House and come see you. However, they would not let us go as the chaos of keeping track of us in that crowd was daunting. Just know that we saw you and were so happy you were there. Last night I cooked Atlantic cod and used my lemon myrtle spice. My family loved it. Today I will add it to another dish. It is so yummy I could bathe in it. [NS] isn’t that far, come see us. ”
Also from Elizabeth Toole. 19/01/2011
“It was my great pleasure to meet Mark while on my Ultimate Australian Adventure with Oprah. The food he prepared for us was fit for Kings and Queens. His personality is that of an old soul. It was as though we had been friends for years. Having him cook for me and sharing a drink at dinner was a highlight of my trip that I will never forget. If you are in Australia you must visit him. He and his staff were so gracious. I feel blessed to have met them all.”
From Paula Woods (Ultimate Viewer). 22/12/2010
“Dear Mark, what a privilege to come to your cooking class and then get to sit with you at dinner in Melbourne! My friend and neighbor have already looked at all the recipes in your beautiful cookbook and can’t wait to try some of them. I had the best time in Australia and am already looking forward to coming back for a visit……we did a lot but as you know it is a big country and there are lots of things to see and do! If you are ever in our area please please contact me as I would love to see you again and introduce you to my family, friends and share some California wines, olive oils and food with you! Again thank you so much for the beautiful gifts you sent us home with and all of your time.”
Also from Paula Woods. 22/01/2011
“One of the highlights on my trip to Australia as one of Oprah’s Ultimate Viewers was the pleasure of attending one of Australia’s well known indigenous chef, Mark Olive’s, cooking class. I love how Mark showed us how he uses ingredients from “his own backyard” to flavor his delicious dishes with earthy spices to enhance the Barramundi fish, grilled roo, emu and flash damper rolls that were so tasty you could not stop with just one! I long to have just one more scoop of his mouth watering wattleseed ice cream. Hmmmmm so yummy. I live in Santa Cruz, California and always buy fresh and local at the farmers market making meals according to what is in season and fresh. It was such a pleasure to experience how Mark also prepares his dishes from the local seasonal foods from his beautiful country. He is so innovative and creative and makes it all look so easy. I have been experimenting with recipes from Mark’s beautiful cookbook, Outback Cafe, and we have enjoyed some delicious meals. Mark was not only fun, but entertaining and made each one of the Ultimate Viewers feel like we too could be awesome chefs!!! Mark – come to California and we will cook in our outside wood burning oven! I would recommend anyone who has a chance to experience a class with Mark Olive to do it….you will have a great time! To good times and good food.”
From Sharon Gray (Ultimate Viewer). 26/01/2011
“I would like to pass along my heartfelt gratitude to Mark and all of his staff that hosted us that day in Melbourne. The food was absolutely incredible but only second to the warm and friendly people of The Black Olive! They made us feel like we were sitting around the kitchen table in their home and where we come from, that means you’re like family!”