Dancing with the Walkabout Chef 


It wasn’t a case of too many chefs spoiling the broth when television identity Paul Mercurio met with Charles Darwin University’s Walkabout Chef, Steve Sunk.

The celebrity chef, best known for his role in the hit Australian movie Strictly Ballroom and judge of the popular television show Dancing with the Stars, visited CDU’s Palmerston campus recently as a part of his new show, Mercurio’s Menu.

Steve Sunk, CDU’s most celebrated chef and VET cooking lecturer, said it was a great honour to have someone of Paul’s celebrity come to the Territory to put the spotlight on regional cuisines.

“Paul was great and an accomplished chef in his own right,” he said.

“He recognised the importance of teaching cooking and nutrition in Indigenous communities and the important role traditional Aboriginal produce can play in mainstream cooking.”

The duo of Mercurio and Sunk prepared a number of exotic culinary creations including buffalo sausages, bush turkey with bush chutney, bush banana (kilibi) with truffle dressing, and a fruit soup.

Mercurio said the show differed from other cooking series because destinations were as important as the menu.

“It has long been a dream of mine to travel Australia in search of regional produce and to share the wonderful variety of cuisines which have developed in this country,” Paul said.

Dubbed the “Walkabout Chef” for his time spent teaching cooking to Aboriginal women and young people in remote communities, Mr Sunk recently received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to Indigenous communities.

Mercurio's Menu is broadcast across Australia on Southern Cross Television.