Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Journey Into The Outback

Having been to Australia four times now, I’m more eager than ever to visit a legendary part of the country that I haven’t before -- the Outback. Last night, I had a chance to learn more about this vast wonder from renowned adventure travel writer and Aussie native Andrew Dwyer.

Andrew shared his Outback experiences, along with some mouth-watering descriptions of recipes inspired by the region, with an intimate group at The Australian Restaurant & Bar in NYC’s Garment District. Hosted by the Australian American Association, his riveting, informative talk had me falling in love all over again with the Land of Oz.

Cast Iron Chef: Author Andrew Dwyer cooking a Greek meal in the Outback

Andrew’s love affair with the Outback began when he led his first expedition across it 25 years ago. Since then, he has written several books and continued to head up treks to remote areas enhanced by innovative cooking with fire (hence his nickname -- Cast Iron Chef).

“Australia is an amazing place,“ he said. “The Outback is even more amazing.”

It’s no wonder he’s so fascinated with it. Home to 75% of Australia’s biodiversity, the Outback is also the largest terrestrial wilderness area on Earth after Antarctica. From deserts alive with flowers to baby crocodiles that don’t attack, Dwyer has seen it all.

“The beauty of the Outback is that so much of it is impossible to access,” he said. “You can travel through terrain where there are no vehicle tracks.”

I won the door prize -- Andrew’s most recent book, “Outback - Recipes and Stories from the Campfire” -- and happily asked him to sign it for me.

“Happy cooks are happy campers,” he wrote.

I might just have to book an expedition with Andrew next time I’m Down Under so I can experience that first hand.

1 comment:

res said...

Hey Melissa,
Thank you for the kind words, it was great meeting you and I hope you enjoy my book. Join me on facebook!
Best regards
Andrew Dwyer