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Elijah's Kitchen

The stories of food and indigenous culture are at the forefront of Darwin’s newest ‘commercial kitchen on wheels’.

By Tamara Howie

After the success of chef Zach Green’s pop-up restaurant Elijah’s Kitchen around the country, he is setting up in some of the most picturesque places in Darwin.

The new restaurant will be al fresco dining at its finest, with full table service and stories of seasonal produce.

“We still follow seasonal calendars split into six season,” he says.

“This is the season of the native berries in Kakadu National Park so Kakadu and the local aboriginal people will have a big part to play in the initial dishes.

“In northeast Arnhem Land, where I have family, this is the season to go out and get mud crab and kangaroo and native herbs like water lilies.”

Green first discovered his Indigenous heritage when he was 12 years old, and has been passionate about bringing Indigenous culture into the kitchen ever since.

When tragedy struck Green and his fiancée, Yolngu woman and Marngrook Footy Show panel member Leila Gurruwiwi, and the pair lost two babies through miscarriage, Green became focused on ensuring the spirit of his son Elijah lives on.

“It’s not all about celebrating Indigenous culture through food, it’s also about having Elijah’s essence live on and knowing he’s still around me and the food and stories,” Green says.

Elijah’s impact on Green has also guided him through the daunting world of running a business. 

“I’m always worried if I make a wrong decision, am I letting down my son? Or if I cook a meal wrong or do a dish and present it in the wrong way, am I failing him?” he says.

“But I’m getting to the point where I’m comfortable in my skin to make those crucial decisions as a business owner and to know how that will have a positive or negative impact.”


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