Are you game enough to try this food?
THE first time Greg McKenzie and Carol Vale took their bush meat yapa (pasties) to a market, they only sold around a tenth of their product.
Fast forward three years and Game Enough? is a thriving business, selling produce with native flavours and serving up dishes like salt and pepper crocodile, emu curries and camel lasagne.
"I think Queenslanders are becoming a little more open (to bush meats),” Mr McKenzie said.
"We get smashed at Indigenous events, but mainstream events are still a little hit and miss.
"We do quite well at food and wine events, people are generally more interested in exploring different things.”
This week, locals will have their own opportunity to get outside their culinary comfort zone, as Game Enough? puts on a menu for NAIDOC Under the Stars at Eidsvold State School on Friday night.
The menu includes sticky crocodile ribs, emu and kangaroo yapa, kangaroo tail, and emu curry.
"Crocodile is a surprising meat,” Mr McKenzie said.
"It's a white meat that actually has a very mild flavour, it's a little sweet, you can do almost anything with it.
"It tends to flake apart a bit like fish, but it's a little firmer, like chicken.”
Emu is another surprise, Mr McKenzie said.
"You're expecting white meat because it's a bird but it's actual a dark, crimson red meat, with a beefy flavour, milder than kangaroo,” he said.
All the meats are incredibly lean.
"Cooking them can be tricky, you've either got to cook for quite a while or not at all,” Mr McKenzie said.
"You only cook our salt and pepper crocodile for 30 seconds.”
Mr McKenzie, a former history teacher, agreed that, aside from the joy of delicious food, it is "culturally significant” what he and Ms Vale, a Dunghutti nation woman from the Armidale region, are doing.
"For a lot of Indigenous people, their food is gone,” Mr Mckenzie said.
"They are attracted to the food we offer as they see it as a connection to their cultural heritage, even though it's not 'traditional' food.
"Indigenous people probably weren't cooking up sticky crocodile ribs, although who knows, maybe they were.
Mr McKenzie said he is "passionate” about cooking native meats.
"We are breaking down stereotypes and racism in regards to food,” he said.
"I feel it is a lot more environmentally friendly and ethical.
"The animals have better lives.
"Kangaroos are essentially free and then they're gone.”
Under the Stars, 6-9pm at Eidsvold State School, will feature food, music, Indigenous song and dance, and a 'Voice Treaty Truth' panel discussion featuring Dave Hartley, Cassie Oppermann and Mayor Rachel Chambers.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for juniors.
Ring the school on 4165 7333 to RSVP.