cook for the familyCook a healthy hearty meal in one pot for your family. The recipes are designed to feed large families on a budget. Cook for the Family recipe cards are available in community stores.

Click here to go to the Recipes Page





On the "Recipe" menu you can:

  • Watch Steve cook each recipe
  • Print out each recipe page
  • Email the recipe link to friends
  • Email the recipe video link to friends
  • Download any recipe video clip to your computer or net connected phone or pad.
  • DVDs of the Cook for the Family series are available on request – email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Cook for the Family program has been designed by Master Chef, Steve Sunk who has gathered simple recipes, full of accessible ingredients from the bush or in community stores to create healthy hearty meals. The program is reinforced by Steve giving cooking demonstrations in communities using two basic cookery tools - an electric frying pan and rice cooker.

A supply of equipment (pans and cookers) are left wherever Steve goes, and are also stocked at community stores. To ensure the program is on-going, easy-to-use recipes are available at community stores in tear-off sheets from pads on the counter. Cook for the Family program is running throughout the Northern Territory and Kimberley region. Community stores are the main distribution points for recipe cards and the project incorporates all Indigenous community stores in conjunction with ALPA, Outback Stores, IGA and Progress Associations.

The concept sprang from the 'Back to Basics' cookery program that Steve has taken to remote communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, over the previous 15 years. While teaching cookery at communities, Steve found the need to simplify cookery in terms of utensils ingredients, affordability and availability. Steve worked with communities to develop recipes even inexperienced cooks can prepare and meal ideas for family cooks to make the most of foods available in community stores and bush tucker.

A pilot program was launched on the Tiwi Islands at Nguiu/Wurrumiyanga with the main cookery equipment consisting of electric frying pans, rice cookers and basic utensils. The Tiwi Island ladies were so impressed by the pilot program they suggested a need for recipe cards so all community members could benefit and cook the meals at home. Steve worked with the Tiwi ladies and the Families as First Teachers - Indigenous Parent Support Services Maningrida, to develop recipes.

Master Chef Steve Sunk

Steve travelled throughout the Territory teaching the first series of recipes and was overwhelmed by the popularity of the cooking classes and the growing use of electric fry pans and rice cookers. So he developed more recipes with cooks in Yirrkala, Santa Teresa, Wadeye, Ali Curung, Amangal, Belyuan, Bickerton Island, Angurugu, Warnbi, Umbakumba, Gunbalanya, Ramingining and Nauiyu communities. Favourite meals from many regions are now included in the Cook for the Family series and during 2012 Steve is visiting communities to develop more recipes from across the Territory.

All the recipes have been designed as quick, easy, nutritious and affordable meals, one pot cooking using fresh, frozen, canned and dried ingredients that are available at community stores. The meats used in recipes are inexpensive cuts of meat or can be replaced with bush meats like kangaroo, wallaby, buffalo, goose, duck and seafood with options to use seasonal roots, berries, fruits and native herbs and greens. The program encourages simple economics for the household, with each recipe designed to cost around $25 to feed a large family on a budget and to promote well-being with all the family eating a meal together.

The recipes have been designed to create balanced meals including all food groups that are low in fat, sugar and salt. Also to be easily adapted to using bush tucker as alternative ingredients to help maintain hunting and gathering knowledge and to promote the use of nutritional bush tucker available across the Territory.

Included in Cook for the Family program are 'plated recipes' complete with colour photos, easy-to-follow instructions, alternative ingredients, and recipes are produced in a booklet of tear-off pages. On the back of the recipe cards are be the sponsors names and logos and directions to Steve's website where recipes can printed out, watched, downloaded or distributed via an email link. Each recipe has an instructional video of Steve cooking at home to watch and a number of "how to" video to learn the basics of cutting vegetables and using electric fry pan and rice cookers.

Recognising the benefits of the Cook for the Family program, the Commonwealth Government has contracted Steve to run this program in 2011 and 2012 as part of the Closing the Gap initiative to reduce Indigenous disadvantage.

Whilst the Cook for the Family program has been designed for and by remote living Aboriginal people, the recipes are suitable for any family or cook wishing to prepare healthy hearty inexpensive meals.

cook for the family

Project: Stakeholders in this community-based program live in remote areas and have access to supplies from community stores.

Recipes have been put together by Steve Sunk (Walkabout Chef) and Chef Rachelle Richardson for the programs resources.

Photography, layout, script and printing of recipe cards by David Hancock.

Website design by Zise with photography, text and direction by David Hancock.

Video Production by Dixi Joy Bankier and Simon Says Television.

Sponsors and Supporters of the Cook for the Family program are - Commonwealth Government with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) with Nestle, Arafura Catering, Charles Darwin University, Tiwi Training and Employment Board, Cummins Milling and Norforce.

Steve's Walkabout Chef website is an ideal place for Cook for the Family, so the program's resources are available to anyone at anytime for many years to come.

Contact Steve Sunk - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PLEASE NOTE – RTO's wishing to use the Cook for the Family program resources must first obtain permission from Steve Sunk.

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Blade Maker

Steve Sunk is a skilled knife maker as well as a Master Chef. He has been manufacturing edge weapons since 1986 and is recognised in Australia and overseas as a master craftsman.



Walkabout Chef
Steve Sunk
P: 08 8988 1534
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