All the ingredients for a strong partnership – a yarn with our caterer

November 24, 2023

Debbie’s melt in your mouth lemon myrtle cookies have become a much-loved staple of our wawa Euroa experience.  Debbie Redding of Debbie’s Delights has been baking delicious food for over 37 years but more recently has enjoyed learning and experimenting with Indigenous ingredients, including our delicious wawa biik morning teas. Deb grew up on Wurundjeri Land but has raised her family in the tranquil town of Yea, Taungurung Country. Her and her family love sitting around the fire, feasting under the stars, swimming in the river and watching the seasons change. As a small business owner living and working on Taungurung Country, taking part in the wawa biik partnership program has given Deb the opportunity to connect with Taungurung Elders and deepen her connection to the land. Deb’s philosophy is all about sharing good food, laughter and quality time on Country with family and friends – we are delighted to have Deb as part of our extended team.

How did Deb's Delights come about?

I haven't always been known at Deb's Delights. After I moved to Yea and started my family, I wanted work that was flexible and that gave me autonomy, so I decided to start a small catering business called Yea Country Catering. In recent years, I focused more on jams, biscuits, cakes and muesli and changed the name to Deb's Delights. I have continued to grow in the Dindi Shire and take great pride in baking delicious morsels for the community.

How did you learn to bake?

When I left school, I entered into a chef apprenticeship and have been cooking for the last 37 years. My grandmother was a big influence on me, she was a cook and she worked in the industry herself. I find I am still continuing to learn after all these years and I am always looking to create new and interesting things!

Tell us about some of the native Australian ingredients you like to use in your baking and where you source these ingredients

I have been learning and experimenting with some indigenous ingredients including mountain pepperberries, lemon myrtle and wattleseed. I have enjoyed sourcing these ingredients from native food suppliers. I really enjoy working with indigenous ingredients as it allows me to better understand traditional foods and allows me to connect to the land in a unique and meaningful way.

You’ve been a wawa biik partner this year, what have been the highlights of the program?

Being a wawa biik partner has been such an informative learning experience. I've been lucky enough to personally experience the tours too. They are enriching and I always find myself in awe of the guides like Uncle Shane. It feels really special to listen and learn from Elders and share Taungurung culture. It makes me appreciate where I live so much more and I feel honoured to be a partner. it's always a pleasure and a treasure.

What’s been the biggest impact for you in learning more about Taungurung culture through wawa biik?

The biggest impact has been the opportunity to deepen my connection to place and Taungurung folks. It has expanded my horizons and given me new perspectives as well as insights into this beautiful place I call home.

What's the secret to baking the most delightful cookie?

A sprinkle of love goes a long way and that's what Debbie's Delights are all about. I also use quality ingredients and don't rush my baking!

Ashley Wilkinson is a proud Taungurung man of the Yeerum-Illiam-Balluk clan, which is below the Benalla and Mansfield area. Ash works as a Field Service Officer conducting cultural surveys and is also a wawa biik guide. We yarn with Ash to learn more about his perspectives regarding cultural heritage. It’s well worth pulling him aside for a yarn on our wawa biik tours too as he’s got some great insights to share. Head to our bio to read this blog. 

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