British celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott has showcased the City of Logan’s proud cultural diversity as he delivered a street-food feast at the city’s Global Food Markets today.
Ainsley was in Logan shooting an episode of his latest television series Ainsley’s Market Menu.
Logan is a culturally diverse community with residents from 217 different ethnic identities, speaking more than 50 different languages.
That diversity is reflected in the produce and cuisine on offer at the weekly Global Food Markets and inspired Ainsley today as he visited various stalls collecting locally-grown ingredients and tasting the many ethnic cuisines on offer.
He bought supplies of Halal lamb, kundru, cassava, turmeric, ginger and plenty of Asian greens provided by local vendors then used the ingredients to cook three gourmet dishes in his own market stall as hundreds of fascinated market visitors and vendors looked on.
His dishes were global green shot and coconut smoothie; Asian lamb patties on char-grilled cassava; and Ram’s kundru pumpkin vegetable curry, which Ainsley cooked specially for stallholder Ram Harakh Maharaj, of Shailer Park, who was celebrating his 85th birthday.
City of Logan Acting Mayor Cherie Dalley said Logan’s Global Food Markets were one of only six markets across Australia chosen by Ainsley to feature in his new show.
“We’ve known in Logan for a very long time how special these markets are and now the secret is out as this show will be screened around the world,” Cr Dalley said.
“We hope people are inspired by Ainsley to visit our markets and our city and enjoy all that Logan’s amazing cultural diversity can offer.”
Ainsley praised the markets as among the most diverse he had ever been to.
He said the range of local produce at the Global Food Markets rivalled some of the huge street markets in his home town of London.
“The food here (in Logan) was fantastic, fresh and vibrant and I just wanted to cook it,” he said.
“And everyone was so friendly. It was just a brilliant day.”
Ainsley’s presence at the market today had not been pre-publicised to ensure vendors and visitors were genuinely surprised when the internationally-known chef and cookbook author turned up at the market stalls.
The filming started at dawn and crowds at the market grew quickly as word spread of Ainsley’s presence.
Stallholder Lisa Crooks, of Stockleigh, was among those star-struck when Ainsley introduced himself, gave her a big hug and posed for photos.
“He’s the biggest doll,” she said.
“He’s an inspiration because he makes cooking fun.
“To have him here is great for the markets because now the world will learn about our special place in Logan.”
Ainsley’s visit to the City of Logan’s Global Food Markets follows the hugely successful guest appearance at the markets in 2017 by Masterchef runner-up Poh Ling Yeow.
Ainsley Harriott’s Ainsley’s Market Menu screens in more than 130 countries around the world, including in Australia’s SBS network.
The City of Logan Global Food Markets episode is scheduled to air in October.
The weekly Sunday morning Global Food Markets, based in Croydon Road in Logan Central, are run by Ethnic Communities Council of Logan Inc with support from Logan City Council.
The majority of the produce on sale is sourced from backyard gardens and community vegetable plots across the city and includes ingredients suited to Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Pacific Island cuisines.
The City of Logan is home to seven community gardens at Crestmead, Eagleby, Woodridge, Jimboomba, Slacks Creek, Yarrabilba and the Logan Hyperdome.