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Community Cook - Lou Benton

Lou Benton has had many interesting adventures and culinary experiences since she left New Zealand to explore different parts of the world. She spent six years in the UK and eight years in Thailand, working and travelling.

It was in Thailand that she developed her passion for Thai food with its plethora of wonderful street stalls, restaurants and tantalising food, consumed with delight on a daily basis. She also heard many stories about tropical life in Darwin and, in particular, the markets where Asia meets the West through a variety of fresh food and produce, such as at Rapid Creek.

Seduced by the notion of a new place, Benton came to Darwin where it has happily been her home for many years. She loves the community life, tropical climate and spends time creating beautiful art and jewellery which she sells at various markets.

Benton's passion for fresh produce has led her to use as many local fresh ingredients as possible, and most recently, she’s taken on a packaging-free challenge. She recently cooked Thai-inspired dishes at her house at a GULP gathering where almost all produce came from her garden or the Rapid Creek markets. She even made her own fresh coconut cream! Her recipes were most delicious and filled with thought.

Long eggplants easily can be grown all year in Darwin, as well as chillies, garlic chives, Thai Basil and coconuts.

Words: Judy Monkhouse
Photos: Emma Lupin

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