Vic Cherikoff
Author Archives: Vic Cherikoff

VitaMan Natural Grooming for Men

VitaMan Natural Grooming for Men

VitaMan stands apart from other men’s products due to our commitment to offering the highest quality and most effective ingredients available.

Our shaving, skincare and haircare ranges are formulated utilising unique Australian Native Plant, Herb and Fruit Extracts, which have been used by Indigenous Australians for over 30,000 years, and which have been scientifically proven in their effectiveness in treating a wide range of male skin conditions such as dry, dehydrated skin, ageing, sun-damaged skin, shave rash, problem skin, dull brittle, thinning hair and itchy flaky scalp conditions.

Developed by co-owners Glenn Kiddell (Naturopath/Herbalist) and Clare Matthews (Beauty Therapist & International Skincare Lecturer) along with Vic Cherikoff (Australia’s leading Scientific Researcher & Author on Australian Native Medicine and Bush Food).

VitaMan is for the modern man who wants to feel and look his best!

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Westfield Shopping Center competition with celebrity chef Benjamin Christie

Westfield Shopping Center competition with celebrity chef Benjamin Christie

You’ll recall just before Christmas last year Westfield Chatswood ran a competition to have celebrity chef Benjamin Christie cook a Gourmet Dinner Party at your house. See Westfield Chatswood Shopping Centre Food Promotion

Well, last night was the night, and the winner Genieve and her husband Neil enjoyed a 5 course meal with six friends prepared by Benjamin.

The evening kicked off with sweet martini’s who were prepared by one of the guests. After the pre dinner drinks, Benjamin served a menu of

• Bread rolls with Australian native spices and macadamia nut oil
• Creamy prawn, cauliflower and lemon myrtle soup with lobster oil
• Wildfire spiced smoked salmon on potato rosti with wild lime mayonnaise
• Lamb loin rolled with spinach served with a bush tomato chutney and Alpine Pepper jus
• Asparagus with paperbark smoke hollandaise
• Kumara mash scented with Australian Fruit Spice
• Apple Crumble with Riberry Confit and ice cream
• Tasmanian cheese plate with Quandong Confit and lavosh

Benjamin would like to thank Westfield Chatswood and their marketing agency who developed this innovative concept of a competition with Dan Clark from Dining Downunder.

If you are interested in holding a similar competition please Email Sales and Marketing

Australian Celebrity Chefs head to the United States for Clam Chowder

Australian Celebrity Chefs head to the United States for Clam Chowder

Australian Event at the Hilton Nagoya - June 2006 1

Australian celebrity chefs, Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie will be hosting an Australian cuisine event at the Hilton Nagoya from the 9th till 16th June 2006.

Each evening during the week long event, the chefs will feature an extensive Australian buffet and live cooking show each evening in The Terrace-Brasserie Restaurant.

The chefs will also be preparing both lunch and dinner set menus in Hilton Nagoya’s fine dining restaurant, Seasons Restaurant.

Apart from the Australian buffets and set menu options both chefs will be conducting cooking classes using authentic Australian ingredients. Guests will be able to participate in these classes and learn how to use ingredients such as WattleseedpaperbarkAlpine Pepper, lemon aspen, yakajirri and rosella. Cooking class participants will then enjoy a light lunch and Australian Wines.

Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie take 2nd prize at Rhode Island Clam Chowder Cook-off

Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie take 2nd prize at Rhode Island Clam Chowder Cook-off

Australian celebrity chefs, Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie were recently invited to compete at the Schweppes 25th Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off in Newport, Rhode Island. Although rain didn’t deter the absolutely committed local New England chowder heads, the numbers were down on last year’s record year of 25,000 people.

This year, the chefs again prepared 100 gallons of the Australian clam chowder base at Blackstone Catering, where Executive chef Joe Mandelson allowed us to use their commercial kitchens to prepare our chowder. Vic and Benjamin created a Clam Chowder with Australian Wildfire Spice and used a garnish of vegetable oil infused with Lemon Myrtle Sprinkle and finished with Paperbark Smoked Oil.

During the day the chefs received hundreds of compliments from the public who enjoyed their Australian Clam Chowder. However, there can only be one winner and in the Creative Category, they ended up placing 2nd for the consecutive year to the Boat Shed Restaurant of Newport.

Vic and Benjamin would like to thank Mike Martin and Lindsey Potter who invited us to compete as well as Joe at Blackstone for allowing us to use his kitchen.

A special thanks goes to the Newport Parrot Head Association who donated their time to not only help on the Dining Downunder stand all day but help other teams as well.

For a full list of award winners visit the Newport Yacht Club website

Citibank Rewards offers Dining Downunder Cookbook and Australian Herbs & Spices

Citibank Rewards offers Dining Downunder Cookbook and Australian Herbs & Spices

If you’re a Citibank Rewards customer in Australia, then with your July statement you would have received “Your Rewards” brochure which offers a wide range of products and services using your accumulated Citibank points.

In this edition, Citibank Australia has featured the Dining Downunder Cookbook by Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie together with a selection of Australian herbs and spices including Australian Wildfire Spice, Alpine Pepper, Red Desert Dust, Fruit Spice, Lemon Myrtle Sprinkle and Rainforest Rub.

With over ninety beautifully photographed recipes from the show, The Dining Downunder Cookbook provides a visual feast for the senses and includes detailed descriptions on how to make delicious dishes using the herb and spice collection. Not only will you discover that it is easy to use these ingredients but it’s great knowing they are healthy for you, good for Australia in the way they are grown and provide opportunities for remote area and Aboriginal people.

Citibank Credit Card Holders can redeem points online at

Rebecca Beuth joins Dining Downunder

Rebecca Beuth joins Dining Downunder

Rebecca Beuth has recently joined the team at Dining Downunder primarily to support Australian celebrity chefs Benjamin Christie and Vic Cherikoff as their Executive Assistant.

With over 5 years experience as a Personal Assistant within the hospitality industry, prior to her appointment at Dining Downunder, Rebecca had the pleasure of working with Peter Gordon, New Zealand’s highest profile international celebrity chef. As Personal Assistant in the Food & Beverage department at SKYCITY Auckland, she assisted with the opening of signature restaurant dine by Peter Gordon, located within SKYCITY’s new 5-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel. Rebecca says this was a once in a lifetime experience.

Having recently moved to Sydney, Rebecca is looking forward to being part of the Dining Downunder team.

“The opportunity to work with Benjamin and Vic is outstanding and something that fulfills my passion of working within the food and hospitality industry. It is also fantastic opportunity to learn more about Australian cuisine”.

Please contact Rebecca directly for all media, publication, event, promotion and marketing enquiries for Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie.

Vic Cherikoff Nominated for Australian of the Year 2007

Vic Cherikoff Nominated for Australian of the Year 2007

We are very excited to announce that Vic Cherikoff was recently nominated for Australian of the Year Award for 2007.

Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia.

Vic was nominated for Australia’s top award in acknowledgement of his pioneering work in the commercialization of indigenous plants, industry building, Australian cuisine development and export facilitation. He was equally stunned and humbled to hear he had been nominated.

The Australian of the Year award programme has acknowledged the contributions of many outstanding Australians and Vic hopes that anyone so motivated will write in or email their support for his nomination to

The award ceremony will be on Australia Day, 25th January 2007 on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra.

For more information on Vic Cherikoff and his unique Australian ingredients please visit

For interview opportunities and press quality images, please contact Rebecca Beuth.

Interview with The Daily Telegraph

Interview with The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph Newspaper recently asked Rebecca Beuth, our Executive Assistant for an interview in their careers section, as they said she has one of the more unique EA jobs in Sydney.

So as part of the interview, the Daily Telegraph thought it might be good to do a photo shoot for the upcoming article with Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie. The photo shoot was in Vic’s kitchen, which has been the venue for many photo shoots, videos, interviews and seems to always be a good location. It’s also the location where most of the native foods product development and testing is done.

The article appeared in this week’s Saturday Daily Telegraph – read the article here

Wattle you do on National Wattle Day the 1st of September?

Wattle you do on National Wattle Day the 1st of September?

Wattle Day began in the late 1880’s with the suggestion of a formation of the Wattle Blossom League by William Sowden (an Adelaide journalist and Vice President of the Australian Natives Association in South Australia). The aim, recorded in 1890, was to “promote a national patriotic sentiment among the women of Australia”. The most visual way of acknowledging this was for women to wear sprigs of wattle at all official occasions. Unfortunately the group dissolved, however their presence had inspired the formation of a Wattle Club in Melbourne.

The concept of Wattle Day grew stronger and spread to NSW where the Director of the Botanic Gardens, J H Maiden called a public meeting with the aim of forming a Wattle Day League. As a result, the first observed Wattle Day was held on 1 September 1910 in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Aside from celebrating being Australian, the Australian environment and history, Wattle Day generally relates to Spring and looking forward.

“However in 1917 the date was changed to 1 August due to an early spring that year, but in 1937 another date change back to 1 September being the start of the school holidays.
Botanists can’t quite agree but there appears to be around a 1000 species of Acacia which are colloquially called wattles by Australians. Another 700 species, mostly quite distinct from the Australian ones, are also found in Africa.

Wattleseed from around 120 species of Acacia have been used as foods by Australian Aborigines for at least 6,000 years. This matches the first cultivation of wheat on the fertile deltas at the mouths of the Nile in Egypt; the Euphrates in Mesopotamia (now Iraq); and the Indus in India. However, while the move to cultivation began a trend of reliance on an ever-decreasing number of food species, Australian Aborigines maintained a completely different relationship with the Land. They saw themselves as part of the ecosystem and did not attempt to conquer it. They were managers and care-takers of their country. As part of their charge of keeping the country healthy, they used a huge array of different foods to meet their nutritional needs and for numerous Aboriginal clans, wattle seeds were just a part of this food resource.

Traditionally, Australian Aboriginal women generally harvested the fully ripe, dry seeds from the wattle, collecting them as we still do today – by beating the pod-laden trees with sticks to dislodge the seeds. Some species were eaten at the green pod stage but dried seeds were by far more common.

Rather than the wattle seeds falling on cleared earth, modern harvesters spread shadecloth or tarpaulins under the trees and scoop up the pods and seeds (and the inevitable sticks, beetles and leaves) and stockpile it all for collection and cleaning. Various and ingenious mechanical harvesters have been used with varying degrees of success, from tractor power take-off driven vacuums to backpack units. Some even clean the seeds up in the field. This reduces the vast volumes of pods transported back to camp as a 1 cubic metre wool bale full of pod can hold as little as from 10 to 15 kg of seeds once cleaned (about a bucket full).

Back in ancient times, the seeds were collected in coolamons or bark dishes and hot live coals were added to heat parch the seeds. This makes them easier to mill to a flour otherwise the seeds tend to squash as though you were trying to mill fresh garden peas. Once adequately toasted and dried, the coals were removed and the coolamons used to yandy and bump the seeds clean from any debris. We use modern equivalents like huge fans and vibrating table sieves to clean the seeds and then roast them in modified coffee roasters. Anyway, the Aboriginal processed seeds were milled to a coarse meal which was then baked into seed cakes.

The modern use of wattle seeds came about when Vic Cherikoff was preparing the seeds from 4 or 5 wattle species he’d had sent in from Central Australian Aboriginal communities with whom he was working on the nutritional analysis program at the University of Sydney. The Aboriginal women had sent in raw seeds and while these were useful to analyse, he also needed the seeds as prepared ready to eat.

And so he found himself roasting the seeds in a saucepan on his kitchen stove. He heated the seeds while tossing them around and heard a few popping noises as the seeds super-heated inside their seed coat and then suddenly released the energy as the seed coat popped. He then transferred the roasted seeds to an electric coffee bean grinder and gave them a spin before taking off the top to look at how they’d ground up. What an aroma! Up came this incredible, coffee, chocolate, hazelnut, toasty, roasted flavour which was just superb. Vic then ground the seeds up more and tried the dark brown, coffee-like grounds in his stove-top cappuccino machine. The rich extract poured through and was then tried black, with milk and then with a topping of frothed milk and the world’s first Wattleccino™ was born. It was delicious with the milk (or cream) bringing out a sweetness in the Wattleseed. It even worked with a small amount of coffee added and this extract, which we now manufacture using state of the art, counter-current extraction technology, has been proven as a fantastic flavour for cream, ice cream, nut butters, sauces and in beverages.

Like the roasted and ground Wattleseeds, the extract can be used in a multitude of ways. A clue when using the grounds is to pre-extract the flavour and soften the grounds by boiling the small quanitity you need for the recipe in a little water. The extract is just the ready-made product with the grounds removed. The extract also has an emulsifying action and is an effective stabiliser for whipped cream, nut butters and some oil and water mixtures (sauces, particularly emulsion sauces, dressings etc).

Add Cherikoff Wattleseed to whipped cream, icecream, pancake, bread or muffin mixes, pasta, chocolate and chocolate fillings, biscuits and beverages (Wattleccino™ is simple to make with Wattleseed extract – just add hot water and frothed milk). Also use as a flavouring for beer, cream or red wine sauces, in marinades and dessert sauces. Approximate usage rate is from 2-3%, depending on the flavour of other ingredients and whether the Watttleseed is enhancing or competing with these other tastes.

Wattleseed as medicine and nutrition
The fats in wattle seeds are typically 5 to 10% of the raw seed weight but there is an interesting point to note here. Many Acacia seeds have an appendage known as an aril which is a structure which holds the seed in the pod. The arils can vary in colour from a light tan to bright yellow, orange or red. No studies have been conducted on the pigments which are probably carotenoid compounds which are related to and often precursors of vitamin A. What we do know is that the arils are very high in polyunsaturated oils and many taste absolutely delicious. In fact, some species were used by Aborigines to flavour their drinking water: The whole seeds, with arils attached, were immersed in water and worked through the fingers to almost homogenise the fats into the water. It certainly flavoured the water and I can best describe the taste as close to the toasty notes of just baked bread but with a range of interesting aromatic flavours, again, depending upon the species.

So what are you going to do on Wattle Day? Try one of these recipes and please feel free to send in your own recipes using Wattleseed and go in the draw to win a Furi Chef’s knife

Ribeye steak with broccolini, shitake mushrooms and wattleseed jus
Wattleseed Pavlova
Wattleseed Cream
Paperbark Smoke Oil with Wattleseed and fresh bread
Pork Cutlets with Lemon Myrtle Hollandaise
Marinated mushrooms with Paperbark Smoke Oil
Wattleseed pancakes with riberry confit
Wattleseed and Chocolate Palmiers
Wattleseed Crocodile with riberry confit
Wattleseed and walnut bread and butter pudding with stewed fruits
Lamingtons with wattleseed cream and rosella jam
Wattleseed Creme Brulee with Quandong Confit
Anzac Biscuits with Wattleseed
Wattleseed infused Beef Fillet with Wild Rosella Jam and Kumara Mash

You can purchase Wattleseed or Wattleseed Extract from our online store.

Happy Wattle Day!