Mark Olive (aka “The Black Olive”) has been a chef for over 25 years, after becoming interested in cooking as a child through watching his mother and aunts. He was born in Wollongong in New South Wales, but his people are the Bundjalung nation from the state's northern rivers region.
His interest in people and in the arts has guided Mark through an amazingly varied career, and in the midst of it all he has also found time to complete a BA in film and television, at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
He initially trained with a European chef and has worked in theatres, universities, health centres, Jewish kitchens preparing kosher food, on film sets and in a la carte restaurants. Along with his TV series, The Outback Cafe, Mark’s previous television experiences includes regular appearances as a celebrity chef on ABC TV's Message Stick program, and more recently on Channel Ten’s ‘The Circle’.
Mark was Chef at Melbourne's indigenous restaurant, the Flaming Bull, and ran his own restaurant in Sydney for a time where he specialised in creating recipes using outback ingredients. Now Mark’s passion for fusing native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking has led to a huge international profile, and the creation of Black Olive Catering, an indigenous catering company and function space in North Melbourne, Victoria.
Along with his daily business operations, Mark cooks regularly for clients such as Tourism Australia at large corporate, public and cultural events around the country and the world, bringing his signature infusions of contemporary outback flavours to every occasion. Mark’s business was chosen to feature in the Victorian itinerary when Oprah travelled to Australia with her Ultimate Audience in 2010. Her guests were treated to a cultural experience of indigenous food, art and storytelling during Mark’s infamous cooking demonstration.
For more information about Mark Olive and his catering business, visit www.blackolive.net.au