Cooking on a campfire, fishing, hunting, plucking wild food from trees – that was Lynton Tapp’s introduction to food. This Aussie “man of the land” was raised on his family’s cattle station in the remote Roper River region of the Northern Territory, he could ride a horse before he could walk and was working as a station hand by the time he was 10.
Nursed by an Indigenous woman, young Lynton’s love of native and local ingredients blossomed in these formative years. His interest in cooking came later in life, under difficult circumstances: his kid sister Emily asked Lynton to cook and care for her while she attended a spinal rehabilitation centre in the US, the result of a horse-riding fall. For Lynton, this labour of love became a crash-course in all things culinary, learning intricate cooking techniques and broadening his food knowledge dramatically. As a result, he began to consider food as a career.
Lynton came to public attention in 2013 on MasterChef Australia. Dubbed “The Stockman”, he was the series runner-up and made the most of the opportunities it delivered. He became the face of Earth Hour Australia and hosted its documentary, Appetite for Change, focussing on the difficulties farmers are facing due to climate change. He was also involved in Tourism Australia’s initiative, Restaurant Australia, cooking for the Duchess of Cornwall in London on Australia Day 2015.
In 2016 Lynton released his debut cookbook, Outback Pantry, and hosted his first episodes of
A Taste of Travel and My Market Kitchen, which is currently in its third season on Channel 10. Based in Melbourne, Lynton has worked as an ambassador for Queen Victoria Market and Foodbank Victoria. When he’s not sourcing fresh ingredients for his catering and recipe development work, he’s planning his next food and travel adventure.
Lynton is currently head chef at Melbourne eatery Westwood. He hopes to one day open his own restaurant, highlighting the indigenous flavours he grew up with. Through his family’s connections with the land, he has a strong reputation in Australian media as a key advocate for Aussie farmers.