Former Perth and now Humpty Doo chef, Ash Brunet, with lamb in a seeded mustard and rosemary marinade, ratatouille and a jus that takes five days to make. Lisa Herbert ABC Rural

A former Perth chef is working hard to change the tastes of Top End locals, but says a lack of quality ingredients adds to the challenge.

Ashley Brunet brought his skills to the kitchen of the Humpty Doo Hotel a couple of years ago and, while the tourists are happy to try a barramundi or a buffalo burger in the pub, Ashley is trying to give the locals a more upmarket experience in the hotel’s bistro.

He said a lack of fresh vegetables and dairy makes it tough.

“They’re a little bit poor in quality up here, and dairy is very hard to work with,” Mr Brunet said.

“The cream doesn’t seem to reduce or thicken.

“The dairy’s not as good as it should be.

“If someone can get some decent potatoes let me know.

“The potatoes up here always seem to be too wet, too inconsistent, and they don’t make good mash or roasts.”

But Mr Brunet said what the Top End lacks in vegetables, it more than makes up for when it comes to fresh seafood…

Read more by Lisa Herbert NT Country Hour – ABC Rural 2 February 2015