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Quick Shears Night Event    ….. AT THE TOK PRECINCT

We extend an invitation to you to wine and dine in ‘Bar-call-dine’

Experience a meal of shearers’ food

‘Bar-call-dine’ – A Celebration of

The Shearers’ Cook and Cooking



Shearers’ Cooks have always been a part of the shearing industry, cooking for the shearers and shed hands since the very early days in the district.

The first cooks had nothing but outside fireplaces on which to produce their meals, later having the ‘luxury’ of indoor stoves -in the same hut that the shearers slept in – bunks, dining table and stove all in the same space. Bit hot in the summer, but no doubt appreciated in the winter time.

Shearers paid their cooks out of their own wages, and despite the shearers’ grumbles about the quality of the food, they were an indispensable worker in the sheds. They baked bread, cakes, and cooked the local mutton or whatever was available from before dawn to dark every day shearing was underway. Johnny cakes were popular, as was kangaroo tail stew and damper.

Over the years, as jobs in the sheds began to go to women, the cook was no exception. The food has changed over time too – a typical meal today would probably be roast, silverside, pot vegies, salads and homemade pies, as well as the ever-popular standby, lamb chops with puddin’ to follow.

Hot, dry conditions can challenge even the fittest shearer, and to keep those who clip wool for a living well watered, fed, and ready for another day of hard yakka in the sheds, there’s always a cook working just as hard in the kitchen.

In celebration of the humble cook, we asked a chef to come up with a modern take on the traditional fare served up to the shearers and shed hands by the shearers’ cook.


Ticketed Feature Event    Friday 7pm-9pm  @TOK Precinct