Five legends of Australian cooking will have the honour of being immortalized on a postage stamp as the recipients of the 2014 Australia Post Legends Award.
These Legends of Cooking have been recognized for their influence over Australia's food culture and the visionary role each have played in shaping Australia's palate and laying the foundations of our gastronomic success.
This year's Australia Post Australian Legends, who were chosen by an industry selection panel, are the culinary greats Margaret Fulton OAM, Maggie Beer AM, Stephanie Alexander OAM, Neil Perry AM and Kylie Kwong.
Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director & CEO, Australia Post, said this year's award celebrates five Australians who have each played a distinct role in the emergence of a sophisticated Australian food culture.
"These five individuals have taught Australians to appreciate our abundant fresh ingredients and to embrace the flavours of multiculturalism," Mr Fahour said.
"They are not just cooks, but business-minded authors, teachers, TV personalities and restaurateurs. For this, they truly deserve the title Australian Legend."
The 2014 Australia Post Australian Legends will be honoured at official Australia DayCouncil events hosted in all capital cities, with the first luncheon taking place in Adelaide today. Each Legend will also be presented with a 24-carat gold replica of their stamp.
Michael Harden, independent culinary writer and member of the industry selection panel, believes the current food culture we have in Australia would not have been possible without the input of these amazing and visionary cooks.
"The people on this list have been integral to the way we eat now, and their innovation, imagination and integrity will keep the inspiration going into the future. It's enough to make you hungry just thinking about it," Mr Harden said.
Australia Post Legend status is bestowed upon only the most inspirational Australians. These are individuals and groups that not only amass substantial bodies of work, but are inspirational and exemplify perseverance, devotion, integrity and compassion.
Margaret Fulton said: "It's a very nice honour. I'm getting older, and it's a lovely feeling to say that you've wound up on a stamp."
Maggie Beer said: "I'm a sentimentalist and I've got every letter my mother wrote me while I was overseas, so being on a stamp makes me very proud. There have been so many parts of my life that I've had to pinch myself about, and this is one of them."
Stephanie Alexander said: "When I want to thank somebody for something special I always hand write a letter because I feel it deserves it and now I’ll be even prouder to put a stamp on it. I think it's a great honour and I'm in some marvellous company."
Neil Perry said: "It is just such an amazing honour and I am deeply humbled to have been chosen. Monarchs' and Heads of State are on stamps, as well as music legends like Barnesy, so to be named amongst them feels like an incredible achievement."
Kylie Kwong said: "I'm absolutely chuffed. I don't even think it's sunk in yet; I'm still digesting the enormity of it. It fills me with such pride and it makes me want to do even more for this country and to take what I do that step further."
This year's recipients will join an exclusive group of only 70 others awarded Legend status.
The Legends Award began 16 years ago when Sir Donald Bradman was the first living Australian to be honoured on an Australian stamp. Prior to that, the only living people honoured on our nation's stamps were members of the royal family.
Today, the only other living Australians to feature on stamps are Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medalists.
Each Legend will feature on a 60c stamp, with all Legends featuring in a stamp pack, first day cover and set of maxi cards along with a commemorative book titled Australian Legends of Cooking, written by Michael Harden.