Listen: Nathan Lyons discusses his TikTok fame due to 'Kooking with a Koori', with Sam Robinson on Hope Breakfast
With more than 1.4 million likes on TikTok, a father of six from Western Sydney is showing the world the simple cooking he grew up with.
Our world is filled with celebrity chefs, but there are none quite like Nathan Lyons. He hosts Kooking with a Koori on TikTok from his home in Western Sydney, a side project from working shiftwork and raising his six kids.
“My first video got uploaded in September 2020, just for a bit of a giggle,” NTathan told Hope Breakfast. “And I’d seen a couple of other chefs on TikTok but I noticed a lack of old school sort of meals and the stuff that we had growing up. So I did the first video as a bit of a laugh, and it kind of went viral. Out of that I got a lot of suggestions for things to try.”
And try them he did.
Since, he has grown a following that has seen him gather more than 100,000 followers and 1.4 million likes. It’s something that his kids are quite proud of, and Nathan said he is happy to show off some of sort of meals he had growing up.
“I grew up in social housing, raised by a single mum, with three other siblings. So we had to learn how to shop cheap, and just do cheap and easy meals,” he said.
“My mum had a rule that the cook doesn’t clean. I absolutely hate cleaning, so I made sure I was the cook. So I was cooking for the family from the age of about eight. So now I’ve got six kids and a wife, money’s tight, so what I learned back then are the same things that I’m applying now.”
Nathan claims he manages to feed his family of eight for $8 a meal. Now, many of the popular recipes that Nathan has shared on TikTok have been compiled into a cookbook: Kooking with a Koori.
“You’ll find the old school classics of one pan dinner, curried sausages, mashed potato wrapped in devon,” Nathan said.
“There’s simple stuff like we had growing up. Kangaroo, chicken, beef, pork, there’s even a vegetarian and vegan section. There’s over 200 recipes in that book, no matter what your diet or your favourite food, you’ll find something to enjoy.”
Kooking with a Koori is out now. Hear more of Nathan Lyons’ secrets, in the player above, of how he manages to feed his family for $8 a meal, using ingredients that others might snub, as well as why he believes sharing a meal is so important in breaking down barriers.