Chef Clayton Donovan will attend the 2016 Slice of Haven Food and Wine Festival.
The Nambucca-born celebrity is Australia’s only hatted indigenous chef.
He has written and featured on television shows such as Wild Kitchen on ABC TV.
Clayton Donovan grew up on Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung land on the Mid North Coast.
He started learning about native produce when he was four-years-old out walking with his Aunties and grandmothers.
He worked in kitchens in Nambucca Heads as a young man, washing dishes, while performing in a band, skating and surfing.
After finishing his HSC, Clayton began a law degree but soon realised his passion was in food.
In Sydney he studied commercial cooking then began an apprenticeship on board a private luxury catamaran, preparing food for visiting stars like The Eurythmics and the LA Lakers.
Clayton was developing his own style but wanted to learn more about using native produce in a restaurant environment.
Chef Kenneth Leung was integrating ingredients such as wattle seed and rosella into Asian and European dishes, so Clayton applied to work at The Watermark at Balmoral Beach.
Clayton’s waking hours were consumed with learning. After work he learned skills in Italian, seafood and fine dining by working in different sections of their kitchens.
He learned the finer details of creating flavours and presenting dishes in hatted restaurants.
Clayton moved to England after his apprenticeship was complete. He worked at sous chef and head chef positions in restaurants and manor houses.
In 2008 he returned to Nambucca Heads to open Jaaning Tree (pronounced “jaa-nee”) which combined Clayton’s international experience and his love of Australian native foods.
Clayton won the Australian Good Food Guide chef hat four years running. The Jaaning Tree business has now evolved to include media work, long lunches, pop ups and education.
“Native foods are something that a lot of chefs would die to get a punnet of,” Clayton said before the screening of Restoring Earth, a new grassroots documentary.
At Slice of Haven Clayton will conduct two cooking demonstrations at Slice of Haven, at 11pm and 1pm Sunday May 29.
The Slice of Haven Food & Wine Festival has become a leading gourmet lifestyle event on the Mid North Coast social calendar, attracting tens of thousands of people to the Camden Haven region.
Each year organisers of the event challenge stallholders to use locally-grown key ingredients, embrace the event’s vibe of indulgence and get creative to meet the yearly theme.
In 2016 Slice of Haven will be ‘Magic Beyond the Plate’.
For the first time the event will branch out into quirky, non-food related stalls. In sticking with their mission to support local small businesses, organisers stipulate all stallholders must meet the essential criteria of residing within 100 miles of the Camden Haven and provide fare that is predominantly made within the region, with a touch of magic thrown in.
Don’t miss this opportunity to sample just how talented and creative gourmet businesses on the Mid North Coast really are.
In 2016 the entertainment at Slice of Haven steps up to inspire the senses too.
Bands such as Elk and Ghost Road will keep visitors grooving. Magicians, Jay Scott Berry – the Virtuoso of Magic - and Magic Jake, will perform on stage as well as roam the crowd and surprise you with random tricks.
The beautiful actors from Bago Magic Theatre will bring the tale of Peter Pan (along with their incredible props) to Slice of Haven.
For a dash of quirky, musicians from CHUMS (Camden Haven Ukelele Musicians) will get strumming.
Dancers from Movement Studios will get visitors grooving.
There will be plenty of space to sit back and chill, so bring your picnic blanket.
Little appetites will be well-catered for with plenty of kid-friendly food, rides, face painting and the gigantic sand pit.
Held on Sunday May 29 10am-5pm, and now in its ninth year, the 2016 festival will once again be held on the scenic riverbank behind the Laurieton United Services Club. Entry is by gold coin donation which goes towards assisting the volunteer groups which help make Slice of Haven so successful.
Parking is available at Bruce Porter reserve. This is a licensed event, so please no BYO food or drinks and kindly leave your pets at home.