CHEF Clayton Donovan is keeping his cards close to his chest when to comes to the culinary secrets he plans to share with Slice of Haven festival-goers.
A Nambucca-local, Clayton says he enjoys being involved with “great events in my own backyard” and is looking forward to being this year’s Slice of Haven special guest presenter.
“Being able to showcase Australian native foods, for Australians, in Australia is a good thing,” he said.
Proof of the growing interest in Australian native ingredients has been the success of the ABC television series ‘Wild Kitchen’, which follows Clayton as he visits farms and providores to source the freshest ingredients.
“I feel like we’re on the cusp of a real change, where Australians are getting to know and understand local produce a little better.”
“More people at the top end of the food industry are discovering the great food flavours of Australia, and it’s become a real high-end food trend.”
As someone who spent years working in the UK, and in Australia alongside a few big-name celebrity chefs, Clayton has changed the direction of his career in recent times.
After closing his hatted Jaaning Tree Restaurant in Nambucca Heads after five wonderful years, he now brings his passion for native foods and local produce to a wider audience.
“I’m spending more time creating pop-up restaurants and doing guest cheffing roles.”
Clayton’s main message for Slice of Haven’s foody audience will be to keep it simple and flavoursome.
“I like to make local ingredients the hero, and try not to make it too complicated,”
“Food’s more fun if you can eat it with your fingers too.”
For your chance to see Clayton’s cooking demonstrations, and hear his fresh approach to modern Australian cuisine, come along to Slice of Haven food and wine festival on May 29.
With dozens of stallholders, there will be a huge variety of dishes to taste and local produce to buy and take away, all featuring locally-grown ingredients.
“It’s going to be great,” Clayton concluded.
More information about the Slice of Haven is available on the festival website; www.sliceofhaven.com.au.