Clayton Donovan

Clayton Donovan


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Clayton is Australia’s only hatted Indigenous chef, and the star of TV cooking program Wild Kitchen. Having grown up on Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung land on the mid-north coast of NSW, when he was just four years old Clayton would go foraging with his Aunty Jess around their home in the Nambucca Valley. Learning about bush tucker from his aunties and grandmother, his passion for cooking came from his mother.

‘My mum cooked really, really well,’ he says, explaining that it was his extended family who got him out into the bush. ‘I was one of those kids who needed to be outside, so the easiest thing was to connect me to the bush culture, the food, and my belly,’ he laughs. At home his mum would be trying out new recipes from Europe and it was this fusion of flavours that left the indelible mark on him, which would one day define his career as a celebrated chef and champion of bush foods.

Clayton ran his unique Janning Tree restaurant in Nambucca Heads for five years, and these days he creates amazing food at corporate functions, pop-up restaurants and both public and private events. He also shares his knowledge at schools with cooking lessons and mentoring. He’s in the process of writing his first cookbook.