Clayton Donovan
Clayton Donovan

Clayton Donovan

Born:  Macksville, NSW

History:  My background was what started me cooking…  Walks with my Aunties and grandmothers, tasting what we found in the bush or along the coastline. I started cooking here in rural NSW and then moved toSydney to do my apprenticeship at the Watermark at Balmoral with Kenneth Leung. From there I cooked all over Sydney, often working in 2 or 3 places at once to get the experience I needed.  In 2000 I moved to theUK and worked in kitchens in Cornwall, setting up restaurants and working in hotels along the coast.  On our return to Australia we found a restaurant of our own where I could use the knowledge from my cultural background and from my travels to produce cuisine that reflects my heritage.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? The drive to become a chef really started early on, but my hunger for it was really kick started in Sydneywhere I was surrounded by fabulous cuisine.

How would you define your style? Contemporary with an Indigenous twist.

What is your feature flavour these days? Bush tomato, quandong, & finger lime.

Obsessive compulsive about? Introducing our native flavours to Australian cuisine.

Your greatest culinary inspirations: Steffano Manfreddi, John Campbell, the team at Watermark, & Marco Pierre White.

What do you love about this business? The constant change of produce to create dishes over the year.

An ingredient you can’t live without? Wattleseed

Most “eyebrow raising” menu item? Local passion fruit, wasabi and vodka brulee

Signature Dish: Cheese and Macadamia nut beignets with a Davidson Plum reduction



More Chefs