Byron Indigenous Food Weekend


The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa is very proud to host The Jaaning Tree for an Indigenous Food Weekend July 19 – 21.

Clayton Donovan with Gavin Hughes in the Byron at Byron kitchen

Clayton Donovan, owner and Chef at the Jaaning Tree in Nambucca Heads on the NSW North Coast is the current darling of the food world. With a Chefs’ Hat and his own television show The Jaaning Tree airing this year, his effusive charm and passion for native foods has won admirers the world over.

“We are a bit behind here” said Clayton. “Other countries celebrate their native foods but in Australia people don’t understand the abundant food that’s all around them. We need to get the ball rolling and bring native foods into mainstream cooking”.

According to Clayton, the recent growth of the food miles movement has seen an increase in the appreciation for native bush foods. However it was not long ago that more of our bush foods were being exported than consumed domestically. “There is a huge range, from a desert truffle to lemon aspen and quandong, wild carrots, lilli pillis, geebungs, wild raspberries and appleberries. My aunty took me out when I was four or five and introduced me to bush foods”.

After completing his training Clayton worked at Watermark in Balmoral Beach and at Aria before travelling to work in England’s finest hotels and restaurants. He now blends indigenous ingredients with Asian themes to produce unforgettable dishes such as citrus cured crocodile and hot smoked kangaroo in lemon myrtle. “We still sell more kangaroo than beef” said Clayton.

“Jaaning Tree is an experiment. It’s my man cave. I named the restaurant after the black wattle tree whose sap is used as a bush lolly. When I got in trouble as a kid that’s where I used to hide, the Jaaning Tree. In there I created a lot of stuff in my head. And that’s what my restaurant is, a place where I can develop ideas.

“I’m looking forward to working with Gavin Hughes at The Byron at Byron. He’s really funny and apparently he’s going to wear his kilt. He’s proud of his heritage also”.

The weekend will feature a Rainforest Bush Foods Walk and Talk, a cooking demonstration and a Celebratory Indigenous Dinner. Weekend package $801 for one person, $995 for two people or $1299 for three people, including:

–          Two nights’ accommodation in a Superior Suite

–          Breakfast and yoga daily

–          Rainforest Bush Foods Walk and Talk

–          Cooking demonstration

–          Tickets to the Celebratory Indigenous Dinner

For bookings please contact 1300 554362 or