Cooking Demonstrations 2021

Bellinger River Agricultural Society is excited to announce that Clayton Donovan will be our Celebrity Chef at this year’s Show.

Clayton will give two cooking demonstrations on Saturday and one on Sunday.

As well as demonstrations by Clayton, there will be cooking demonstrations by Bellingen’s very own Mitch Grady.

Chefs Table Prize Draw
Tickets will be on sale on Saturday to go into the draw for 10 lucky winners to be at The Chefs Table with Clayton on Sunday afternoon.
(Note: Ticket holders must be present at the draw in order to win).

About Clayton

Clayton J Donovan was born in Macksville, NSW and is a proud “Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung” man.

Donovan is Australia’s only hatted Indigenous chef | native food specialist | television presenter | forager | OzHarvest ambassador | bush tucker champion | motivational speaker | restaurateur | punk rocker.

Donovan’s Jaaning Tree fine dining restaurant was awarded Good Food Guide Hats in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 in recognition of his creative contemporary menu with an artistic Indigenous twist.


As a young chef Donovan was ahead of his time, introducing native Australian ingredients such as Kakadu plum, rosella and Lemon myrtle in the 1990’s while working alongside Head Chef Kenneth Leung at the iconic Watermark Balmoral Beach.

A renegade spirit with a genuine love of country, culture and food, Donovan has wowed audiences around the world with his innovative menus and invaluable knowledge for bush tucker foods. He is a national treasure and pretty handy on the guitar and drums too!

About Mitch

Mitch will be doing cooking demonstrations on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of the Bellingen Show.

There will be a children’s cooking demonstration, with local and organic foods featured.

Mitch Grady didn’t know much about fine dining when he became a kitchen hand at the age of 14. He just thought it could be a good part- time job and maybe give him a chance to travel.

Mitch pic

However, the food industry had bigger plans.

Mitch worked in London and several Sydney restaurants.

When he was just 26 he launched Bloodwood, the first bar and restaurant of its type in Newtown, Sydney, with two friends.

In Bellingen he operated Popla (on Oak Street) for two years. He now works at Thorn’s Butcher and runs Bellingen Wholefoods, which delivers healthy meals to people in and around the shire and works with the local community to create new products.

When we asked Mitch why he moved to Bellingen he told us after holidaying with family in the area with his wife and young son they moved so they could ‘holiday everyday.’

The beautiful surrounds of Dorrigo mountains, the Promised Land, and the Bellingen River, plus secluded beaches made the move idyllic. They love the great sense of community spirit and a beautiful place to live. ‘We wanted our son to grow up in this amazing environment’ said Mitch.