South Coast produce is adored among Australia’s chefs, and the Narooma Oyster Festival has a great history of bringing the two together, from Colin Fassnidge in 2022 to Julie Goodwin in 2012.
Each year the festival hosts free cooking demonstrations on the Narooma Betta Home Living Cooking Stage and we hope you enjoy recreating some of these dishes for your own table. Remember to support your local growers, oyster farmers and fishermen wherever you can.
Kelly Eastwood’s South Coast Paella (Serves 4)
1 litre chicken stock
2 chicken thigh fillets, diced
1 chorizo sausage, or a good local spicy sausage, sliced
1 red capsicum, roughly chopped
1 green capsicum, roughly chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp. fennel seeds
250g calasparra, bomba or short grain rice
200g Australian prawns, whole
1 local squid, sliced into thin tubes
Local mussels, cleaned
In medium sized pot, heat chicken stock & add saffron threads. Keep on low simmer, cover until needed. Season with salt and pepper.
30 – 40cm paella pan add good splash of olive oil, when hot, add chicken. Sauté until browned, but not cooked through.
Lower heat & add chorizo/sausage – cook a further 5 mins.
Add capsicum & red onion – gently fry for 20 mins, stir occasionally. Mixture should be slightly caramelised & sweet. Try not to rush this step as it will give you a much deeper flavour.
Add garlic & fennel seeds – fry a further 2 mins.
Add rice & stir to combine the flavours & coat the rice.
Add warmed stock & let the rice gently simmer away.
Season with salt & pepper.
Don’t be tempted to stir the rice, it needs to sit & absorb the flavours.
Paella rice should take approximately 20 mins to cook through, so after approx. 15 mins, taste the rice. It should be close to cooked, but still have a bite to it.
When you’re at this stage, add the prawns, clams, mussels and squid. Allow the rice and seafood to finish cooking, adding a little more stock if it’s looking too dry. Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Garnish with local sprouts, lemon wedge and paprika.
Kelly Eastwood, owns and runs her own business, Eastwoods Deli and Cooking School in Bermagui, a fishing village 45 minutes drive south just of Narooma.
A local legend, Kelly has hosted the cooking demonstration for a number of years and in 2022 returned as chef, wowing the crowd with this stunning paella with local mussels, clams, squid and Australian prawns.
After 14 years of working as a Private Chef to Royalty, Russian Oligarchs and many more on the Forbes list, Kelly left the high seas and transferred her skills to television.
Working as a Home Economist and TV Food Producer for shows such as Masterchef, MKR, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Great Australian Bake Off to name a few, it was River Cottage Australia that brought Kelly to the Far South Coast of NSW.
When River Cottage Australia finished, Kelly founded Eastwood’s where she and her team provide local produce ready meals between Pambula and Batemans Bay, hosts cooking lessons, pop up dinners and caters for private events.
When the 2019 bushfires roared along our coastline, Eastwood’s became a disaster relief kitchen which turned out over 40,000 meals for our community and those who came to our aid.