River Cottage Australia inside story: Ep 8

AFTER eight episodes we have reached the end of the first River Cottage Australia series, but the great news is that Foxtel and the shows producers on Friday announced there is going to be second and even a third series.

The show is not just popular with locals but is apparently the top rating show on The LifeStyle Channel, hence it comes as now surprise there will be more.

Read our coverage about the announcement here:

Episide 8 sees mentor and River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall return to Central Tilba – and hasn’t the garden flourished.

There is lots of work to do because this episode features a big party to celebrate the end of the first series and to give thanks to all the locals that helped out, but more on that later.

Hugh meets the menagerie including host Paul West’s dog Digger and arrives just in time for the hatching of the new chicks from the incubator.

They have a “milk off”, seeing who can extract more from the udder of Bessie, the farm’s Jersey cow.

For the record, Paul with more recent practice beats Hugh although Bessie has the last, rather sloppy say.

There is some time for relaxation and Hugh being a fisherman and great advocate of sustainable fishing head down to the beach at the Tilba cemetery for a spot of fishing.

Showing them how are Bermagui locals former real estate agent Paul Blacker and Bermagui Bait & Tackle staff member Josh Caves.

A gummy shark is landed almost immediately but it is released as Australian salmon, Arripis trutta, are the target for the day.

Apparently it took all day but Paul Blacka and then Hugh finally get a salmon each and host Paul as is tradition makes dish as a thank-you – converting this salmon skeptic who once called the species “neighbour fish” as that’s who he gave them to.

Dished up are baked salmon and salmon carpaccio.

Then its on to start preparing for the end of season party, and the other two boy pigs are slaughtered, although for thankfully for the sensitive viewers behind the scenes this time.

Paul and Hugh get to making their dishes and roasting one of the pigs on the spit.

The guests then start to arrive, including neighbour Darcy Hoyer and his rabbit-hunting nephew Charles Lucas, who comes armed with some plump rabbits.

Fisherman Paul Blacka hangs out with oyster grower extraordinaire David Maidment, while CWA ladies Nelleke Gorton, Louise Allery and Mary Williams circulate checking out and offering commentary on the dishes.

Small animal abattoir advocate Chris Franks, Barrabarroo Farm Fresh Meats butcher John Tracey is there as is mobile butcher Matt Christison to help with the cooking and carving – and the crackling looked magnificent.

Representatives from the indigenous community who took Paul and Hugh up Gulaga Mountain in the first episode are also invited, as are several others whom I’ve probably neglected to mention.

Paul then present his big paella featuring all local produce and makes an emotional speech thanking Hugh for giving him the opportunity, thanking all the locals for their help and saying how much he was looking forward to life ahead on the farm.

Looking on as Paul presents Hugh with the chef’s knife he made is Dignams Creek blacksmith Iain Hamilton.

Paul couldn’t let Hugh get away with being the only one to get one of this handcrafted and initialed masterpieces, so he got his own.

So that’s it folks – we have enjoyed bringing an inside look at who on the Far South Coast has been featured on the show and dropping a few names and locations along the way.

If you made it this far you like obviously enjoyed the show so stay tuned for more River Cottage Australia coverage in the Narooma News.

KNIFE MEN: Blacksmith and knife maker Iain Hamilton from Dignams Creek just down the road from River Cottage Australia presented a knife to both Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Aussie host Paul West.

KNIFE MEN: Blacksmith and knife maker Iain Hamilton from Dignams Creek just down the road from River Cottage Australia presented a knife to both Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Aussie host Paul West.

HUGH’S ANGELS: Far South Coast CWA ladies Nelleke Gorton, Louise Allery and Mary Williams pose for a photo with River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at the end-of-series party.

HUGH’S ANGELS: Far South Coast CWA ladies Nelleke Gorton, Louise Allery and Mary Williams pose for a photo with River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at the end-of-series party.

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