Tasting Eyre Peninsula seafood luxury in a chef’s house

Kris Bunder figured the best way to show off Eyre Peninsula’s elite seafood was to invite visiting media and chefs into his home and show them how he cooks it.

An ecstatic reaction to this impromptu promotional event, conjured a few years ago, has convinced Kris, the chef and owner of Del Giorno’s – a popular dining institution on Port Lincoln’s foreshore – that such an engaging and intimate culinary event represents the next lofty level of experiential tourism for visitors to the lower Eyre Peninsula.

Now, by creating Del’s Private Kitchen With Kris Bunder, this experience has been made available to the public.

Del’s Private Kitchen With Kris Bunder overlooks the Port Lincoln marina.

Structured as a seafood masterclass and private dinner in Kris and Brenda Bunder’s waterfront home in the Port Lincoln marina, it places the unique flavours of the Eyre Peninsula in the context of where the seafood is caught.

“When people come to Port Lincoln, they want to taste all of the seafood that this place is famous for – although most wouldn’t be confident enough to buy and cook for themselves,” says Kris.

“We’ll do it for them, so they can relax and enjoy it as guests in our home. We love showing off the best that Port Lincoln can offer in food, setting and hospitality.”

The Bunders have long been pivotal figures and innovators in Eyre Peninsula’s culinary scene. When Kris and Brenda started Del Giorno’s Cafe and Restaurant on the Port Lincoln foreshore in 2004, it was difficult for any diner in town to order fresh fish caught by local fishermen.

Some of the premium, fresh South Australian seafood that guests enjoy at Del’s Private Kitchen.

The expensive marine harvest used to be exclusively shipped for export, until Kris pleaded with local mates on tuna boats to provide him with a few fresh-caught bluefin.

Once local tuna finally arrived on the plate at Del Giorno’s, it sparked an instant positive reaction, and prompted Kris to shine a light on the provenance of fresh local seafood by listing all his suppliers on the menu.

The same suppliers provide Kris and Brenda’s home kitchen with fresh, seasonal fare that focuses on extravagance and quality – bluefin tuna, Coffin Bay oysters, Spencer Gulf King prawns, Kinkawooka mussels, Hiramasa kingfish, and the option of southern rock lobster and green lip abalone, which Kris prepares three ways (sashimi style with lime juice and olive oil, marinated then pan seared, and steamed).

Chef Kris Bunder shares preparation and cooking techniques for some of the best produce the Eyre Peninsula has to offer.

Even more important than enjoying the taste of such exotic fare is learning correct techniques of how to prepare and cook each ingredient, which Kris says is a blind spot in the home cooking skills of most people.

Therefore, Kris demonstrates how to shuck oysters from the shell (“the only way to eat them,” he insists), through to carving tuna sashimi-style, stuffing and baking a whole kingfish and cleaning and de-bearding mussels.

He then cooks everything in front of his guests while they enjoy quality wines and beverages, before everyone settles at the table for an extravagant seafood banquet.

The Del’s Private Kitchen Seafood Masterclass, which costs from $150 to $230 a person depending on menu choices (for a minimum of four people), can be booked via the Del Giorno’s website, or emailing Kris directly at kris@delgiornos.com.au

The best part? Enjoying the seafood feast.

Header image features Brenda and Kris Bunder, owners of Del Giorno’s Cafe and Restaurant and its spin-off Del’s Private Kitchen.

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Recipe: quick, easy, one pot laksa

During winter we search for comfort. We crave satisfying, rich and hearty foods, full bodied red wine and warm evenings on the couch. Slow cooked meats, roasted vegetables, soups, jus’ and gravies…

Winter produce lends itself perfectly to one pot wonders. Shallots that add a rich flavour to less glamorous yet full flavoured secondary cuts of meat such as shoulders, shanks and shins. Potato, carrot, parsnip and pumpkin, all vegetables that absorb flavour while maintaining their texture when added to thick sauces. Citrus fruits provide a burst of fresh relief along with a concentrated dose of vitamin C.

Slow cooking joints of meat is what winter is all about. Caramelise, deglaze, set the temperature to low and forget! After a few hours the pot looks like winter, the house smells like winter and your tastebuds are getting excited.

Unfortunately, you can’t rush a good slow cook. If you want the satisfying winter warmer but in about one tenth of the time, then hearty soups, curries and laksas need to be on your dinner menu.

For a full-flavoured, satisfying and comforting dish this winter, try our super simple prawn laksa, it’s on the table (almost) quicker than you can say Uber Eats!

Prawn & Bok Choy Laksa
Serves 4

Deliciously satisfying winter food (minus the time commitment).

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
½ bunch coriander, stems finely chopped & leaves picked
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1 stick lemongrass, bruised
2 tablespoons macadamias, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons turmeric
400ml reduced-fat coconut milk
500mL reduced-salt chicken stock
100g thick, flat rice noodles
2 bunches bok choy, quartered
400g peeled prawns
2 cups beans sprouts
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander stems, chilli, lemongrass and macadamias. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar and turmeric until dissolved. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock and stir to combine.

2. Bring the soup broth to a simmer. Add the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes or until prawns are just cooked. Add bok choy for the last minute of cooking.

3. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to the packet directions.

4. Divide noodles, prawns and bok choy between serving bowls. Pour over soup broth. Top with bean sprouts and coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges.

Add to one pot, and you’ve got yourself a soup.

PHOTO: James Knowler / JK+Crew

Themis is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and managing director of Sprout. He loves good food, great wine and sharing these with friends and family.  He is passionate about food and health and helping others to understand how these can be enjoyed together!

Callum, a cook and author, founded and operates Sprout with Themis. He draws his inspiration from the seasons and using the best possible local produce. He loves to show people how easy it can be to create quick, delicious and healthy meals.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Fleurieu faces and food revealed in coffee table cookbook

A coffee table cookbook featuring the “faces and food” of the Fleurieu Peninsula is hoping to give greater recognition to the region’s farmers, fishers, producers and chefs.

Willunga foodie Rojina McDonald is publishing The Fleurieu Peninsula: Celebrating the Faces and Food featuring 80 businesses across 25 townships from Yankalilla, Port Noarlunga and Victor Harbor.

The book is set to be released in spring, with a crowdfunding campaign on track to support the inaugural print run of 2000 copies.

Regional businesses include d’Arry’s Verandah, The Salopian Inn, Wild Coorong Seafood, Goolwa Pipi Co, Coriole Restaurant, Small Word Bakery, Fleurieu Milk Company and Pizzateca.

Ellis Butchers in McLaren Vale are featured in The Fleurieu Peninsula: Celebrating the Faces and Food. Photo by Josie Withers.

The farmers, fishers, producers and chefs are featured alongside photos taken by Josie Withers and accompanied with signature recipes such as the slow cooked beef ribs with coleslaw and hot potato (Wakefield Grange) and the lemon almond ricotta cake (Willunga Farmer’s Market).

Local writer Heather Millar has written the stories behind the faces.

Rojina says her idea for a hardcover book was born in 2013 when she undertook a patisserie scholarship at Le Cordon Bleu in London.

“In my travels overseas and locally I realised very little is known about the history and the people in the food and wine business,” she says.

Rojina on a video shoot for the cookbook campaign. Photo by Josie Withers.

“I believe the food and wine industry of the Fleurieu – its people and products – is not recognised to the extent that other regions are, for example the Barossa Valley.

“With the publication of my book, I hope to widely showcase the unique charm, quality and culture of the Fleurieu region.”

A Pozible crowdfunding campaign has been established in hope of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of the printing and distribution.

Pleges of $65 and over will receive a copy of the book, which is to be printed in South Australia.

Rojina says she wants to target foodies and wine lovers locally, nationally and internationally and have the book sold in the featured businesses, at local tourist hubs, cafés, restaurants, markets and airports.

Growing up on her family’s McLaren Vale olive grove, she was always surrounded by the premium produce and pristine landscapes of the Fleurieu.

Rojina grew up in McLaren Vale, becoming immersed in the food culture from a young age. Photo by Josie Withers.

Working in a continental deli in McLaren Vale at the age of 13, Rojina says she became familiar with “local products and faces”.

Years later she ran a popular cupcake business, going on to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the McLaren Vale Business Association and winning the international scholarship in London.

Under her newly established business, Soul Publishing, Rojina hopes to expand the ‘faces and food’ concept to showcase other regions of the state.

A second book, which focused on wine, beer and spirits of the Fleurieu, is already in the pipeline.

Culinary queen Maggie Beer, MasterChef foodie Jessie Spiby and actor Erik Thomson, who lives on the Fleurieu, have each shown their support for the ‘faces and food’ book.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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TAFE SA patisserie lecturer to compete on world stage

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams is hoping to achieve sweet success when he represents Australia in the “Olympics of pastry” on April 24 and 25.

Justin, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus, will head to Singapore to compete in the prestigious Asian Pastry Cup in hope of qualifying for the world championships in Paris in 2019.

The pastry chef, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA, has been working with teammate and Sydney pastry chef Sonia Quek, training for 15 hours a day for the event.

The duo has spent the past six months cooking with hundreds of kilograms of chocolate and sugar in preparation for the contest.

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams will compete in the Asian Pastry Cup in April 2018 in hope of qualifying for the world championships.

The Asian Pastry Cup is the biggest live pastry competition in Asia and is attended by talented pastry experts from a number of different countries.

Contestants must create two elaborate chocolate and sugar-themed showpieces, 20 desserts and two modern gateaux in eight hours.

Details of exactly what Justin will create are top secret.

“This event is highly competitive – it’s basically the Olympics of pastry – so we need to keep our cards close to our chest to get an edge on our competitors,” he says.

“We have put in many hours of training, trying and testing new techniques and finessing our creations for the event.

“We have put a lot into this so hopefully we can get a good result on the day.”

Justin says the pair has collaborated with 3D chefs and an industrial designer to help create structural elements for the chocolate and sugar showpieces.

“Our 3D chef creates a 3D image of our showpieces then prints each component using 3D printers and we then make moulds out of silicon from these printed items,” he says.

“Our industrial designer is designing and building our finished buffet decorations.”

The live competition will involve patisserie experts sweating it out over eight hours in hope of creating the winning elaborate showpieces.

Justin has years of baking experience under his belt after working as a pastry chef in hotels around the world.

TAFE SA educational manager Fee Lee says he is confident the Australian team will finish in the top three.

“TAFE SA has a strong record of success in these competitions winning in the SIGEP Remini in Italy and the Mondial Du Pain in France,” he says.

“Justin has taught the Certificate IV in Patisserie at Regency Campus for seven years. He has a strong background as an executive pastry chef having worked for many years in Australian and international hotels.”

Fancy a career in cooking? Check out TAFE SA’s courses here.

Summer barbecue sizzlers with Sprout duo

Summer in South Australia is a barbecue boss’ time to shine.

You could dust off the gas bottles, buy a meat tray from the local butcher and throw a snag on the ‘barbie’ … or you could do it the “modern Australia” way.

This summer, our challenge to our fellow South Aussies is to live up to our reputation of premium food and wine and take your barbecue to new heights.

This doesn’t have to mean breaking into the piggy bank or spending hours in the kitchen, rather just a little more focus on fresh, local and seasonal produce.

Try using vibrant and full flavoured herbs and summer fruits to lift salads, dry spices for additional flavour on meats and perhaps throw an eggplant on the barbie with olive oil and crushed garlic too.

Seafood is a big hit during our hot summer, chargrilled prawns and calamari are a favourite but try supercharging your seafood with a smokey spice rub or rich spicey sauce.

Why not try our paprika prawns with romesco sauce and chilli beans this long weekend?

The best part about this dish is that you can cook the whole meal on the barbecue (including roasting your own capsicums on the grill) and that it requires minimal preparation which means you can spend more time standing near the barbecue, looking busy, with a cold beer in your hand!

Paprika prawns with romesco sauce and chilli beans


Ingredients (serves 4)

1/2 Cup roasted capsicum pieces

1/4 Cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

1 Garlic clove

1 Teaspoon smoked paprika, plus 1 tablespoon extra

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

1/3 Cup tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)

Zest and juice of a lemon

2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon extra

500g Peeled prawns

4 Large handfuls green beans, topped and tailed

1/2 Teaspoon chilli flakes

8 Anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)


  • To make the romesco sauce, combine the capsicum, half the almonds, garlic, one teaspoon paprika, cumin, tomato passata and half the lemon juice in a food processor. Blend until smooth, add the two tablespoons of olive oil and blend briefly to combine.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Coat the prawns in the remaining tablespoon of paprika, season with a pinch of salt, then add to the pan. Cook for one minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove the prawns from the pan and leave to rest, lightly covered.
  • Add the beans, chilli flakes and anchovies, if using, to the pan and cook for about two minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Transfer into a bowl and toss with the lemon zest and remaining juice. Divide the beans among four serving plates. Top with the prawns, romesco sauce and the remaining almonds and serve.

Nutritional information (per serve):
Energy: 1520 (363cal)
Protein: 34.8g
Fat: 19.6g
Carbohydrate: 7.9g
Sodium: 1006mg
Sat far: 2.7g
Sugar: 4.8g
Fibre: 7.3g

PHOTO: James Knowler / JK+Crew

Themis is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and managing director of Sprout. He loves good food, great wine and sharing these with friends and family.  He is passionate about food and health and helping others to understand how these can be enjoyed together!

Callum, a cook and author, founded and operates Sprout with Themis. He draws his inspiration from the seasons and using the best possible local produce. He loves to show people how easy it can be to create quick, delicious and healthy meals.