Set in the stunning NSW costal region of Central Tilba, the series gives a uniquely Australian twist to the British hit show, as a rundown property is transformed into a functioning farm.
22 Jun 2017 - 12:21 PM  UPDATED 24 Jul 2017 - 6:37 PM

Follow chef Paul West as he cooks delicious food, lends a helping hand to the community and works to create a sustainable farm. Paul still has a lot to learn as life continues on the River Cottage Australia farm. 

How a rookie farmer learned to love the land
Food lovers, rejoice! River Cottage Australia is now on SBS. Paul West, the chef turned farmer, tells how he came to set up in "one of the most underrated places in Australia".


Episode 1 

Airs Tuesday 25 July at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Time has passed and the seasons have changed at River Cottage Australia. Paul West is about to experience his first summer on the land. Will he have enough water, food and produce to keep the farm thriving throughout the dryer months? More than ever he’ll need to rely on the expertise of friends and neighbors to help him expand the farm. 

Episode 2 

Airs Wednesday 26 July at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul has big plans to increase his livestock at River Cottage Australia and has his sights set on impregnating some of the farm animals, but as Paul quickly learns you can’t control nature. And that includes his beloved best friend Digger, who has grown from a playful pup to a rebellious teenager. To continue to live on the farm with Paul Digger will need discipline.

Episode 3 

Airs Thursday 27 July at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul has learnt how to be a dairy farmer the hard way but now It’s time for Paul to make another tough lesson. How will he cope saying goodbye to another farm favourite? Meanwhile, Paul plans to increase the livestock continue and he becomes a mother hen to fifty baby birds.

Episode 4 

Airs Friday 28 July at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul visits a friend to help butcher and learn the different cuts of meat and gets hands on building a new shelter for his chickens. Meanwhile, Paul needs to find ways to earn an income so goes to the farmers market for the first time. Will the punters go for his homegrown grub?

Episode 5

Airs Monday 31 July at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul gets some goats but the going gets gruff when he tries to milk them for the first time. His cheese making skills get challenge by local friend Erica when they enter into the secret world of cheese making. 

Episode 6

Airs Tuesday 1 August  at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul gets hands on and converts a household item into a smoker. Meanwhile the big event of the month the Bega Show is just around the corner, but will Paul’s rooster be up to scratch? 

Episode 7

Airs Wednesday 2 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Farm life is not easy! Paul has always known this but when he’s faced with a tough task his experiences and lessons from last season prove very useful.

New friendships are formed when Paul gets expert help to build a brand new oven at River Cottage – the start of many new builds to come.

Episode 8

Airs Thursday 3 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

The CWA ladies come to River Cottage seeking Paul’s skills and help with an important charity event. Will Paul come up with the goods for this catering challenge? He also faces another big hurdle when his bumper cash crop is in the red! Paul needs to take action in hope he can turn this deficit into dollars for the farm.

Episode 9 

Airs Friday 4 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul’s pasture poultry have all grown up and it’s processing time. Chris Franks is back to share his knowledge and wisdom. And another River Cottage favourite returns - Iain Hamilton gives Paul a hand building a special BBQ grill.

Episode 10

Airs Monday 7 August  at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul puts his new grill to the test at the annual Bermagui Seaside Fair and hosts his second stall - it’s full of surprises. Earlier, Paul joins a brotherhood of brewing buddies in Candelo for a night of homebrew and beats. Before retiring to his homemade hot tub bearing all against the backdrop of the bush.

Episode 11

Airs Tuesday 8 August  at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul welcomes home his jersey cow Bessie and finds himself creating wine from an unsuale source. Meanwhile. tomato season has sprung and Paul needs to make the most of his troubled crop. He welcomes two new friends to the farm with expert Passata knowledge passed down by generations. 

Episode 12

Airs Wednesday 9 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

After welcoming back his jersey cow Bessie to the farm, Paul begins to worry that she might be barren, so he asks the local vet to visit. He learns there’s more to mushrooms than meets the eye. And takes advantage of the autumn rain by dropping into mates Darcy’s to dunk some traps into his dam. 

Episode 13

Airs Thursday 10 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Living so close to the coast has many advantages. Paul learns how to forage for seaside food from a friend but it’s not for free and he faces a chef style challenge.

As a valuable member of the community Paul is put to task when he helps out the largest fire service in the world, the RFS. 

Episode 14 

Airs Friday 11 August at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

Paul visits a local cattle auction with his friend Darcy as he looks to further expand the livestock at River Cottage Australia. Paul then welcomes a special lady on the farm – his mum Cath West comes to River Cottage and lends her green thumb in a working bee for cute kindergarten kids.

Episode 15

Airs Monday 14 August  at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

It’s Paul’s first summer on the farm and he eagerly waits for his sows Dolly & Pinky to give birth.

This year the bar is being set even higher for the final feast at River Cottage and the net cast even more closely.  Paul sets himself a challenge to create a long lunch menu only using produce sourced within sight of Mount Gulaga – his Gulaga Gathering. It’s a luscious celebration of the best seasonal produce Paul can forage, harvest & gather.

Episode 16

Airs Tuesday 15 August  at 6pm, then on SBS On Demand.

As Paul gets closer to the day of the big feast, he’ll need the expertise of local chefs & friends to help him prepare a four-course menu – will they be able to satisfy 30 hungry guests? And Paul’s farming dreams come true when he welcomes new babies but will he be up for the challenges ahead?



Episode 1 

Aired Monday 3 July at 6pm, watch it below or on SBS On Demand.

Fifteen years after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall moved into the first River Cottage in the UK, he’s headed to Australia to spread the message of sustainability – and to anoint an Aussie worthy of carrying on the River Cottage tradition. That job goes to former Tasmanian chef Paul West, who’ll set up River Cottage Australia on the picturesque NSW Far South Coast – with a little help from Hugh!

In this first episode the pair will face uniquely Australian challenges and characters as they make plans for growing produce, raising livestock - and becoming part of the local community. 

Exclusive recipe from Paul West: Pan-fried mushrooms with red wine and thyme

Pan-fried mushrooms in red wine

Episode 2

Aired Tuesday 4 July at 6pm on SBS then on SBS On Demand.

Hugh and Paul get hands on and hunt for octopus on one New South Wales’ most beautiful coastal lakes - and join members of the local Indigenous community as they climb a sacred mountain to learn the secrets of bush tucker, and hear their powerful Dreamtime stories.

To top it off, Hugh and Paul will cook up the best local and seasonal produce they can find, and share it with those who’ve already begun helping them on their journey towards a sustainable way of life.

Paul and Hugh go fishing for fresh octopus

Episode 3 

Aired Wednesday 5 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

With Hugh back in the UK, Paul finds himself alone at River Cottage Australia – but not for long. He’s about to welcome a new best friend to the farm – Digger the border collie pup.

Digger’s Diary: This is when I arrived to oversee the farm!
River Cottage Australia's star dog, Digger, recalls his first days on the farm.

With his new mate nipping at his heels, Paul sets about getting his winter vegetable crop fed – and that involves an organic fertiliser recipe that makes use of some of the farm’s most unwanted products.

Further afield with the help of local hunters, Paul discovers how a notorious pest can be turned into a delicious meal.

Episode 4

Aired Thursday 6 July  at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

It’s Festival time in the local village of Central Tilba, and Paul’s keen to make an impression with his cooking skills. But will his home-made relish - using locally gathered produce – cut it with the locals?

Paul also welcomes his first dairy cow to the green pastures of River Cottage. But will he ever learn how to milk it?

Exclusive recipe from Paul West - great with snags! Quince chutney

Quince chutney

Episode 5

Aired Friday 7 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand..

With his cows, chooks and veges thriving, Paul decides it’s time to explore the nearby coastline – and he discovers an abundant source of seafood delicacies. He meets a local lobster expert, and together they catch a crayfish brunch – and Paul introduces him to a deliciously different way of eating them.

The farm is in need of livestock, so Paul visits a local breeder to select some prime pigs – but first he needs to catch them. Later, Paul wants to enter a cooking competition at the local harvest fair, but he’ll need the help of a couple experienced locals if he wants to come out on top.  

Paul's farm population grows with a delivery of some pigs

Episode 6

Aired Monday 10 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

Paul’s about to take delivery of a small parcel of pigs that will hopefully one day feed him. Before that, he prepares a pork dish using one of the tastiest and most under-used parts of the animal.

Then, it’s off to the local harvest festival bake-off! With the help of a country cooking champion, Paul enters his pumpkin scones into the hard-fought contest. But will his entries rise to the occasion?

Exclusive recipes from Paul West - Paul's no-fuss scones and blackberry jam


Episode 7

Aired Tuesday 11 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

With a malfunctioning water tank, and no dams to rely on, Paul is suddenly faced with a farmer’s worst fear – a critical shortage of water. His cows, pigs and veges all depend on a steady supply, so Paul enlists the help of a local farmer to see if they can tap on old spring on the property. But will it be enough to save the farm?

With the help of another local, Paul tries freediving for mussels, and transforms them into a delicious meal. Later, Paul looks to expand his poultry flock and meets a man who knows his birds – but which breed is best for Paul?

Episode 8

Airs Wednesday 12 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

The realities of owning a farm set in for Paul as he enlists the help of an experienced slaughterman to teach Paul how to process birds humanely, and to the highest standard.

Later, Paul transforms his freshly processed poultry into a hearty Coq au Vin -  but will his invited guest share his taste for this classic French dish?

Episode 9

Aired Thursday 13 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

Paul’s dream is to one day make River Cottage Australia self-sufficient – and he’s well on the way. With his own herbs, vegetables, eggs and cream - from Bessie the cow - he whips up his first ever “all from the farm” meal.

Down by the coast, it’s Oyster Festival time where Paul tries his hand at the oyster shucking contest.

Enjoying the best that the region has to offer, as Hugh and Paul gather oysters

Episode 10

Airs Friday 14 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

Paul takes a trip to a local property where he finds a stunning Australian bush food orchard. Later, he uses his pickings to create a refreshing cordial from scratch.

Despite the stunning surrounds of Tilba, not all is well at River Cottage Australia. Flies are a constant issue – especially in Paul’s country kitchen. So he meets a local sustainable farmer who introduces him to an ingenious all-natural solution.

When you go visiting, take cake! Paul's chai teacake with cinnamon dusting

Episode 11

Airs Monday 17 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

River Cottage Australia land-holder Paul West is keen to restore the gully which acts as a natural watercourse on his farm – but it’s almost totally overgrown with blackberries. Paul learns he can hire a herd of hefty eaters to deal with the problem – but will they have the appetite for such a massive job?

Meanwhile, Paul hatches a plan to create new life at River Cottage with the help of Ron - his brand new rooster. At the same time, he has a tough task to perform – Big Boy the pig is ready for the butcher, but is Paul?

Episode 12

Airs Tuesday 18 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

More challenging times for our new farmer - Paul has enlisted the help of the local mobile butcher and slaughterman to process Big Boy the pig right on the farm. Paul creates a delicious fresh blood pudding, and sizzles up some liver to ensure no part will go to waste.

Elsewhere on the farm, Paul looks to plant Australian natives in the gully to help with biodiversity - not only at River Cottage, but for the wider area. Later, Paul asks a few friends over.

Episode 13

Airs Wednesday 19 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

The local CWA ladies have a big job for Paul – and there might be a sweet reward in return. If he can help them paint their headquarters, they’ve offered to share some of their cake–making secrets with him. How will his cake stand up against some of the finest in the district?

And as we head to the coast nearby, Paul learns that there’s more to seaweed than meets the eye. Not only is it good for the garden, he has an idea for a clever new recipe.

Exclusive recipes from Paul West: seaweed pickle

Episode 14

Airs Thursday 20 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

On the farm, Paul’s been collecting old chook feathers - but what on earth for? Could there be something fishy going on?

Paul lends a helping hand (and cake) to the local CWA as they get together for a much needed paint job for the local community hall - but all that effort will be sure to work up an appetite.

Episode 15

Airs Friday 21 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

Hugh is back on the farm to check the progress at River Cottage Australia - and try his hand at milking Bessie. Luckily, timing for Hugh’s visit couldn’t be better, as the cycle of life continues and new life is hatched. Paul makes Hugh a cheesy breakfast.

Exclusive recipe from Paul West: Cheese toastie

Paul West's mushroom cheese toastie

Later, Paul and Hugh make a trip to the beach to see what they can catch for dinner – but which meal will impress the most?

Fruits of their labour - fresh milk from Bessie, as Hugh returns to Tilba Tilba

Episode 16

Airs Monday 24 July at 6pm on SBS & then on SBS On Demand.

River Cottage Australia has come a long way, as Paul’s first season on the farm comes to a close. But it hasn’t happened without help. To thank everyone who helped in the journey of transforming a rundown property into a functioning farm, Paul and Hugh invite guests from the local community to share in the fruits of their labour – and to celebrate as a likeminded community.

A paella is perfect for feeding a crowd! Try Paul's paella with chorizo and peas


Watch River Cottage Australia at 6pm weeknights or if you miss an episode, catch up on SBS On Demand.