• Meet Paul West, host of River Cottage Australia, new to SBS! (River Cottage Australia)Source: River Cottage Australia
Find out where the River Cottage Australia front man gets his cooking inspiration.
Jacqui Kwong

22 Jun 2017 - 12:27 PM  UPDATED 7 Jul 2017 - 3:50 PM

Q: What are your favourite things to cook?
Number one, I love cooking with the things I’ve grown. There’s a respect when you cook from what you’ve grown that you don’t get from other ingredients. I’m cooking a lot more now with vegetables as I’ve matured as a family man and cook. There are so many things you can do with the diverse colours and textures of vegetables.

Q: What are you cooking right now?
Lamb neck with white beans, rosemary and white wine with lots of veg. I put it on in the morning and let is simmer away in the slow cooker. I used to admonish slow cookers but they’re so good! I don’t want to be spending hours in the kitchen now – I want to be hanging out with my sons and spending time with my wife.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A handful of dirt at a vineyard. The guy was such a passionate soil ecologist that he made me taste the terroir.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for what you cook?
First and foremost from the environment – what’s coming from the garden. All cuisines are rooted in produce, not in recipes. The notion of cooking came from: how do we take this thing from the environment and turn it into a tasty meal?

Q: Who inspires your cooking?
All those passionate small farmers out there pouring their heart and soul into feeding their communities and being custodians of the land they work. We spend so much time celebrating chefs, but the farmers are the true heroes.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Anywhere that has wild beauty and where you can grow food. Places like the South Island of New Zealand, the Pacific North West of the American continent, or Far North Queensland.

Q: What do you hope to teach your sons about food?
That food is a wonderful way to bring people together. Not only people, but communities and you together with your environment. That it’s the cornerstone of human existence, and it’s not disposable or fast.

Watch River Cottage Australia 6pm weeknights on SBS from Monday July 3.  

Welcome to the farm
How a rookie farmer learned to love the land
Paul West, the chef turned farmer, tells how he came to set up in "one of the most underrated places in Australia".
Episode guide | River Cottage Australia
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.