In Episode One, Matt travels to the Eyre Peninsula region of South Australia - the seafood capital of Australia. This is a region of contrasting beauty from the stunning, untamed coastline, to harsh, arid desert.
Matt’s first stop is to ‘Pernatty’, a property of nearly 20,000 hectares (half a million acres), in the driest part of the Eyre Peninsula. He’s here for Salt Bush Lamb – a hardy breed of sheep that grazes on the area’s saltbush. The result is a meat flavoured from the inside out, or ‘on the hoof’ as the farmer, Jamie McTaggart, describes it. Matt joins Jamie and his mate, Lochy - an aerial cowboy - on a combined air and land muster. It’s hot, it’s dusty and Matt is in his element. Building on the salt theme, Matt bakes the lamb in a salt crust pastry and flavours the meat with garlic, rosemary, anchovies and hay.
It’s a three and a half hour drive south to Port Lincoln, where Matt joins local fishing legend, Kiwi White, on his morning bike ride. Kiwi is 76 years old, but he’s more active than most 21 year olds. If he’s not cycling, he’s surfing. If he’s not surfing, he’s fishing. Kiwi has promised to take Matt fishing for southern calamari squid, considered to be the premier species of its kind. Matt learns the best way to catch them, before pulling in his first squid. Then it’s back to land, where Matt cooks up the catch of the day.
The following morning, Matt drives west to the small town of Coffin Bay which is famous for its Pacific oysters. Matt’s meets Jedd Routledge, who’s been farming oysters in the area for the past 15 years. What makes Jedd’s farm special is that he farms not only Pacific oysters, but also the native Angasi – a robust flavoured oyster, with a flat shell. The oyster farm is a short boat ride away, and lies in clear, nutrient-rich waters. Matt loves the Pacific variety, but is blown away by the Angasi. After collecting enough for a meal, Matt returns back to land where he prepares both oysters with two different sauces.
On Matt’s last day in the Eyre Peninsula, he is invited to cook a feast for the winners of the fashion competition at The Kimba Cup Race Day. With the girls all dressed to impress, Matt needs to match the glamour with a very special dish. And in the Eyre Peninsula, that means one thing: Blue Fin Tuna. The Japanese consider it the premium sashimi fish, which explains its hefty price tag.
Determined to get his hands on one, Matt joins Con Karaberidis, the Tuna Farm Manager for Sekol, one of a handful of companies with licenses to farm Blue Fin. As they head 30kms out to sea, Matt learns about how the fish are caught in the wild, towed to the collared nets and then grown out for six months.
After feeding the tuna with a one tonne block of frozen sardines, Matt’s invited to take a dive in the nets and see these majestic fish close up. Once back up on deck, Matt pulls in a fish where it’s killed humanely using the Japanese ike jime technique.
Matt, heads to the horse races, where he cooks track-side. As horses thunder past him, he prepares a sensational feast of Blue Fin Tuna steaks with piperade for some very lucky racegoers.