By David Sly
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.
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 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.
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 focusing 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.
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 [email protected]