Clancy of the Campfire is more than just one person – Clancy is, in fact, four people: brother and sister team Mitch and Jo – and their respective spouses, P and G. In order of age, Clancy is:
Jo and her husband, G. Living on the Sunshine Coast in South-East Queensland with their adult daughter, they love to cook with whatever they can get from the farmer’s markets. They especially enjoy working with Asian flavours and are fortunate to have access to some of the best seafood in Australia. They love exploring but also like their comfort and prefer to glamp than camp. Jo and G do their outdoor cooking on gas burners and hotplates. Jo is the cookbook queen and G executes the vision – and cooks a mean steak.
Mitch and his wife, P. Based on the Central Coast just north of Sydney with their kids, these guys know how to get the best from a camp oven and love to experiment with stews, curries, roasts and loaves. As far as these guys are concerned, it’s all about the layers of flavour. Mitch and P travel with swags, a portable wood burner (Oz Pig) and a camp oven – but also love to build a proper campfire. Mitch is the accessories man and P makes it happen.
Clancy was invented around the campfire of one of their competitive family cook-offs at the almost-annual visit to Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains. Let’s bring the spirit of Masterchef to the campfire, they declared, but without the fancy equipment. The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years we’ve had the jaffle challenge, the curry challenge, the dude food challenge, the three-course meal challenge – all prepared and cooked outside.
Each year in the weeks leading up to Eucumbene we’d pore over websites and through cookbooks for recipes we could adapt to the outside – to the hotplate or the camp oven. We had successes and failures and a lot in between. We’ve learnt from it all – and continue to learn.
Imagine having a camping cookbook that wasn’t just for blokes, we thought. One that took inside recipes and brought them out into nature. One that you could use for inspiration regardless of whether your idea of camping is sleeping under the stars, in a van, in a cabin, or something in between. Imagine being able to rustle up something other than a sausage sandwich for dinner – not that there’s anything wrong with a sausage sanger, you just don’t want it every night.