MOUTH watering fresh seafood is the focus of the Port Stephens Love Seafood festival this month.
Local produce is the feature and there are plenty of opportunities to get into the gastronomy of the local seafood offerings.
Saturday 12 August is the Farmers of the Sea event on d’Albora Marinas at Nelson Bay.
Find out all about the local oysters, enjoy the shucking competition, taste some plump oysters, and find out about the local oyster growers’ trail around Port Stephens.
There’s a gala dinner on at Broughtons at the Bay on 25 August where the courses will be paired with selected wines and the menu will be delivered by local chefs Ludovic Poyer of Poyers, Ben Way of Little Beach Boathouse and Matt Keyes of the Little Nel.
There are signature Trawler to Table lunches throughout the month as well as specials at a range of local restaurants and eateries.
Fish and Fun is on 27 August at d’Albora Marinas at Nelson Bay with cooking demonstrations, seafood tastings, a kids’ fun zone and touch tanks.
If you’d like to try your hand at cooking something special, take some advice from some of the locals, like Bob and Narelle Monin who have been in the seafood business for over 30 years.
Narelle Monin told News Of The Area, “I’d cook this snapper by putting some scores in the flesh so it cooks evenly, just put it straight on the barbecue, seasoned with salt and olive oil and served up with a light salad, chips or even baked potatoes and greens,” she said.
Professional fishing charter operator Brad Horn of Pacific Blue Charters told News Of The Area, “There are plenty of snapper, trag and kingfish out there at the moment.”
“We’re taking lots of locals out to fish the reefs as well as visitors, they take their catch home and we tell them easy ways to cook it, like wrapping the fish in foil parcels with butter and herbs, then baking it,” he said.
“Everyone enjoys going offshore fishing, and people get a real thrill out of eating their own catch; we get some great fish off Port Stephens.”
There’s no doubt that those of us lucky enough to live in Port Stephens have plenty to love including the amazing fresh local seafood.
By Marian SAMPSON