By Freya Ensbey.
Australia’s coastline runs for more than 36,000 kilometres,
making us one of the top ten greatest shorelines in the world, with vast oceans
lapping at our door steps, they bring with them the abundance of seafood our
country is known for.
Taking the spotlight from the traditional roasts and baked
dinners, seafood is now a preferred Christmas Day staple, lending its chilled
lightness and vigour as an alternative choice in the humidity of our Summer.
The Sydney Fish Market has been the connection between
consumer and ocean over the past century, now the largest seafood market of its
kind in the Southern Hemisphere and in terms of variety, the third largest
seafood market in the world, trading upwards of 13,500 tonnes of seafood every
During the 80s, French was still the reigning cuisine in
leading Australian restaurants with Asian flavours still considered exotic. The
Sydney Fish Market was pulling in plenty of popular white flesh fish species,
however, with it they were also netting octopus, squid, crabs, mussels and
other species which seafood shoppers were not confident in cooking, with many
of the species we now purposely seek out, going to waste, used as bait or sold
for a pittance to those who could prepare it.
The Sydney Seafood School was initially created in 1989 to
bridge the gap of this problem, by creating classes to teach customers how to
cook with these seemingly foreign sea products. Gaining a fierce following over
the years, the cooking school began adding more and more classes for tourists
and locals alike, now with over 12,000 guests attending annually, making it
Australia’s largest cooking school.
A stunning sandstone entry wall greets students upon
arrival, as they enter to find Icelandic fish leather lining the auditorium,
rich oak wood panelling and an aubergine hued marble demonstration bench,
surrounded by sleek stainless steel and clean glass lines. A destination
attraction in its own right, the Sydney Seafood School is an all-encompassing
Our country’s leading Chefs are just some of the talent who front
the school, with the likes of Guillaume Brahimi, Matt Moran and Christine
Manfield, offering insights from the culinary elite.
The experience is finished with students being invited into
the contemporary dining room, set with cloth table linens, under ambient chandelier
lighting, allowing 360-degree views over Blackwattle Bay. Guests dine together,
tasting their hand made dishes, sharing in conversation and perfectly paired
For a great Christmas holiday activity the whole family will
enjoy, book into the popular Seafood
BBQ class and learn how to take your weekend barbeques from casual to
gourmet. For the ultimate gift that keeps on giving, purchase a Sydney Seafood
Certificate as stocking fillers for your loved ones.
As a little taste of what’s on offer before visiting, whip
up these tantalising seafood recipes created by the Chefs at the seafood school
in your own kitchen. For an impressive weekend dish for when the whole tribe is
together, this Steamed
Whole Ocean Perch with Ginger and Soy will more than satisfy. Packed with
Asian flavours of ginger, garlic and soy, steaming the ocean perch avoids the
over use of oils, keeping this dish lean and healthy and trapping in the
moisture. Served with jasmine rice and bok choy, this ocean perch is sure to be
There are certain culinary couplings which just work
together; think basil and tomato, salt and pepper, cheese and pasta and of course
seafood and barbeques. This Warm
Salad of Barbequed Octopus, Zucchini and Marinated Fennel recipe is layered
with a harmony of flavours that will have your mouth a buzz with energy from
the first bite. Served as a side, entrée or as a standalone main, this recipe
can be used to impress when attending the next neighbourhood barbeque.
They say you can never stop learning as a cook, so step out
of your comfort zone this Summer, put your seafood fears aside and add a few
more killer recipes to your repertoire under the expert guidance of the Sydney
Seafood Cooking School.
Recipes and images supplied by the Sydney Seafood School.
Visit www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/seafood-school/about-sssfor more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, answers to frequently asked
seafood questions and the full program of Sydney Seafood School cooking