Going Coastal serves up shellfish

01:09, Aug 05 2014
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CAPITAL FOOD: Shaun Clouston, left, and Steve Logan demonstrate how to cook shellfish so the delicate flavours shine through.

The Wellington region is surrounded by almost 500 kilometres of coastline, and almost all Wellingtonians live within 3km of the sea. So it's only natural that it be celebrated during Wellington on a Plate - and Going Coastal did just that.

Logan Brown's head chef Shaun Clouston and its namesake Steve Logan served up a range of delicious dishes using shellfish commonly found in Wellington waters.

Their dishes boasted simplicity: letting the delicate flavour of crab, tuatua and paua shine through while complementing it and subtly enhancing the flavour. Logan told the group 92 per cent of our seafood is exported, but there is still plenty to go around for Kiwis, and we have rare access to wild fish - something almost unheard of throughout Europe, the United States and Australia.

Martin Bosley's eponymous restaurant just won Best Specialist Restaurant at the Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year Awards for his focus on all things marine, so it's clear this is a man who knows his kai from his kaimoana.

Shortly after opening his Oriental Parade restaurant almost 12 years ago he began using Petone-based seafood sourcing company Yellow Brick Road to buy fresh sustainable seafood.

Every box that comes into the restaurant is marked with the boat's name, the boat's skipper and their cellphone number, which offers total traceability, Bosley says.

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Tickets are still available for Going Coastal on Monday, at 9am. See wellingtononaplate.com for more details and to book.

Tips For Cooking Seafood

When shucking paua, always go in from the sharper end. Never let the shellfish die in the shell or it will be tough. To ensure it is soft, whack the foot hard and it will release its pressure.

To clean shellfish such as tuatua, leave them in a bucket of salty water - or sea water - overnight. They will spit out any sand from inside their shell.

Martin Bosley says pepper has no place with seafood, masking the delicate flavours. Salt is key, mimicking their growing habitat - however, season at the end of cooking to ensure the right balance.

The more caramelisation you get on fish at the start, the better the flavour.

Contact Sophie Speer
Culture and Capital Day reporter
Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @sophie_speer

The Dominion Post