MasterChef ready to flex her mussel

18:14, Mar 10 2014
Havelock Mussel fest
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The 10th annual Havelock Mussel Festival will be guest chef Chelsea Winter's first visit to the seaside town, and she's arriving early to have a quick foodie tour of Marlborough.

Ms Winter said yesterday that she would fly in on Friday and hire a rental car to have a bit of a tiki tour looking at food-related things, as she had not been here before.

She was looking forward to having time to explore, she said.

Chelsea Winter
CHELSEA'S STILL SWEET: Masterchef 2012 winner Chelsea Winter.

‘It's my first time in Havelock, a first time for everything. It's a beautiful part of New Zealand ... I won't have enough time to see everything, but it's good for a start."

While the 2012 MasterChef New Zealand winner and sell-out cookbook author was a newbie to Marlborough, she said she was a big fan of mussels, a food she called "under-rated".

They were very good for you and affordable, too. Despite that, she suspected very few shoppers put mussels in their basket every week. "People aren't quite sure how to prepare them, or the best thing to do with them. The mussel festival is all about giving people some fresh ideas."


She said she had some "lovely" mussel recipes to share this weekend, including mussels in Thai green coconut sauce, mussel fritters and, "a blast from the past", salmon wellingtons with chilli.

Ms Winter's first recipe book has sold out, and won't be back on shelves until next month. She said she had almost finished the recipes for her second book: "There's no rest for the wicked."

Havelock Mussel Festival organiser Katrina Lange, the chief executive of Marlborough4Fun, said this year the festival was celebrating its 10th anniversary.

"Since [it's] inception, the event has raised over $200,000 for local community projects - an achievement which both Marlborough 4 Fun and the Havelock Mussel Festival committee are very proud of."

DON'T MISS ... Havelock Mussel Festival cooking demonstrations:

10.30am – Chris Fortune, school demo

11.30am – Chris Fortune, school demo

12.15pm – Roger Raizada, Maharaja India

1pm – Chelsea Winter, Thai mussels

2.15pm – Chelsea Winter, salmon wellingtons

3.30pm – Chelsea Winter, mussel fritters 

The Marlborough Express