Seafood experts say local is the way to go
CHEF Susan Possumah's garlic prawns at the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival sold out within hours, just like the previous 18 years she has cooked at the event.
The Pepe's Prawn Shack stall treated 400 customers by Sunday afternoon.
That equalled to more than 3000 prawns being sold.
For other aspiring seafood chefs and those cooking at home, Ms Possumah's main tip is to use locally sourced product.
"Using local seafood means it's fresh," Ms Possumah said.
"We've had a lot of old customers returning that have come here in previous years."
She kept her lips sealed on the precise way to get her garlic taste though, as to not give the "secret" away.
Yesterday's event, part of the 10-day Hervey Bay Ocean Festival, included its traditional Tastes of the Bay long lunch hosted by chef Andrew Mirosch.
Hospitality students from Urangan State High School assisted Mr Mirosch, helping to fill 200 bellies.
On the menu were dishes featuring the likes of prawns, scallops, barramundi, tuna, oysters and squid with a specially-picked wine accompanying each course.
Mirosch is from Brisbane, and is a regular traveller, but says Hervey Bay seafood is known far and wide.
"It's not just about whale watching in Hervey Bay, but it's known for its amazing seafood," Mr Possumah said.
Like Ms Possumah, he too says locally sourced produce is the place to start. The Sirromet Winery head chef regularly takes on interns into his business, and would be looking to take some on from the students helping out yesterday if any were interested.
"The catering unit from the school did an amazing job," Mr Possumah said.
"They did all the serving and helped out in the kitchen."