Throw more than a prawn on the barbie

Story by Vivienne Pearson


In need of a last-minute gift for the cook in your life? Or maybe some inspiration for a seafood-based Christmas lunch?

More than 130 recipes, The Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook: The Ultimate Kitchen Companion might be just the catch you need. One of the four authors, Sarah Swan, is co-owner of 100 Mile Table, located in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate.

‘Because it’s big, heavy and glossy, people assume that it will be a restaurant-focused book,’ she says. ‘But it’s aimed across the board. There are some more complex recipes suited to those with a cooking background but also plenty for those cooking at home.’

Sarah says that the book, which was published in November, was developed over a two-and-a-half-year period. ‘The three other authors brought different skills,’ she says. ‘John Susman is the seafood market guru of Australia, Anthony Huckstep is a restaurant reviewer and writer, and Steve Hodges is the best seafood chef in Australia.’

Sarah, who is a chef and recipe developer (and worked for Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group), was brought in to help pull everything together. ‘I worked on getting recipes out of heads and onto paper,’ she summarises. Extra recipes were needed, so Sarah developed new takes on classic recipes, such as Seafood Pie.

The book, which includes photographs of fish species as well as the finished dishes, has been ringingly endorsed by a who’s who of the industry. ‘A book Australia not only wants, but needs, written by the only people in the country truly equipped to tackle the task,’ espouses food reviewer John Lethlean. ‘This tome is the next best thing to having [John Susman] expand on his fascinating subject in person,’ writes Maggie Beer.

It has been well received locally too. ‘We’re thrilled,’ says Sarah. ‘We’re selling more locally than we thought. There will be many people heading down to Bay Seafood to buy fish!’

Sarah’s pick for a seafood recipe for a Byron-filled summer? The Ling Burger – see recipe opposite. ‘It is simple, fresh and you can easily substitute other fish,’ she says.

Sounds perfect. Who’s cooking?

Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook:
The Ultimate Kitchen Companion
, authored by: Susman, Huckstep, Swan & Hodges, published by Murdoch Books.

Available from 100 Mile Table, Harvest, Red Ginger, Mary Ryan’s Bookstore and most big booksellers. RRP: $79.99

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