Every week of August is an opportunity to get hands-on with the legendary seafood chefs of Port Stephens as they host unique cooking and master classes that showcase their pick of the fresh local catch. A highlight of the month-long Love Sea Food Tastes Port Stephens festival program, these must-do experiences celebrate the abundant fresh seafood the region is renowned for. There is SO much to choose from that the festival focuses on something different each week – Oysters week one, Fish week two, Crustaceans week three and Wild Catch (Tip to tail cooking) week four.

Week one is all about oysters Not to be missed is an Oyster Master Class on Thursday 1 August from 3:30 to 5:30pm at chic, waterfront dining hub The Poyer’s in Lemon Tree Passage, hosted by Chef Ludovic Poyer and local oyster grower Paul North.

Paul’s unbelievably delicious oysters are among the most sought-after for export, from among the region’s 49 oyster growing families. The leases these oysters have been freshly harvested from can be viewed from the deck of the venue as Paul takes you on a culinary journey into his world of oysters, exploring different styles, varieties and availability and imparting a whole new appreciation of this regional staple.

Your mouth will be watering as Ludovic walks you through preparation of his Oyster Champagne and Oysters with Mushroom and Wasabi Aioli. To cap off an extraordinary experience, you’ll have the opportunity to ‘sabre’ a bottle of champagne as Somellier Stephanie Pommier compares French Champagne with Hunter Sparkling! Each guest will receive a selection of oysters and artisan bread to enjoy during the class, their own Poyer’s cooking apron, two glasses of French Champagne and two glasses of Hunter Valley Sparkling.

This experience is available to a maximum of 40 guests so be quick to beat the locals and book now. Price: $120pp. Bookings: 49844872 *The first 20 to book will be treated to a complimentary, return water taxi transfer from Nelson Bay or Soldier’s Point Marina.

Week Two – Fresh Local Fish Shines Through Thursday 8 August, 6-8pm take an Ocean to Table cooking class, surrounded by sumptuous, coastal interior design inspiration at buzzing local café, In House Kitchen Nelson Bay. Hosted by Head Chef Stephen Daley who also runs Bay Cooking School this cooking demonstration is focused on fun and giving you confidence in your seafood cooking adventures at home. It features fresh-caught local Snapper and Kina Roe Poké served with Mirin, Sake and Seaweed accompanied by Black Sesame Lavosh and each guest will receive a tasting plate and a glass of wine or beer, plus an exclusive discount on any of the in-store homewares that catch their eye.

This experience is available to a maximum of 30 guests. Price $45pp. Bookings: www.portstephens.org.au/seafood-cooking-classes

Thursday 15 August, 12-2pm discover the secrets to preparing incredible fish, simply at the Ocean To Plate cooking class at Rick Stein Bannisters, Port Stephens. You’ll start with the finest, locally sourced fresh ingredients and learn how to make them shine, Rick Stein-style. Head Chef Mitchell Turner and Sous Chef Chris Turton will show you how to fillet a King Fish and share tips to preparing and serving amazing hot and cold dishes of Meurette of Yellowtail Kingfish and Kingfish Crudo with fennel, chive and candied lemon. Enjoy a taste of each dish on the day!

This experience is available to a maximum of 25 guests. Price $35pp. Bookings 49193800.

Week Three – Crustaceans take centre stage Thursday 22 August, 6-8pm at Broughtons at the Bay and Bluey’s Restaurant Head Chef Craig Compton will lead a Crustacean and Pasta Class. You’ll master making fresh pasta dough, ravioli and a classic bisque as Craig creates a Port Stephens King Prawn and Crab Ravioli with Local Seafood Bisque and Tomato Concasse, Winter Vegetables and Cauliflower Puree.

Each person will receive a glass of sparkling on arrival and taste the finished creation. Participants can elect to be hands-on, assisting the chef or just relax and enjoy.

This experience is available to a maximum of 50 guests. Price $35pp. Bookings: www.portstephens.org.au/seafood-cooking-classes

Week Four – Cooking With Wild Caught Seafood Saturday 24 August, 11am-1:30pm at The Anchorage on Corlette Point, Resident Head Chef Michael Jenkins will host a Tip-To-Tail Cooking Class. Michael knows nothing is more satisfying for visitors to Port Stephens, than reeling in a linecaught local snapper with the kids, so he’s tailored this course to equip you to cook-up your fresh catch at home.

Glean insight from the expert to how versatile a whole fish can be and what its possible to make using every part – from tip to tail. You’ll see how to create a sublime Fish Stock for Bisque, fillet a fish, cook a curry and plate-up a stunning share-board – all with locally caught, sustainable seafood. Thanks to Michael’s finesse, it’s not only practical, it’s a feast for the senses! East guest will receive a two-course, share-plate lunch and tasting of Thomas Wines.

This experience is available to a maximum of 25 guests. Price $100pp. Bookings: www.anchorageportstephens.com.au/whats-on/tip-to-tail-seafood-cooking-demonstration

Stay up to date with the many fun ways to experience fresh local seafood and engage with growers and chefs at this year’s Love Sea Food Taste Port Stephens festival, throughout August, at portstephens.org.au/loveseafood

Put it in the diary:

  • Thursday 1 August, 3:30-5:30pm Oyster Master Class at The Poyers Lemon Tree Passage
  • Thursday 8 August, 6-8pm Ocean to Table cooking class at In House Kitchen Nelson Bay
  • Thursday 15 August, 12-2pm Ocean To Plate cooking class at Rick Stein Bannisters Port Stephens
  • Thursday 22 August, 6-8pm at Broughtons at the Bay, Nelson Bay, Crustacean and Pasta Class
  • Saturday 24 August, 11am-1:30pm at The Anchorage, Corlette Point, Tip-To-Tail Cooking Class

For details visit: portstephens.org.au/loveseafood

Proudly presented by Destination Port Stephens and Tomaree Business Chamber with the support of our partners: Port Stephens Council, Commercial Fishermen’s Cooperative, Sydney Fish Markets, Newcastle Airport, DÁlbora Marinas, Seabreeze Hotel, Latitude One, Pure Property Management, Department of Primary Industry and Ampcontrol.