Bait to Plate

Kev Collins

Well known Restauranter and co-owner of Fish D'vine & The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach. When Kev's not working he's out fishing in the amazing food bowl of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or in his tinnie in the estuaries crabbing! His blog imparts wisdom, tales and info on all things fishing and food.

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (for seafood lovers)

I love this time of year. Calm seas, the build-up, northerly winds in the afternoon. The humidity rising and the fishing usually red hot, and often red fish. It has been a busy old time of late, monster functions, busy planning for Christmas, the music festival, the celebrity chefs dinner, just so much going on I have had not much time for blog writing and not even much time for fishing but it is always the same this time of year. A great challenge is also securing supply of seafood and as our relationship with our fisherman has grown I am getting first crack at more and more of the locally caught product. We pay top dollar, same day and really respect the product we get and try to showcase it in the restaurant every night. The Mud Crabs are back from the annual spawning run where they disappear to sea for about 3 months, beautiful Coral Trout, Red Emperor and plate size whole local snapper are all in good supply. This morning I even picked up an amazing Dog Tooth Tuna. I have written about these fish before, pale, almost white fleshed they are, in my view, the absolute king of local tuna and served seared and sliced rare are just , well, amazing.

I am trying to cram as much into this blog post as I can to relive the month that was since my last post. I will put the photos in order.

1. A huge event at Whitehaven Beach. Lunch under canvass for 240 guests. A few shots.

2. My contribution to the chefs dinner at Lure cooking with Qld Chef of the Year Ben Williams from Gerard’s Bistro (and taking my girls to his venue next Monday night). Roasted red skinned Coral Trout in Ginger and lemon Myrtle Consommé w/ Green Mango and Pawpaw salad.. I thought Ben’s steak dish was the star of the show but pretty happy to be in good company. The photos were taken by my Business Partner Bec who as well as being a great chef in her own right, has an amazing eye for food photography.

3. Red Snapper for crispy whole fish. All about bright eyes and fresh, fresh, fresh.

4. Coral Trout picked up this morning, plus a cracking shot of one a mate caught last time I went to the reef. For the sensitive readers the little trickle of blood on this photo is from brain spiking. I will do a blog post about it soon as, while it looks a bit gruesome, it is both humane and radically improves the quality of the fish on the plate.

5. Red Emperor. Just about my number 1.

6. Who let the dogs out? One of our great Chefs Dan with a big “Doggie”

7. The boys are back in town. Chilli Crabs and Balmy nights. I love summertime.