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AWA News - May 2016

Australian Wild Abalone Gourmet Adventure

Australian Wild Abalone builds on China Cuisine Association Culinary 
Partnership on home soil! 

In March this year our AWA Innovative Cuisine Design Competition gold medal winner together with  20 influential chefs and food and beverage managers from all over China, embarked on an Australian Wild Abalone Gourmet Adventure, visiting three abalone producing states to learn more about Australian Wild Abalone, how we catch it, process it and prepare it for export. Our delegates had the unique opportunity to meet the exporters, divers and industry
during a week of culinary experiences with Australian Wild Abalone and other premium Australian products. The delegation was organised and lead by the Vice President of the China Cuisine Association (CCA) Mr Bian Jiang.  Many of the delegation team had never set foot on Australian soil and to see the source of the products that they hold in such high regard, it  was a once in a lifetime experience for them!
The three winning chefs from the Australian Wild Abalone Innovative Cuisine Design Competition – organised by the AWA program in collaboration with the China Cuisine Association – also treated 100 guests to a taste of their winning dishes.  As reported in our previous newsletter the competition was held last year where 10 young Chinese Executive Chefs were selected from 115 entries to go through to a live competition cook-off in Beijing. The competition was judged by a panel of Chinese culinary experts, China Cuisine Association (CCA) Officials and attended by our AWA exporters - Blue Sky Fisheries, Streaky Bay Marine Products and Ralph’s Tasmanian Seafood.
The overall winner of the competition was Mr. Zhu Jie from Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, for his beautiful culinary creation of Yue Xiang Australian Wild Abalone. He, along with the two gold medal winners, were declared official AWA Chinese Chef Ambassadors.
The Gourmet Adventure was part of The Australian Wild Abalone Innovative Cuisine Design Competition held in Beijing in November 2015 – created by the AWA program in collaboration with the China Cuisine Association
First stop on their Gourmet Adventure was the Pacific Shoji processing factory, where the delegation selected their own live abalone straight from the tank, had it steamed before their very eyes and then were able to indulge in the freshest AWA product that they had ever tasted.  Pacific Shoji also treated the entire delegation to an impressive Australian BBQ lunch at their facilities in Lara!

A true ocean to table experience…

The delegation then jumped on a flight to Tasmania and took to the water on their first morning on the island. Waved off by the local press from the jetty they headed out on the Pennicott Journeys boats to meet up with the Tasmanian divers (Joey McKibben - President of the Tasmanian Abalone Council Ltd, Rob Langdale & Finn Whitla). They witnessed the wild harvest of the product our Chinese Chef Ambassadors would be preparing and cooking for the Gala Dinner.  The delegation followed AWA abalone on its journey from the ocean to Ralph’s Tasmanian Seafood factory where it was shucked and prepared for delivery to the restaurant.  They were also treated to a tour of the RTS facilities at Margate and were kindly hosted to an incredible afternoon tea spread.
Next on the Tasmanian part of their adventure, after a quick and brisk trip up Mt Wellington, they had their taste buds tingled and tested at a fantastic Whisky and Abalone pairing event held at Lark Distillery.
The delegation was introduced to the products and then sampled the beautifully matched AWA product from Candy Abalone with Single Malt Classic Cask from Lark.
This was a perfect opportunity to present a new product that has been developed in collaboration between Candy Ab and the world famous Lark Distillery over the past 12-months and trial it with our discerning culinary guests.  To complete the loop, the delegation visited the Candy Abalone factory on their last day of the tour to see the drying facilities at Barilla Bay where the product was produced. 

Australian Wild Abalone Showcased at the Australian Wild Abalone Gala Dinner!

The following day our Australian Wild Abalone Ambassador chefs were put to work! Spending all day in the kitchen at Wrest Point with chefs Andre Kropp and Robin Kelly, doing what they do best and sharing their culinary skills with each other. The chefs were very excited to spend time together and learn from each other. They were preparing to showcase the dishes that they had proudly won them the title of AWA Chef Ambassadors at the “Australian Wild Abalone Innovative Cuisine Design Competition” in Beijing in November 2015, to present them to the Australian wild abalone stakeholders at a Gala Dinner that evening.
“Our team at Wrest Point were thrilled to be involved with the Australian Wild Abalone showcase dinner, and to have the opportunity to work alongside a chefs who have taken a fresh look at our fabulous Australian Wild Abalone and put their own cultural spin on it. It was exciting and fascinating to produce those dishes with them and we hope to continue this partnership into the future.”   Andre Kropp, Executive Chef, Wrest Point
This exclusive Gala Dinner event, was hosted at Wrest Point in Hobart on 16th March to celebrate the partnership with the China Cuisine Association, and attended by distinguished guests from the Tasmanian Government, the Tasmanian Hotels Association and the Tasmanian and Australian Abalone industry.  Our special guests were the China Cuisine Association delegation including Vice president Bian. The feedback from the event has been fantastic, the guests felt privileged to experience impressive world-class Chinese culinary skills and to help build this important partnership between the industry and the largest peak catering body in China.
Other special events organised during the week included a wallaby cooking master class with Tasmanian TAFE, Geti (The Tasmanian Education Department’s International Education Arm) and the Tasmanian Hotels Association, a visit to cherry and apple orchards with Reid Fruits, a tour of the vineyard and wine tasting at Nocton Vineyard, and tasting some Barilla Bay Pacific Oysters on the beach!!  The delegation was farewelled from Tasmania with an Australian seafood BBQ hosted by Ralph’s Tasmanian Seafood held in the park at historic Richmond on a beautiful sunny day, with clear blue Australian skies.  Our guests thought this was such an honour and a lovely way to finish their visit to Tasmania!
The delegation then headed to Sydney where they were treated to a behind the scene tour of Sydney Fish Market and a Seafood Theatre Show, featuring some of Australia’s other premium seafood such as Skull Island Prawns, Glacier 51 Toothfish and Hiramasa Kingfish.
They finished the Gourmet Adventure with the beautiful taste of Australian Wild Abalone prepared for them at a show and tell by AWA exporters, Lucky Bay Seafoods and Western Abalone.
The Australian Wild Abalone project team would like to thank all of the sponsors of the Australian Wild Abalone Gourmet Adventure, and the Australian Wild Abalone participants for their ongoing support.
The Gourmet Adventure was not only a fantastic platform to showcase the products, exporters and the industry and build on our partnership with the CCA, but to create long lasting relationships with all of the sponsors and supporters involved. It has provided some fantastic content for our China Social Media which has been spread through the CCA networks in China as well as on Australian local media and news. The events have already presented the program with future opportunities that have arisen as a direct result of the activities…so watch this space!
Please contact us for a full report and further information on the event.
The Australian Wild Abalone Gourmet Adventure was proudly supported by the Tasmanian Abalone Council, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Tasmanian Government, Department of State Growth.  The Abalone Council Australia Ltd would like to thank the tour sponsors, including the Australian Wild Abalone participant companies Pacific Shoji, Candy Abalone, Ralph’s Tasmanian Seafoods, Western Abalone Processors Pty Ltd & Lucky Bay Seafoods, as well as Wrest Point, Lark Distillery, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Reid Fruits, Tasmanian TAFE, the Tasmania Hotels Association, Geti, Sydney Fish Market, FishTales, Cleanseas & Nocton Vineyard.
We'll keep you posted on the program activities but for the most up to date news please subscribe to our newsletter, link in to our facebook page or tweet with us on twitter -@AbaloneAWA!  Or if you would prefer you can also give us a call on +61 3 6231 1956 or email to Please contact usif you would like further information or if you would like to become a program participant.
The Australian Wild Abalone (AWA) Program is an initiative of Abalone Council Australia Ltd and has been supported since 2009 by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and the Australian Seafood CRC.  Following the closure of the CRC on 30th June 2015, the FRDC continues to support the AWA program through ongoing investment in market related R&D.  AWA Program promotional activities will continue through 2015 and 2016 thanks to funding from the Tasmanian Abalone Council Ltd and direct financial investment by AWA exporters.  The AWA Program Team would like to acknowledge and thank the FRDC, the Seafood CRC, the Tasmanian Abalone Council and the AWA exporters for their ongoing support for this important industry initiative.
Copyright © 2016 Abalone Council Australia Ltd, All rights reserved.

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