Seafood Excellence Awards promote the best in the industry

Posted by Isobel Drake on 18th March 2009

The Sydney Fish Market hosted the Seafood Excellence Awards at Star City Grand Ballroom on Saturday to highlight outstanding achievements in Australia’s world class seafood industry.

With fourteen award categories, no aspect of the state’s vibrant seafood trade went unnoticed, with awards ranging from industry judged categories including Environmental Excellence, Seafood Business Awards and Best Seafood Restaurant, to the People’s Choice Awards for Best Fish and Chips (Sydney and regional). Special guest celebrity hosts, Vince Colosimo and Rodger Corser, a 5 star menu created by SMH 2008 Chef of the Year Sean Connolly and world class live entertainment headlined by Deni Hines kept the who’s who of the Australian seafood and hospitality industries celebrating into the night.

Mr Graeme Byrnes was honoured to be the recipient of the Star Of The Sea – the highly prestigious award is bestowed upon an individual who is considered an ambassador for the seafood industry and who has made a significant contribution to the development of the industry. G.G & M Howard were also recognised for their sustained action to improve the waterways and their ability to support natural fish populations receiving the Excellence in Environmental Practice award.

Top restaurant honours went to Yoshii Restaurant (Best Seafood Restaurant – Sydney) and Fin’s Seafood Restaurant and Bar (Best Seafood Restaurant – Regional). Ocean Foods took out the Best Fish and Chips in Sydney while Bub’s Fish and Chips in Nelson Bay held on to win best regional fish and chips.

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of apprentice Annie Watt from Universal as the Inspired By Seafood Award winner. Inspired By Seafood offered a unique and exciting opportunity challenging apprentice chefs from all over NSW to create a new recipe using Yellowtail Kingfish. In February 2009 finalists participated in a
Seafood Showdown at Sydney Seafood School where they had the opportunity to create their own seafood masterpiece for judges: Sean Connolly (Astral Restaurant), Roberta Muir (Manager, Sydney Seafood School) and Valli Little (Food Editor, Delicious Magazine).

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, congratulated all the finalists and winners and said the awards were testament to the consistently high quality of the Australian seafood industry. “The best dishes start with the best ingredients and you can’t go past Australian seafood for high quality and great taste,” he said.

Other award winners were:

De Costi Seafoods – Seafood Business Award, Best Seafood Retailer at the Sydney Fish Market

Costi’s @ Westpoint – Best Seafood Retailer (Suburban and Regional)

Kinkawooka Shellfish – Seafood Promotion Award, Best Supplier Aquaculture

Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-operative – Best Supplier NSW

OPC Fish and Lobster – Best Supplier Interstate or Overseas