Home' Shoalhaven Unlimited : 2009 Contents 09/10 - Shoalhaven Unlimited
FOOD & WINE
THE Shoalhaven's profile for fine
food and wine has stepped up a
notch, with internationally
acclaimed seafood chef Rick Stein taking
over the restaurant at Bannisters in
The arrival of Mr Stein (right) is
expected to attract thousands of food
lovers to the Shoalhaven.
Before taking over the restaurant, Mr
Stein said he had not stopped thinking
about the South Coast since enjoying a
meal of Pambula oysters and flathead in
Merimbula back in the 1960s.
"When I was introduced to Mollymook
about six years ago I knew that one day I
would open up a restaurant celebrating
local fish and shellfish but keeping it really
"Bannisters was the relaxed seaside hotel I
was looking for, so when they asked me if
I'd be interested in cooking there I jumped
at the opportunity."
Mr Stein runs an internationally
acclaimed seafood restaurant in the
Cornish fishing village of Padstow, but is
well known around the world for his work
on television and for his books.
He has been a regular visitor to the
Shoalhaven in recent months, travelling to
the Milton-Ulladulla region for everything
from fundraisers to book signings.
Bannisters general manager Peter Bacon
describes the Rick Stein deal as a coup for
the entire region.
He says with other local restaurants such
as Bacchus and the Tipsy Fig in Milton,
The Vineyard Kitchen at Cupitt's Winery
and Millard's and Elizans in Ulladulla, the
region is quickly becoming a real haven for
food-lovers from far and wide.
Mr Stein is expected to spend about a
third of his time in Mollymook, a third of
his time in Padstow and the rest of his time
working on other commitments.
His senior sous chef in Padstow, Julian
Lloyd, is making the move to Mollymook
to take over as head chef.
Julian has worked with Mr Stein for the
past 13 years.
Current restaurant manager Luke
Tuckwell is continuing in the same role.
Mr Bacon says the joint venture between
Bannisters and Mr Stein represents an
exciting opportunity for staff who will now
have the opportunity to work alongside
one of the world's most celebrated chefs --
although Mr Stein is quick to shun the
term "celebrity chef" on his website.
The new menu is predominantly fish-
based with a daily option for vegetarians
and meat lovers.
Mr Stein says the menu features many of
the dishes that have worked well in
Padstow, as well as "paying tribute to local
The wine list will also concentrate on
great fish wines.
Internationally acclaimed chef Rick Stein has
known for years he would set up in the Shoalhaven
Despite working long hours in
their own business together,
Brett and Louise Coles have
learnt more about what's going
on in the Shoalhaven over the
past 12 months than they had
in several years before.
The couple have spent the first
year of owning Worrigee Street
Fruit Market building up an
abundant range of local products,
which Louise says involves a lot
"We're always visiting new
producers in the local area. Every
time somebody starts making a
new jam or curry paste or fresh
cheese in the region, we have to go
and check it out," she reports.
One look at the heaving shelves in
their vibrant Nowra store is
testament to the Coles family's
foodie travels around the
Shoalhaven: jars of fresh preserves,
artisan Italian pasta, dried fruit,
fresh-pressed olive oil, gourmet
nuts, and chocolate treats sit
side-by-side with piles of brightly
coloured fruit and vegetables.
And considering their commitment
to the area, it's not surprising the
fresh produce available in the shop
is all locally sourced when available,
just ask customers about the
"We're very lucky we have a wealth
of local fruit and vegetable growers
in the Shoalhaven, many of which
are also employing the best
environmental practices," Mrs Coles
"You can definitely notice when a
piece of fruit has been grown down
the road in a small, hand-tended
plot without the need for chemicals,
heavy machinery or lengthy
transport. That's what we're after,
and we know that's what locals are
after too because they keep coming
back for more."
As well as the fresh food and local
goodies, the Worrigee Street Fruit
Market also stocks a range of
reusable eco-bags and provides
recycled cardboard boxes for their
"Our bags are made by ONYA and
are the only ones endorsed by
Planet Ark. But they look good
too," she laughs.
Looking good while shopping for
fruit might not be top of mind for
all shoppers, but it sparked a twist
of fate for the Coles family. When
Brett originally worked as a
manager for the previous owners
of the store, Louise was a customer
there and they soon started dating.
When the opportunity to buy the
business came up, the couple
jumped at the chance. These days,
Brett and Louise are joined in-store
by their son Alexander, who helps
after school and can often be found
dancing to the retro music playing
in front of the store. As long as
they're not all out hunting for new
products, that is.
WORRIGEE ST FRUIT MARKET
Shop 2 & 3, 104 Worrigee St, Nowra Ph 4421 7455
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