The Coffs Show has come and gone for another year, organizes and patrons will have been pleased with the gorgeous weather and blue skies we experienced through out the weekend.
Naturally the highlight for me was the cooking demonstrations hosted by My Sisters Wardrobe. Novotel Pacific Bay and Charlies Restaurant gave up two of its most experienced chefs to cook for a pavilion full of eager food enthusiasts. I watched as Tony and Peter made four gorgeous starters with matching dipping sauces for the crowd.
The first dish to be plated up was a Crab & Nori Tempura Prawn. Chef commenced by removing the vein of some huge green tiger prawns, and then stuffing the cavity with crab meat.
Once he had finished a plate of prawns in the manner he cut nori sheets to size, dampened them slightly and wrapped the sheets around the prawns.
These were then quickly plunged into a hot fryer to cook briefly and served to a hungry crowd with a Riberry Dipping Sauce.
A gorgeous light starter which could be elegantly plated up at home with some shredded Diakin.
We observed keenly, as Peter prepared another quantity of prawns to be covered in a light tempura and then rolled in shredded coconut.
These prawns were then quickly dropped into the hot oil and served with the deliciously sweet Riberry dipping sauce. Naturally there was a rush from the audience to try these crispy delights so the chefs were kept busy making a few more plates of these crispy morsels.
The Executive Chef Tony chatted to the audience whilst explaining the process of preparing a soft shell crab for cooking. He expertly cut and trimmed the crab and then dipped it into the tempura for a quick crisp up in the oil.
I couldn’t resist tucking into one straight out of the oil. It was so fresh and delicious. The crab was so sweet and tender, I made use of the dipping sauce and watched on as the chef began to prepare the Thai Red Curry Prawn Fish cakes.
These little babies were the highlight for me. They were perfectly flavoured and so much lighter than any I have eaten before. Tony informed the audience that he has been using the same recipe for the last 14 years. I am not surprised, he barely watched was he was doing as he chatted with the audience and passed around limes for everyone to smell.
All the ingredients were combined in a bowl and then hand shaped using wet hands. Once the fishcakes were shaped, they too were dropped into the oil to be cooked. In the meantime Chef made a gorgeous looking fresh salad to accompany the fish cakes.
It was a simple salad of cucumber, capsicum, peanuts, red onion, squeeze of lime and sweet chilli sauce but it beautiful and tasty enough to be served in any restaurant.
A dipping sauce of sweet chilli sauce and mirim was added to the finished plate and the audience was again invited to sample the spoils.
I could have happily sat down to the salad and a few fishcakes for lunch but alas I had to share with the rest of the hungry audience.
I am very pleased to say that a lovely lady in a gorgeous pastel pink retro dress and a cute 1950’s style apron from My Sisters Wardrobe was handing out the recipes for all these delicious dishes made on the day, so I will be sure to make the Thai Red Curry & Prawn Fish Cakes.
If you would like to sample some amazing food, Charlies Restaurant is just about to announce its new winter menu. Now is a great time to book a table and let Tony & Peter cook for you too. I have heard a whisper that their signature dish of twice cooked Pork Belly will be featuring on this menu.
For reservations please Ph: 02 6659 7000 and ask for Charlies Restaurant.