Yesterday, the sun shone on my little stall at the Coromandel Seafood Festival and I had an awesome day selling cookbooks and preserves and greeting cards.

Deb at the Coromandel Seafood Festival

I was also lucky enough to be chosen to judge the cookery competition between three local chefs from Umu Café, The Pepper Tree Restaurant and Bar and Success Café. The chefs were presented with a mystery food box and 45 minutes to come up with two dishes. The mystery food box contained: paua (or abalone), snapper, oysters, edamame beans, bok choi, an orange and some Florence fennel. There was also a pantry with herbs, eggs, spices, flour, and other staples.

The chefs were allowed to bring salt and pepper and their knives, but nothing else… what a challenge and what great food was presented! Congratulations to all the chefs involved… and congratulations to the winner – The Pepper Tree.

Here are photos of the food (just before I tucked in!).

Paua salad from The Pepper Tree

Entrée from The Pepper Tree

Snapper on tumeric mash

Main from The Pepper Tree

Success Café food

Entrée and Main from Success Café

Oysters with dipping sauce

Entrée from Umu


Main from Umu

So if you come to Coromandel, be prepared to enjoy some great cooking and some great seafood!