Corey Costelloe, Executive Chef at Rockpool Bar and Grill
Corey Costelloe nurtured his instinctive love of food as a teenager by taking high school jobs as a kitchen hand and helping his uncle at Flemington Markets on Saturday mornings, hiring out barrows and trolleys.
His cooking career in earnest began at the age of 18 as an apprentice chef at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney. Finishing his apprenticeship at the acclaimed and busy Catalina Restaurant in Sydney’s Rose Bay, it was here he also first worked with ex Bar & Grill Head Chef, Angel Fernandez, a mentor to this day and a man he credits with teaching him how to love food and “eat like a chef”.
Stints at Hayman Island and Flying Fish with Peter Kuruvita followed, interspersed with a short return to Catalina and 3 years at Le Kiosk at Manly’s Shelly Beach as Head Chef. With years of great experience behind him and an innate love of seafood, Corey reunited with Angel Fernandez for the opening of Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney where his Rockpool career began as a fishmonger, but before long he was back in the kitchen. After 4 years, Corey took over the reins of the Bar & Grill kitchen in early 2013 and has made his mark in short time with his uncompromising attitude towards quality produce and food.
Stephen Hodges, co-author Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook
Stephen Hodges is recognised as one of the greats of the Sydney culinary community, having for 13 years cooked at Rose Bay’s Pier at its best, and after that at his own Fish Face at Darlinghurst, a restaurant beloved of seafood connoisseurs.
Stephen Hodges is regarded by many in the food industry as Australia's best seafood chef. It makes sense that he partnered up with John Susman, Australia's pre-eminent seafood providore, Anthony Huckstep, a leading restaurant reviewer and Sarah Swan, a chef and recipe developer who worked for Neil Perry's Rockpool Group, to produce The Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook. This landmark publication contains all you need to know about selecting and preparing over 60 types of fish and seafood, including catching methods, notes on sustainability, flavour profiles and cooking guidelines.
Steve believes fish is one of the hardest proteins to cook and says there are a couple of common problems. Firstly, how it's handled and filleted by the monger and secondly, overcooking. Steve's hot tip is not to give the fish too much heat. If you are putting it under the griller he recommends keeping it really low, just two minutes for a thin piece of fish.
Colin Barker, The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay
Award-winning chef Colin Barker, first joined The Boathouse in 2007 as Senior Sous Chef. Early in his career, Colin worked with Liam Tomlin at Banc before winning the NSW Lexus Young Chef of the Year Award in 2005. He then worked alongside Warren Turnbull of Assiette, then spent time in the UK as Senior Chef de Partie under the guidance of Brett Grahame at The Ledbury, a one-Michelin Star restaurant in London’s Notting Hill.
A keen fisherman, Colin has a passion for seafood and enjoys seeking out the more unusual species of fish, preparing them in unique combinations with seasonal ingredients.
Nick Gardner, Hampden: Dining and School
Nick Gardner has worked at some of the world’s leading restaurants including Tetsuya, Quay and Pilu on Freshwater in Sydney and the iconic French Laundry in the Napa Valley.
While working at Tetsuya, Nick won the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Young Chef of the Year in 2013 and the prize was an all-expenses paid cooking trip. Nick headed to Europe and chose to cook at 2 and 3 Michelin Starred restaurants in Spain, UK, Sweden and Netherlands.
Returning to Australia, Nick relocated to the NSW South Coast and helped set up the new Silos Restaurant at Berry. After two years, Nick accepted the role as Head Chef at Eschalot Restaurant in Berrima, where he and his team helped the restaurant to achieve a Sydney Morning Herald Chefs Hat, one Nick is very proud of today.
Nick has just recently opened his new venture, Hampden Deli: Dining and School in Kangaroo Valley.
Wade and Evan Woolhouse, Wheelers Seafood restaurant, Pambula
With over 30 years combined experience, influenced by Scandinavian, Canadian and Australian kitchens, brothers Head Chef Wade Woolhouse and Sous Chef Evan Woolhouse manage the cuisine of the renowned Wheelers Seafood Restaurant in Pambula.
Wade and Evan will be demonstrating an edible underwater seascape, featuring Bacalao (salted cod) Arancini, arranged around Wheelers oysters and local seafood.
MC – Kelly Eastwood, Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School
Kelly Eastwood is a former Food Producer, Home Economist and Food Stylist of many cooking shows including River Cottage Australia, Family Food Fight, Masterchef and Better Homes and Gardens to name a few.
Kelly has recently moved permanently to the south coast and has since opened her new business in Bermagui, ‘Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School’.
Erica Dibden, Tilba Real Dairy – Butter making demonstration
Erica and her husband Nic are the proud owners of the multi-award winning Tilba Real Dairy and operate a dairy farm in the picturesque Tilba Tilba Valley milking beautiful Jersey cows. From this pure jersey herd they can produce the creamiest milk, yoghurt, cheese and milkshakes that will blow your mind.
Tilba Real Dairy’s Double Cream was crowned Champion Cream at the 2018 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show. They also picked up a swag of gold, silver and bronze medals for their milk and cheese products.
Joe Taranto, artisan ice cream maker, Bodalla Dairy
Joe Taranto is an artisan ice cream maker and is head chef at the Bodalla Dairy - making handmade ice cream with unique flavours from the low heated pasteurised local Bodalla milk. Joe was born in Turin in Italy and has worked in over 20 restaurants in Italy and Australia and has an infectious passion for creating great food.
Bodalla Dairy’s Dark Chocolate and Tasmanian Pepperberry Ice Cream was awarded a bronze medal at the 2018 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show. They also collected a gold medal for their ‘Living Milk’ and bronze medals for a number of cheese products.