26 April 2011

Broken Bay Oysters: OceanWatch EMS launch event, Mooney Mooney (14 Apr 2011)

10 Kowan Road, Mooney Mooney NSW 2083

Cleaner waters for better oysters

Working with the NSW oyster industry, OceanWatch Australia will develop Environmental Management Systems to address water-quality issues in NSW estuaries. Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are a process designed to identify and manage environmental impacts, risks and opportunities. What this means for seafood lovers are oysters that are produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

Thanks to Andy Myers from OceanWatch along with Simon Marnie’s recommendation for inviting me along to the dual Ministerial Launch of NSW Oyster Environmental Management System (EMS) Project and Broken Bay Oysters EMS. Official proceedings included an appropriate oyster shuck opening by Hon. Dr Mike Kelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. I’m a passionate oyster lover so it was a no brainer for me to make every effort in attending this event. I had the opportunity of meeting a nice bunch of oyster farmers and food industry guests and learnt how oysters were grown and farmed at Broken Bay Oysters. I also discovered the incredible story of how the oyster farmer Rob Moxham survived through much financial blood, sweat and tears during the onslaught of the QX disease which apparently wiped out all the oysters back in 2004.

According to the CSIRO sensory descriptors there’s 12 descriptors of how to profile an oyster. Odour Impact, Marine Odour, Earthy Odour, Firmness, Juiciness, Creaminess, Flavour Impact, Saltiness, Marine Flavour, Earthy Flavour, Chewiness and Aftertaste Impact. For me it’s usually either small or large, more sweet or salty, and tastes best when freshly shucked with lots of natural brine. A feast of Pacific oysters were part of the buffet lunch which included natural and four distinctive dressings prepared by Chef Ryan Baird from Saffron Food Services Catering I definitely enjoyed my fair share. I was surprised with the total absence of lemon wedges and discovered many of the oyster farmers just prefer to have their oysters as is to fully appreciate its natural taste. For satisfying the curiosity of the inquisitive guests Rob Moxham opened a couple of his giant oysters for tasting which were on display. Only a few ventured to try including myself. They were thankfully fairly sweet and juicy but even for a passionate oyster lover like me they were just a bit too scary big for my appetite to have more than a couple of mouthfuls — I thought they were going to be pulsating like a heart when opened, maybe they were.

Arriving at the oyster sheds of Broken Bay Oysters

Meeting area for launch

Welcome to Country by Kevin Duncan

John Stubbs, President of Broken Bay Oysters & local oyster farmers

Rob Moxham demonstrating how he opens an oyster

Simon Marnie demonstrating how he opens an oyster

Official oysters for launch

Rob Moxham, Dr Mike Kelly, Brad Warren official oyster opening

Taste testing panel

Oyster tasting notes

Dr Mike Kelly taste testing the oyster

Oyster tasting using CSIRO sensory descriptors

Official photo time

Morning tea biscuits

Oysters natural

Oyster with Sherry vinegar and eschallot

Oyster Ponzu dressed

Oyster with Spiced lemon and garlic sauce

Oyster with cucumber gazpacho

Mini prawn cocktail rolls

Mini roast beef rolls

Malaysian style fishcakes, bean sprout & coriander salad with ginger dressing served individually

Individual local jewfish & saffron chowder

Smoked salmon and dill quiches, Feta and olive quiches

My buffet lunch plate

Lunch buffet


Andy Myer, OceanWatch

Kevin McAsh, Clyde River Oyster Farmer

Mary Howard, Prawn Trawl Fishery

Mark Bulley Oyster Farmer, Port Macquarie

Rob Moxham's informational oyster talk and equipment tour

Simon Marnie and Rob Moxham holding some giant oysters

Simon Marnie and Rob Moxham having a chat in front of a state of the art ShellQuip

Giant oyster as large as my hand

Rob Moxham opening giant oyster — I tried it and it was quite sweet and nice although I prefer the normal sized ones. Apparently very popular with Asian restaurants.

Life jackets for boat tour

Boat tour with John Stubbs (red cap), President of Broken Bay Oysters & local oyster

Net of oysters

Alternative synthetic materials used for oyster farming

How oysters begin — baby oysters

Oyster farm on the Hawkesbury River

Mens toilet shed — surprising relatively clean complete with anti-bacterial soap

Oyster farm tractor

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Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Holy moley that's some big oyster! I like the looks of those oyster platters... :)

Chanel said...

I love oysters, but that giant oyster looks too huge for me! ;)

Relishment (Rory Hart) said...

Wow that is huge! Wouldn't want to try to eat that au naturale. My step mum has a record of 60 oysters in a sitting I doubt she could do that with those giants!

That was a serious spread I hope you took full advantage!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

Wow I can't believe those tiny baby oysters can grow into such humongous oysters!! Haha but I'm with you, I prefer regular sized ones too, easier to pop into the mouth :)

susan said...

I have never been a big fan of the large oysters. I love oysters though!

Simon Leong said...

hi tina, i certainly met my match for eating oysters that day.

hi chanel, i don't thing i could eat one of those big oysters again and i love oysters.

hi rory, my record is 5 dozen oysters in one sitting when i was younger so that matches your mum but i'm sure they were just the small sydney rock oysters. was at the Summit all you can eat buffet many years ago

hi vivian, i think i'll be sticking to regular sized oysters. much nicer being able to eat all in one go.

hi susan, i think if the large one was cooked it might be better.

john stubbs said...

Hi Simon
I am glad you had a great day at our EMS launch. You did a wonderful job on capturing the day with your photos. If you are ever passing by don't forget to drop in and have a feed of Broken Bay Oysters.
John Stubbs
Broken Bay Oysters

Simon Leong said...

hi john, it was a pleasure being there. hopefully i'll be able to visit again one day and also to check out the rsl style club on top of the hill. i'm assuming they serve broken bay oysters :-)

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