First responder families from the Bega Valley region recently had an amazing experience when they attended a ‘Cooking with Seafood’ class. Chef Kelly helped our participants learn how to make 3 courses, starting with Italian Whitebait and Lemon Aioli, followed by Sicilian Calamari Salad and the piece de resistance – Chilli Crab and Mussels! Hayley, our Fortem team member in the Bega Valley region, will tell us more about this taste bud tantalising wellbeing activity.
“First up, couples worked together to make the aioli from scratch – with one person slowly pouring the oil, as the other whisked the egg yolk, garlic and salt to form a thick, emulsified mayonnaise. Next lemon juice and mustard was added to create a delicious aioli. As always with everything that we learn from Kelly at Eastwoods Deli and Cooking School – the aioli is so easy, and so much better than store bought!
Next it was time to fry the Whitebait. Chef Kelly gave us a tip – the oil is hot enough to fry when you pop a wooden spoon handle into the oil and it begins to sizzle like a chip! Participants enjoyed snacking on their crunchy whitebait as they prepared their next course.
Chef Kelly taught us how to properly clean a calamari – including checking the inside for any surprises (she once found a baby shark inside!) As participants chopped up the locally grown tomatoes which were so juicy and sweet, we got chatting about our own veggie gardens. One participant was inspired by a previous cooking class to plant Vietnamese mint in their garden.
We sat down to enjoy our second course – then onto course number three – chilli crab – with a hearty side of Dad Jokes! Everyone was feeling a ‘bit crabby’, ‘a bit snappy’ and like we ‘needed to come out of our shells’ as we learned how to clean and prep crab, mussels and vongole. Chef Kelly busted the myth that unopened mussels shouldn’t be eaten. She explained the origin of the myth which accounts for 10% of mussels being wasted!
As always, participants were able to take plenty of leftovers home. It was another awesome night that felt just like a big, family gathering in the kitchen – good food, good company and (not so) good Dad jokes!”
The perfect way for our first responder families to connect and develop social bonds, whilst learning a new skill or two, and eating amazing seafood. The tastiest way to work on your #MentalFitness. You can also read about the other seafood cooking class from the previous night here.
Find a Bega Valley region wellbeing activity for first responder families on our Wellbeing Activity Calendar.