Chef Outta Water Sails into Sammys on the Marina for a Seafood Extravaganza
All Aboard! Sammys on the Marina hosts a seafood extravaganza with Oregon’s Chef Outta Water Chris Holen and wines from The Lane Vineyard.
‘Close your eyes and remember the best meal you’ve ever had.’ The dining room at Sammys on the Marina goes quiet, guests close their eyes and Chef Outta Water Chris Holen continues, ‘Your memory might not just be about the food — but maybe the place, the country — the people you were with …’
I don’t usually write about the same place twice in the space of two months. This occasion at Sammys on the Marina deserves an exception and their team goes above and beyond for this one. Special guests on the night include Chef Outta Water’s Simon Millcock and Chef Chris Holen. Chef Outta Water is an exciting Oregon, United States (Chris Holen) and Australian (Simon Millcock, from SA) based collaboration. They inspire chefs around the world with exciting culinary experiences and innovative professional development opportunities. A worldwide cultural exchange program, their global outreach includes countries such as Iceland, China, USA and Australia to name a few.
Coffin Bay Oysters with caviar, smoked salmon and seaweed
Our starter is a trio of deliciously fresh Coffin Bay Oysters. The theatre of smoke (dry ice) wafting from underneath the plate heralds an exciting start to our night. Wine pairings for the degustation are chosen by Adelaide Hill’s The Lane Vineyard — our oysters are a beautiful match with the crisp, sparkling ‘Lois’ Brut Rose. Turon White from The Lane Vineyard tells us the Adelaide Hills cool climate, high altitude region is well-known for producing wines of vibrancy and intensity.
Chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur Chris Holen explains special food memories are culinary experiences. He tells us Chef Outta Water was driven by a simple desire to ‘get out of his own kitchen’ at his restaurant Baked Alaska in Oregon to expand his culinary knowledge.
Simon Millcock, Chairman of Economic Development Australia, was leading a study tour in Oregon in 2016 when the stars aligned and he met Chris at a beer festival. Chef Outta Water Associates was born. Tour Director Simon tells me that, in essence, Chef Outta Water is a social enterprise, ‘It’s about giving back. Chris and I both enjoy travel and other cultures – we share this with people’. International chefs have the opportunity to work with local culinary schools, meet producers, work with charities and enjoy social and cultural experiences.
Light and crisp Squid Ink Tempura Prawns served on a bed of refreshing Vietnamese salad are paired with two white wines. The ‘Block 2’ Pinot Gris and the ‘Gathering’ Semillon Sauvignon Blanc are both well balanced and zesty.
Our Boston Bay Mussel Chowder packs a punch and is full of flavour. Perfectly accompanied by the Lane Vineyard’s ‘Block 1A’ Chardonnay, the wine’s citrus notes balance the creaminess of the chowder.
Steamed Red Snapper rolled with lobster and spinach is matched with The Lane Vineyard’s Pinot Noir. My personal favourite of the night, this single vineyard wine is a quality drop. Beautifully fruit driven with good tannin and spice.
Guest Chef Chris Holen produces a superb dish for our next course. Crispy skin, pan seared Hapuku fillet with Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms. Dehydrated with the Scandinavian distilled spirit Aquavit, a tribute to his Norwegian roots, these mushrooms were lovingly brought all the way from Oregon by Chris. Their flavour is incredible. The pumpkin puree is deliciously silky and the reduced fish broth and tarragon oil elevate this dish to ‘amazing’. It’s brimming with flavour. The Lane Vineyard’s ‘Block 8’ Merlot, a medium bodied red, is smooth and refined on the palate.
The Australian connection in Oregon continues to grow. Simon tells me Chef Outta Water collaborated with Aussie chef Barney Hannagan in Portland Oregon earlier this year. Native ingredients such as finger lime, quandong, Illawarra plum, lemon myrtle and macadamia were incorporated into their menu. Chef Outta Water’s strong connection with the native food tourism industry is opening up more and more doors for exciting ‘sense of place’ food experiences.
Our pretty as a picture Banoffee Pie is a work of art. A melt in the mouth dessert which is thoughtfully paired with The Lane Vineyard’s ‘Block 14’ Basket Pressed Shiraz. This popular, trophy winning wine is smooth, luscious and fruit driven with hints of black pepper.
Chef Outta Water’s Chris Holen (far right) pictured with Brenton Clarence from Oatley Fine Wine Merchants (far left) and the team from Sammys on the Marina. Sammys on the Marina’s beautiful upstairs function room with breathtaking views is the perfect space for wine dinners and special occasions.
Food With a View thanks the team at Sammys on the Marina for their hospitality at this VIP event. Check out Sammys on the Marina’s Facebook page for specials and details on their upcoming Melbourne Cup event.
Contact: Sammys on the Marina, 12 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg Marina Pier, phone 8372 8211.