Chef Paul West at Bermagui Seafood Dinner: PHOTOS

RIVER Cottage Australia host Paul West took time out from his Tilba farm to cook up a storm at Saturday night’s Bermagui Seafood Dinner.

The inaugural dinner held at the new surf club building was organised to raise funds for the Montreal Goldfield tourist attraction, as well as the Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club.

The surf club was decorated in a nautical theme and King Neptune even made an appearance giving out the door prizes donated by local businesses.

Another highlight was the folk singing of Margaret Essex from the Bemboka area, who was also accompanied by other musicians, while master of ceremonies Chris Franks kept it all together.

Speaking of donations, Paul West donated his time too as he’s currently between filming Series 2 and Series 3 of the hit television show airing on The Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel.

Paul and his partner Alicia Cordia starting prepping the ingredients at 9am that morning, making for a long day.

On the menu were Wapengo oysters grown by Shane Buckley the first organically certified grower of Sydney rock oysters ever.

Then came a seafood bisque made with local seafood including chunks of morwong, while the main course was a whole baked kingfish for each table.

Paul and his kitchen crew of local ladies were under the gun as the dinner grew from 80 people to around 130.

For dessert it was the world-famous Bermagui gelati.

Montreal Goldfield committee member Malcolm Halliday said special thanks went to Paul West and Alicia, Christie Callaghan and Vanessa Ballard for the cooking.

“Also to the mothers from the Bermagui Pre School, who worked like dogs, and always with a smile on their faces,” he said.

“And all the others who helped in so many ways, and, of course not forgetting Jen Tedesco and Rob Shaw of the Surf Club.

All these people worked for nothing but the pleasure of helping. It was a real community effort.”

He thanked the donors of the raffle prizes, that included Len Slater, Seaview Flats; Mark Manning, Bermagui Pharmacy; Horizon Credit Union; MV Pelican; Blue Wave Seafood; Ocean Wilderness; Bermagui Bait & Tackle and the Bermagui Fisherman’s Cooperative.