Narooma Oyster Festival organisers are more than pleased with the attendance and atmosphere at the gourmet food event, resurrected for 2017 after a year off.
Narooma Chamber of Commerce president Niels Bendixsen said the committee was aiming at getting at least 2500 through the gates throughout the day on Saturday and by all accounts that had well truly been exceeded.
Most the action and crowds were concentrated in “oyster alley” where there were five stalls serving oysters from the five represented growing areas, as well as the Matt Ratcliffe Oyster Bar and the cooking demonstration tent.
“Today was a really good showcase of oysters from all of the South Coast,” Mr Bendixsen said. “The crowds in the oyster alley made for a fantastic atmosphere.”
Award-winning Clyde River oyster grower Jim Doyle of Doyle's Oysters brought out a plate of his finest oysters for visiting food writers.
His oysters won ribbons for Best Sydney Rock Oysters and Champion Aquaculture Product at this year's Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Aquaculture competition.
At the Wagonga Inlet stall representing the Narooma oyster industry local seafood proprietor Sophie Wiersema said she was very pleased selling more 250 dozen Sydney rock oysters and all her prawn spring rolls.
The cooking demonstrations as always were very popular with locals Erica Dibden from Tilba Real Dairy making butter from cream, while Hannah Abraham from il Passagio made her special oysters.
Another highlight was the Ultimate Oyster Experience where diners paid a premium to sit down and be served while listening to a local grower speak about the oysters they were eating.
In addition to the food, there was lots to do for the kids with free amusement rides and also a casting competition put on by the Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club.
The festival kicked off with a very well-received evening of music and fireworks on the Narooma inlet foreshore, as well as cocktail party up at The Whale motel. Click here for opening night coverage
Mr Bendixsen said he heard lots of positive feedback about the opening night with as many as 2000 in attendance.
“There was also great atmosphere and massive turn-out at what was a party on the foreshore,” he said.
The Narooma Oyster Festival weekend was also a chance to promote Narooma as a destination, with oyster marketing company Australia’s Oyster Coast hosting a number of travel and food writers.
These visitors got to quick of Montague Island on Saturday morning before the oyster festival, taking in the natural beauty of the area.
Chef Colin Barker of the The Boathouse in Blackwattle Bay, Sydney also came along before doing his cooking demonstration in the afternoon. A keen fisherman himself, he enjoyed seeing the locations of where some of his fresh seafood originated from.