Kinkawooka mussels take top prize

South Australia’s Kinkawooka Shellfish Co. “petit bouchot” mussels took the top prize at this year’s Delicious magazine produce awards, winning the title of “Producer of the Year.”

The awards — revered in the Australian food industry and judged by luminaries such as Maggie Beer, Alla Wolf Tasker and Cheong Liew — recognize the best of Australia’s food producers, from the dairy, the paddock, the earth and the sea. 

Kinkawooka Shellfish also won the “From the Sea” category.

Matt Preston handed the award to Kinkawooka, saying it was testament to the team behind the mussels and their dedication to seasonality, accessibility, quality and consistency and their commitment to building the category.

Produce awards judge Maggie Beer said the mussels from Kinkawooka reflect seasonality and provenance and just how good the producers of the Eyre Peninsula are.

“The almost obsessive quality measures and real pride taken by Kinkawooka have created a mussel that is so sweet and perfect in flavor,” she said.

Kinkawooka Shellfish owner Andrew Puglisi said the award was a credit to the team behind Kinkawooka, and to the little mollusks themselves.

“They’re small and sweet, the perfect package,” he said. “This award means a hell of a lot to us — the effort day-in-day-out into the product from all levels. It is a team effort between us on the water, our factory guys and Fisheads who market our mussels — the relationship between us and the chefs fostered by Fisheads has driven us to the next level.”

Kinkawooka’s John Susman said it was great to reap the results and rewards of many years of research, planning, innovation — and eating bucket loads of mussels.

“The plan now is to harness this win for our suppliers and retailers — the people who have supported us from day one,” said Susman. “We will begin a strategic communications, media and consumer campaign right now ,and stretching to the coming months that will capitalize on the win and the some 500,000 Delicious magazine readers and consumers, letting them know that small sweet and delicious mussels are the only way to go.

“We will also be branding our product with the Delicious produce awards “Winner” stamp, taking our mussels direct to punters at farmer’s markets around the country and as always, our relationships with the country’s leading chefs will be paramount,” he added.

Click here to view a mini-documentary featuring Andrew Puglisi from Kinkawooka filmed at Adelaide Central Market.


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