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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
It's a mirror- at Monday morning on Macquarie Harbour on the wild west coast of Tasmania. Some days, this area is thrashed by the roaring forties, the winds that whip across the Southern Ocean. But today, the brackish, tea-coloured harbour, estimated to be between ve and seven times the size of Sydney Harbour, is as smooth as fondant. Now the surface is sliced by the bow of the MV Second Nature as it steers from the harbour town of Strahan to a sh farm o Table Head. Tetsuya Wakuda, one of Sydney's nest chefs, is on board, heading out to inspect the farmed ocean trout that will be sold as part of a AU$195 degustation menu at his Sydney restaurant. Mountains stand sentinel to the east and low hills to the west in an area that is designated World Heritage. "I love being here," the chef says. Wakuda's con t of ocean trout is arguably the nation's most internationally renowned restaurant dish, celebrated in newspapers and magazines from Boston to Shanghai. Time magazine described it as "sublime", while e New York Times said: "Take a mouthful of sh, seaweed crust and celery and the whole fairly sparkles on the palate." Ninety minutes a er leaving Strahan, MV Second Nature pulls up alongside a converted cargo ship, known in the industry as the killing ship -- and Wakuda jumps aboard. Most of the foredeck is crowded with plastic tubs full of ice slurry, ready to receive the day's quarry. Wakuda -- or Tets as he's known to everybody here -- heads to the stern and positions himself on a balcony with a view of the farm's giant pen oating in the water below. With a circumference of 120 metres and deep nets hanging below the surface, the pen -- or sea cage -- keeps 45 tonnes of sh away from predators and allows the free ow of seawater. Seafood company Petuna has 70 sea cages in Macquarie Harbour -- about a h of Tasmania's aquaculture industry -- and today a seven-man team expects to pull about 3500 sh out of this cage alone to be sold across the country and around the world. For the sh bound for Tetsuya's in Kent Street, Sydney, it's the rst step of a journey from the ocean to the plate that will take four days and will see them travel more than 1500 kilometres by road and sea. With his insulated jacket pulled up over his face to protect against the cold, Wakuda is clearly excited about what he sees in the water below. " ey're beautiful," he says of the trout. "Look at the colour. ey shine." Wakuda has been making regular trips from Sydney to Macquarie Harbour for 17 years, since he met Petuna owners Peter and Una Rockli (Petuna is an amalgam of their rst names) and they agreed to supply his restaurant. As his international pro le has grown, Wakuda visits less but his in uence is no less apparent. e ocean trout Petuna produces today are a direct result of Wakuda's intervention and he, in turn, has helped to build Petuna into a global brand. Peter Rockli is a one-time rock lobster sherman who has always had his eye on the next opportunity. He plates & produce 52 TETSUYA'S CONFIT OF OCEAN TROUT IS AUST LIA'S MOST FAMOUS DISH, AND HIS FAVOURITE SEAFOOD BYMATTHEWEVANS sustainable and sublime JEWEL OF THE DEEP Tetsuya's famous confit of ocean trout "sparkles on the plate".