Smokehouse scoops food awards

Prize winners from way back, Eden Smokehouse, has once again cleaned up at the Fine Food 2015 awards.

"We're getting better every year; last year we only won one gold and this year we've won two. But most of our silvers were in categories where there was no gold awarded so we're right up the top," owner Stan Soroka said.

This year, the smoke house took out two golds, one in category 13 and one in category 14, with their hot smoked salmon packs.

The three member team consisting of Michelle Beatie, Gary Corbett and Stan Soroka, won six silvers in categories 15, 16, 17, 23, 25 and 26 for products such as Gravlax salmon, hot smoked ocean trout, smoked rainbow trout and smoked salmon.

Eden Smokehouse are always expanding the market with the team distributing now to Canberra, throughout the Southern Highlands, Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Soroka said the smoke house believes in traditional methods and said the smoke house only ever uses traditional methods and ingredients to create their products.

"We don't use any smoke flavours, any additives, you know the ones you find in products these days, and if the product doesn't have wow factor we don't want it," Mr Soroka said.

The award recipients believe in buying locally and helping Eden become a tourist destination not just for sight-seeing, cruises and fishing but for eating.

"If we keep going, and all the other amazing local producers keep going and we all support each other, we might be able to become a food destination," Mr Soroka said.

"France has it right. From a tourist point of view they have provinces set up dedicated to local growers and products and then it becomes a tourist attraction."

"We have amazing food right up the coast, and if all the food producers get together we have strength."

Mr Soroka talked about how the smoke house contributes to the making of Disaster Bay Chillies, how Sprout Cafe in Eden  supports local growers and shops such as Wild Ryes in Pambula, and how local wineries such as Rocky Hall winery is supporting them and the list goes on.

"The reasons everybody should buy locally are: supporting local economies, you know who has grown the product, it's safe and close to organic, the flavour (is always better), and food security," he said.

"Off the back of this Hepatitis A outbreak from the Nana berries, it is again important to recognise food secuirty."

"Most of these foods sold by Coles and Woolies are grown in Asia where the air and soil and often the waters are polluted, so it's just a reminder that the local food movement here is great and it's good to buy local," Mr Soroka said. 

Mr Soroka talked about the family of producers that are now stretched up and down the coast being wineries, farmers and growers, condiments, cafes, breweries and markets, and the area is getting stronger. 

"There's a great story behind all of them and it's just great to be a part of it."

Mr Soroka said the production of the award winning seafood products are a team effort.

"Every member of the team shares the workload and we can all do everything. It's a huge win for the whole team."

Since its inception back in 1997, the smoke house has won a myriad of awards and many of them can be seen on the wall next to the counter.

The prize wall however is not big enough to fit them all in with the last two years' worth of medals and certificates in storage.

"We do have to get a new wall," the team said. 

Gary Corbett who once owned the smoke house is an expert and has also been the recipient of major awards in the past. 

"When they first called me up years ago to tell me I was the champion, I just said 'Great, thanks,' but I had no idea what a big deal it was," Mr Corbett said.

"Now I realise what a huge deal it is," Mr Cobertt said. 

The Eden Smokehouse is located at 20 Weecoon Street near the wharf and is opened 7.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday for all your smoked seafood needs. 

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