This month, you’ll meet Jason Staudt, executive chef at Stokehouse in St Kilda Beach in Melbourne, Victoria.
In the following Q&A interview, you’ll learn more about what drives Jason, who’s understated cooking style has won him wide acclaim and an interest in sustainable seafood lead him to Aquna Murray Cod.
Photo credit: Peter Dillon
Q1. You have been described as having a passion for seafood and sustainability. Tell us more about why this is important to you.
A. Recently, we were just approved for the first 5 Star Green Star hospitality business in the Southern Hemisphere, which for me is MASSIVE! When I was approached for the job at Stokehouse, this was one of the main reasons I accepted it. Even though we hadn’t had the final approval yet, I knew it’s what I wanted to be a part of.
Sustainability has always been a major factor in what I do as a human and a chef. From banning cling film at all the venues, using e-water to clean and generally living in a green way, it’s super important.
My passion for seafood stemmed from a stint on a yacht in Alaska as a private chef. Catching wild salmon, Dungeness crab, huge halibuts, and everything in between, utilising those precious ingredients with no waste — something sparked. I then moved to Australia in 2012 and was taken even further down a seafood passion. Australian seafood is very special, and some of the best in the world.
Q2. What do you look for in the produce you serve at Stokehouse?
- Effort in growing and delivering the produce at its prime.
- Consistency. We are a big business. Consistency is key.
Q4. What qualities do you most value in Aquna Murray Cod?
A. Consistency, quality, shelf life and the core values of the Aquna business around sustainability.
Q5. How would you describe the flavour of Aquna Murray Cod?
A. What gets me going is the clean flavour. I think there’s a stigma around Murray cod in Australia of being muddy. Aquna is breaking that. It is very clean with a firm flesh. Great versatility – from cooking over wood, to poaching, to steaming. All mediums bring out a different natural flavour.
Q6. Tell us about your favourite Aquna Murray Cod recipe.
A. Waste is a failure of creativity. Personally, at Stokehouse, we did a steamed Aquna Murray Cod with the loins, served with a mussel escabeche, cod fat and lovage dressing. The bellies were cured, then hot smoked and served on crumpets with our seafood platter. The heads were poached, and picked – then seasoned, pressed and crumbed, and turned into our Aquna Murray Cod head croquettes served in pontoon, which is a staple on our menu. I guess that’s more than one recipe – but utilising the whole fish is the best recipe.
Want to cook Aquna Murray Cod at home?
We’ve just launched a new How to Cook section on the Aquna website, where you can learn about the different cuts and cooking techniques to perfect your Aquna Murray Cook experience.