Fine dining on hapuku
NIWA has recently tested our cultured hapuku on a selection of high profile chefs as part of our development of new high value species for the New Zealand aquaculture industry. The fish was highly praised for its taste and versatility of use and shows potential to grace fine dining establishments in North America, Europe and Asia.
In today’s ever changing and increasingly competitive food markets, aquaculture remains the fastest growing food sector. Although good for marine farmers and other industry players, entering this competitive arena with a new fish species is often challenging.
The major challenges are that New Zealand is a long way from most of its export markets and is generally competing in a commodities environment. One way to beat the competition is to develop high value products that can command a premium in the world market and avoid being labelled a commodity from the outset. This is the focus of NIWA’s high value aquaculture species programme.
Developing hāpuku for the world market
Right now we’re developing the technology to farm a new species for the world market: hāpuku. Our approach for this species is to understand what the customers want and feed this information back into our R&D programmes. Our aim is to provide a high value and, above all, enduring product for our aquaculture sector.
We’ve begun this process by taking our cultured hāpuku to the most critical audience: fine dining chefs. The fish received high praise when tested recently by a select group of chefs and fish market specialists in some of Sydney’s top restaurants.
Nick Bain, manager of NIWA’s commercialisation team, provided further insight into our approach and the chefs’ feedback at the Cawthron New Zealand Aquaculture Conference in Nelson last month.
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