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Whitianga Scallop Festival 9
Ray McVinnie, the well-known and respected
food editor for Cuisine Magazine and a judge
on the popular television cooking competition
series MasterChef New Zealand, says the key to
cooking scallops is keeping it simple.
“Just pan fried with a little garlic, some good
bread, and a side of lemon.
“Don’t cover them with really strong flavours
because they have got a really beautiful flavour
which is easily dominated,” he says.
McVinnie will be sharing many more tips of the
cooking trade when he returns to the Whitianga
Scallop Festival this year to give two cooking
demonstrations, showcasing his cooking talents
while putting together a Catalan skewered
scallop salad, and a roasted tomato and seafood
McVinnie, whose expertise makes him a regular
guest at foodie events throughout the country,
says Scallop Festival is an event which he looks
forward to on the food calendar each year.
“I really love the Whitianga Scallop Festival, I
think it’s one of the best festivals there is.”
The award-winning food writer, who also finds
time in his busy schedule to teach gastronomy
at the Auckland University of Technology, is a
seasoned traveller who has experienced festivals
all over the globe, but believes the Whitianga
Scallop Festival definitely holds its own against
“I’ve done a lot of travel and have been to
a lot of festivals all around the world and the
Whitianga Scallop Festival is just as good. It’s
a local festival that celebrates a great local
McVinnie says he is looking forward to enjoying
the atmosphere of the Whitianga Scallop Festival
and of course chowing down on some delicious
“I’m looking forward to enjoying the
atmosphere ... and eating scallops I really love the
scallops from Whitianga.”
Don’t wallop that scallop
New Zealand food heavyweight Ray McVinnie says the secret to
cooking scallops is in fact “not cooking them very much” at all.
If rock ‘n’ roll sets your heart racing and gets your feet
tapping then be sure not to miss the Recliner Rockers
when they return to the Scallop Festival for the fifth
Bringing a bunch of newly written songs to debut,
Recliner Rockers singer/guitarist Al Lavis says the
group are looking forward to experiencing the
delights of the festival another time round.
“ We’re looking forward to the sights the smells
and the sounds...we do quite a few festivals and the
Scallop Festival is definitely a highlight,” says Lavis.
The Recliner Rockers’ story began in 2006, and
according to Lavis it was a common interest in
rockabilly, blues, and other roots music coupled with
a desire to play original material that saw the band
“Geoff (the bass player) and I were playing in
different bands touring the same traps in and around
Auckland. When a mutual friend brought us together
in a back-up band at short notice we discovered a
common interest in rockabilly, blues and other roots
music and a desire to play original material.
“In reality we resented playing with talented,
sensitive and creative musicians and wanted to be
unchallenged, loud Neanderthals,” explains Lavis.
The group, which were originally called the Sharp
Dressed Men before deciding that Recliner Rockers
was a much better fit, played their first gig to a
packed venue at the Whangamata Beach Hop festival
The three-man band, comprising of Lavis, Geoff
Fitzpatrick on double bass and electric bass guitar,
and Kerry Fraser on drums and backing vocals, is
often supplemented by Bruce French on saxophone.
“It’s a three-way collision between a Rockabilly
Cadillac, a Blues Truck and a Psychedelic Rock Train –
and after the accident a Frankenstein monster with
Hendrix’s mind, Muddy Waters’ heart and Elvis from
the waist down,” says Lavis.
The Recliner Rockers are eager to return to the
Coromandel, rock out at another Whitianga Scallop
Festival, and reunite with friends in the area.
Rockers are no laid back group
Sizzle and Sounds
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