AT LEFT: Giovanni Pilu and the recipe for this delicious snapper dish (above) can be found on our website.
AT LEFT: Giovanni Pilu and the recipe for this delicious snapper dish (above) can be found on our website. contributed

Chef Giovanni Pilu returns to Noosa

CHEF Giovanni Pilu loves Noosa and talks about returning for this year's Noosa Food and Wine Festival and shares his delicious snapper with green olives and white wine recipe (below).

What is it that you look forward to the most about being a part of the Noosa Food and Wine Festival?

Noosa is like my second home and I love any opportunity to get back there. I love showcasing the area to the people who visit the festival, such a great atmosphere.

I particularly enjoy working with the local restaurants, many of the owners have now become friends.

I absolutely love the buzz of the Festival Village, in particular the Producers Pavillion where you get to meet lots of passionate artisan producers and taste their amazing produce.

There are plenty of opportunities to pick up some great cooking tips and learn from the professionals on the Main Stage and in the various masterclasses.

The Village is also a great spot to catch up with friends, many Noosa restaurants will be showcasing their menus and of course there's plenty of options for drinking whether you're into craft beers, cocktails or fantastic wines - the choice is endless.

What can festival guests expect this year?

The best weekend - great fun, lots of eating and drinking in one of Australia's most beautiful destinations - the ultimate foodie experience.

Why do you think Noosa is such an exciting culinary destination?

Noosa is not only a stunning destination but the region offers an of abundance of fresh and local produce and is home to many passionate artisan producers.

The area is now renowned for world-class destination restaurants and cafes.

What dish best sums up your food philosophy?

My food philosophy is around using seasonal, quality ingredients to produce simple, delicious dishes.

My best dish which sums this us would have to be spaghetti, vongole, zucchini flowers and bottarga.

What is your favourite ingredient to work with at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival and why?

After all these years, I still love working with the Noosa Reds - great tomatoes and full of flavour.

RECIPE: Snapper with green olives and white wine (pictured above).


1 x 3kg snapper, gilled, gutted, scaled

Salt flakes, to taste

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups fish stock

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

30 green olives olives, cheeks cut from the pit

2 cups dry white wine

150g butter, diced

⅓ cup finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves


Remove snapper from the fridge 30-40 minutes before cooking. Cover and set aside in a cool place to come to room temperature. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the snapper's fins and tail. Thoroughly rinse the belly cavity, removing any blood; pat dry. Score on both sides with 5 or 6 diagonal cuts, angled towards the tail, just through to the bone. Sprinkle both sides of the fish generously with salt and pat it into the skin.

Heat a large baking dish on the stove top. Add oil and, when hot, place the fish into it, scored side down. Cook for about 6 minutes, until skin is crisp, then turn and cook for a further 4 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Meanwhile, place fish stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Scatter the garlic and olives over the top of the fish add white wine. Bring to the boil then add hot fish stock.

Cover tightly with a double layer of foil and place in oven for about 25 minutes, until fish is cooked through, basting frequently. Check the flesh where the fish is scored, the flesh near the bone on the thickest part of the fish should be white.

Remove from oven, place fish on a platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside in a warm place.

Place baking dish on stove top over a high heat, bring cooking juices to the boil and boil until reduced by a third. Whisk in the butter. Stir in parsley and spoon sauce over the fish.

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