Exposing Local Chefs to the WA Seafood Industry

Yanni Kailis, from Kailis Bros in Leederville, is making his mark in the Western Australian seafood industry. He noticed an educational gap in the hospitality industry about WA seafood and decided to do something about it.

Yanni Kailis, from Kailis Bros Leederville

“At Kailis Bros in Leederville our chefs are actively wanting to learn about how they can get the freshest local seafood from up and down the West Australian Coast. After advising them of the auction markets on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday they asked if they could check it out for themselves,” he said.

It was at that moment that the Kailis Bros team decided to embark on a digital marketing campaign where they took four head chefs from some of Perth’s hottest restaurants and visited the auction markets to bid on the best of the overnight catch.

For most of these chefs, it was their first time stepping into a live Fish Market. Yanni said that it was hard to tell who was most excited about the unloading of the fresh fish!

The digital campaign comprises of a main video – an overview of the Kailis Bros history and the site visit to the auction Fish Market – and four shorter videos focusing on each individual chef’s utilisation of WA seafood in their menus.

“One of the mini-videos focuses on Chase Weber, head chef of The Standard in Northbridge. He is known to cook with lesser known WA seafood species, and although some of his dishes are experimental, he maintains a casual dining experience. Our video focuses on how he uses parts of the fish like the wings, which are absolutely delicious but also achieves minimum waste from the fish.”

“We also interviewed chefs Skye Faithful from Balthazar, and Sue Hutchins of Shadow Wine Bar. Skye discusses her love of showcasing raw WA seafood like Tuna, and Sue talks about her enthusiasm for cooking with the Pink Snapper coming out of Shark Bay. Jed Gerrard is head chef at Wildflower at The Treasury. He creates a fine-dining experience with iconic WA species such as Abalone and Dhufish.”

“Working in the industry, we take it for granted about what it is like being in the Fish Markets every day and the direct access to fresh local produce we get.”

“We were so blown away by how excited the chefs were when they came into the markets and saw the incredible variety of fresh fish. We had massive smiles on our faces… because we saw how much the chef were loving this experience.”

Yanni said that the experience acted as a good eye opener for the four chefs so they could see how much local seafood is available.

“What they were most impressed with was the incredible variety of seafood, in particular the wild fish caught in the Norwest region.”

Skye Faithful, head chef at Balthazar Bar and Restaurant checking out the local Kailis Brothers produce.

Another aspect that the team of Kailis Bros Leederville are pushing is educating chefs about labelling WA seafood on their menus.

“We are trying to encourage chefs to provide the origin of the seafood on their menu. Rather than chargrilled Octopus, say chargrilled Fremantle Octopus, or instead of saying Crab Linguine, we would like to see Shark Bay Crab Linguine.”

“Diners at these restaurants are ultimately the winner because you do want to know where the product you’re eating actually comes from.”

Concluding, Yanni said that the marketing campaign is also beneficial for seafood consumers across broader Western Australia.

“We have tried to educate people on the supply chain starting at where the seafood is caught and ending at how it’s served to customers.”

“It is really in the best interests of the consumers across WA to know where their fish comes from, and rest assured local means local…not from the other side of the country but from the Indian Ocean on our doorstep.”

check out the below Kailis bros chef mini-series videos