MasterChef 2010 contestant Alvin Quah understands why people have a fear of cooking with seafood, he used to be one of them.
But, thanks to his determination, a "never give up attitude" and some tips and tricks from Australia's top chefs, he quickly became a pro at cooking the tasty cuisine.
This is one of the many reasons why Alvin is the perfect person to host three unique seafood cooking demonstrations at the Hunter Valley Semillon & Seafood Festival on Saturday October 9, 2010, as part of the three-day festival.
"I am going to conduct a seafood masterclass," he told Woman's Day.
"The idea is that we want people to have a simple seafood dish that they can have at home."
Giving us a sneak peek into the menu on the day Alvin revealed he will be cooking steamed barramundi with ginger, king fish tartar, and seared scallops with chilli orange.
"The great thing about these dishes is that they can work as an entree-sized dish, a main or as canapés however you would like to serve them," he said.
Alvin is hoping that the cooking class will provide people with the tips and tricks to cooking seafood and any other cuisine.
"The thing to remember is that even professional chefs make mistakes and have bad days," he said.
"You just learn from your bad days and just move on.
"People do shy away from seafood. But hopefully these three dishes will make them a lot more comfortable about it."
And when it comes to cooking seafood Alvin says there is just one rule to follow.
"I think the trick to cooking seafood is just not over cooking it," he said.
"It took me a while to master cooking seafood as well, but it's such a nutritious protein source and you can make it as healthy as you like."
This year's Hunter Valley Semillon & Seafood Festival, which will run from October 8 to 10, promises to be even bigger than last year's event with a new format outlined for the three days.
Once you have watched Alvin's demonstration you can sample some seafood and wine of your own at the onsite restaurant and the Oyster and Semillon Bar.
One of the festival's main events includes the launch of the 2010 Hunter Valley Semillons where visitors can be the first in Australia to sample the new wines and meet some of the world's most renowned winemakers.
The event will also include a series of masterclasses, activities and VIP experiences, such as the "Hunter Valley Wine Show Trophy and Medal winning Semillon" masterclass with the Wine Man, Peter Bourne, and some of the region's top winemakers, seafood talks, a "Museum to Current Release Semillon' masterclass, and a boutique Semillon maker's marquee.
And last year's popular "Winemaker's Cook Off" will be hosted once again, which involved local wine makers and chefs being paired up and, using a surprise bag of ingredients, put together their own dish.
Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy some of the live music, the food and the wine.
Entry cost: Free
Time: 11am to 4pm
Where: Tyrrell's Vineyard, Broke Road, Pokolbin.
Booking: Masterclasses and VIP experiences, the seafood cooking demonstrations and tables at the onsite restaurant and Semillon and Oyster Bar can be booked in advance, and tickets are available at
www.huntersemillonandseafood.com.au or call (02) 4991 4533. It is recommended to book experiences early to avoid disappointment.
What else is on in the Hunter Valley?
Don't miss the Rose Spectacular event at the Hunter Valley Gardens from October 11 to November 14.
Visit www.hvg.com.au for more information.