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From Paddock to Plate with Chef Marcel of Harbourside Bar and Kitchen

With its impressive menu of locally-sourced ingredients, organic, natural, biodynamic-wine selection, and allegiance to environmental sustainability, the Harbourside Bar and Kitchen of Cairns sets the standard for the ultimate dining experience. With a year-round bounty of fresh produce grown in the Tablelands, artisanal beer and sprits, and sustainably-farmed fish, it is no wonder conscious foodies and chefs alike are drawn to tropical Northern Queensland.

We jumped at the opportunity to delve into the “paddock to plate, vine to glass” ideology with Executive Chef Marcel Stammeier during our exclusive outdoor cooking demo facing the exquisite backdrop of Trinity Bay. With menu highlights including “Smoked Crocodile Linguine” and the astonishingly complex “Fruits of Paradise” aperitif, there is no lack of creativity from this kitchen. Chef Marcel’s credo begins with developing a relationship with provincial farmers and family businesses in an effort to connect people to where their food comes from.

Drawing on both the roots of his German-based classical training coupled with flavors of the Australian tropics, Chef Marcel chose to showcase a grilled “TNQ” (Tropical North Queensland) Barramundi, a delightful white fish sustainably farmed here in Cairns, encrusted with locally grown macadamia, the vibrant red flesh of “finger limes,” and toasted coconut.

Barramundi fish dish cuisine meal food

“TNQ” Barramundi


1/2 c freshly grated coconut, finely chopped

1/2 c macadamias, finely chopped

1/4 c fresh parsley, finely chopped

flesh of one finger lime, finely chopped

fresh barramundi filets, skin side down

salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon, quartered

balsamic reduction for garnish (optional)

fresh micro greens and edible flowers for garnish

Pre-heat grill. Season fish and spray grill with high smoke point oil such as coconut or canola oil. Place fish on the grill (lid closed) with skin side down, 4 minutes per side until just cooked through. Meanwhile, combine coconut, macadamia, parsley, and lime mixture. Remove fish from grill and place on sheet pan. Sprinkle the fish with the crust mixture, using the edge of a large chef’s knife, patting mixture into place (this step browns mixture and infuses fish with flavor). Return to grill and cook until coconut and macadamias are lightly browned. Serve fish with season vegetables such as baby broccolini and herbed mashed potatoes, drizzle with lemon and balsamic reduction and serve.

With world-class service within absolute serenity of the tropics, the Harbourside Bar and Kitchen at Holiday Inn is a must visit locale that truly epitomizes and celebrates the joy of travel and cuisine in Australia.

Harbourside Bar and Kitchen at Holiday Inn, Cairns is proud to be part of IHG’s Green Engage sustainability program, with a strong commitment to reduce their carbon footprint.

Written by AHWD contributor Robin Queen

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