Tetsuya's Tasmanian connection

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Restaurant and Japanese garden at night at Tetsuya's, Sydney NSW

Restaurant and Japanese garden at night at Tetsuya's, Sydney NSW [©Tetsuya's]

Restaurant and Japanese garden at Tetsuya's, Sydney NSW
Confit of Tasmanian ocean trout at Tetsuya's, Sydney NSW
Tasmanian Ocean Trout Tian at Tetsuya's, Sydney NSW
Renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda, Tetsuya's Restaurant, Sydney NSW

The friendship of Tasmanian fisherman Peter Rockliff, a commercial fisherman who has lived in Tasmania all his life, and Tetsuya Wakuda – one of Sydney’s top chefs – is a story of kinship that bridges two languages, two generations and two remarkably different careers.

Catching premium fish mostly leads to a delightful dinner, but for a remarkable fisherman and a renowned chef it has led to a meeting of hearts and minds.

Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant, Tetsuya’s, has earned an international reputation for soulful, unique dishes that combine Japanese inspiration with classic French techniques. What is less known, however, is the loneliness and isolation he experienced after arriving in Sydney from the Japanese town of Hamamatsu in 1982, with little more than a suitcase, a love of food and limited grasp of English.

It was his meeting in the early 1990s with Peter Rockliff, from Devonport, on the north-west coast of Tasmania, that changed all that. Peter lived a long way from urban sophistication, working the seas for more than five decades. They met while Tetsuya was sourcing fish from Peter’s company, Petuna Seafood.

Peter and his wife, Una, warmly welcomed Tetsuya into their family in a down-to-earth, country way. Years later, Tetsuya feels he has become like a son to the Rockliffs and continues to personally select fish from them for his restaurant, with his signature dish, Tetsuya’s Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout, a popular choice with diners.

These days, Petuna has a long list of chef clients for its wild harvested blue-eye trevalla, orange roughy, pink ling and farmed salmon, ocean trout and Arctic char. Its two deep-sea fishing vessels range from the Coral Sea to the Southern Ocean in search of the best wild catch that Australia’s huge fishing zone can offer.

Contributed by Tourism Tasmania.


  • Sydney (NSW)
  • West Coast (TAS)

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June 02nd, 2007
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