Vintage Australians get creative in the kitchen

Tweed fisherman Mr Edwin
Tweed fisherman Mr Edwin "Snow" Ducat surveys the ocean before a morning's fishing off therocks at Hastings Point on the Tweed Coast. Scott Powick

SNOW Ducat has the secret to world peace sorted, and he knows his way around a kitchen as well.

The Murwillumbah retiree drives to the Tweed Coast every morning to fill his quota of fish and crabs, then heads straight to the hotplates to get cooking.

He has just become the first star of Vintage Bites, an online cooking show run by retirement group Whiddon that puts its residents in the spotlight. The program aims to connect older people with the outside world through the universality of food and storytelling, and Snow has plenty of tales to tell.

"I just get great joy out of cooking and sharing food with people" he said.

"Whiddon asked to film me for the Vintages Bites program because I often used to cook for others.

"It started with my cleaners and now I take it down to the pub and give food to the good looking sheilas, to the barmaids and sometimes even the barman if he's decent looking."

Snow's love of the ocean comes from his time working in boiler rooms on ships during the Vietnam War.

Whenever the captain would set anchor, he would head to the deck and drop a line to catch fish to eat with the ship's cooks that night.

He said his signature dish these days was calamari, with a special ingredient to help tenderise the meat.

"My daughter can't get enough of it," he said.

"I buy the squid fresh off the trawlers, clean them and soak them in paw paw and garlic overnight. Kiwi fruit works the same.

"That's what the old ladies used to say: when you're at a football match, never put your baby under a paw paw tree to get out of the sun or he'll get a soft head."

He said his kitchen secret to world peace was to share a drink over a meal.

Topics:  aged care cooking crabbing fishing recipes retirement social media tweed heads veteran vietnam war

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