Our founders, cousins Lincoln Kirchner and Luke Truant, come from a long-line of professional fishermen. Their grandfather fished Baffle Creek, north of Bundaberg. They grew up hearing stories about their parents’ childhood on the banks of Euleilah Creek, near Rules Beach, and spent much of their own childhoods catching and eating fish.
In 2017, their shared love of fishing and good food saw them join forces to create The Seafood Smokery. Within two years of opening their doors at The Port of Bundaberg their products had won national acclaim.
Committed to maintaining the sustainability of Australian fish stocks and protecting our waterways, Lincoln and Luke expect full traceability from their suppliers. As a boutique fine food business, they value quality over quantity.
When you buy from The Seafood Smokery you know the fish you are eating has been ethically caught and handled. Within 30 seconds of being caught, our fish are humanely killed using the Japanese Ike-Jimi technique, ensuring our fillets are of the highest quality possible.
At The Seafood Smokery, we believe strongly in minimising waste and utilising by-products. We collect discarded macadamia timber and other hardwoods from local farms. It is washed and hand-shaved by Lincoln and Luke to create The Seafood Smokery’s own secret, custom blend of wood chips.
Like a wine vintage, each catch or batch of Seafood Smokery products is slightly different. Fat content in wild fish varies greatly throughout the year. Seasonality, environmental changes, our woodchips and even the level of humidity at particular times of year can influence the final product. But the things our customers can always rely on is quality and taste!
The Seafood Smokery products are versatile, subtly sweet and deliciously smoky. They have a substantive, meaty quality while retaining the lightness that fresh Australian seafood is renowned for.
Here at The Seafood Smokery, not only are all our fish ethically caught and handled from wild, sustainable fish stocks, but all our staff are Bundaberg locals too. We buy our fish direct from the Region’s most talented small-scale fishermen. They deliver straight to our door at The Port of Bundaberg.
Lincoln is the artisan behind The Seafood Smokery. The former tradesman and professional fisherman started designing his own smoker when he was laid up in a hospital bed. Once recovered, he and his dad built a prototype and started experimenting with brining processes and flavour profiles. Being of German heritage, Lincoln is the third generation of Kirchner men to smoke food. And now he loves the fact he can’t get his son out of the kitchen.
Luke used to drive multi-million dollar yachts overseas for a living. After spawning a family of his own, he moved back to Bundaberg to establish a couple of land-based businesses that enable him to remain strongly connected with the sea. As well as co-founding The Seafood Smokery, Luke owns Truansea Fishing Charters and teaches sea survival, skipper and yacht master courses to schools of boating students. He is not that good at filleting fish and his dad jokes are horrible.
The Seafood Smokery is located just meters from a jetty at The Port of Bundaberg, in Queensland’s Wide Bay Burnett Region. The Region has long been regarded as one of the country’s premiere food bowls. About 70 per cent of land in the region is occupied by agriculture, providing a beautiful patchwork quilt-like view from the air.
Often referred to as the home of Australia’s ‘Rum City’, the Region produces 30 different fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, and is responsible for one fifth of Queensland’s annual sugar production. Culinary delights are grown, caught, brewed and distilled in Bundaberg year-round.
Not only is Wide Bay Burnett Australia’s highest producing Region for the macadamia wood chips we use to smoke our fish. Its close proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef also provides abundant, sustainable fish stocks year-round for commercial and recreational fishers. In 2018–19, 2,867 tonnes of commercial catch was landed in the Region including 544 tonnes of Mullets and 121 tonnes of Mackerels (QDAF 2020b). The Queensland State and Federal Governments closely monitor and regulate our fisheries to ensure stocks are sustainably managed and protected for future generations. We continually monitor AFMA, FRDC and DAFF stock status and adapt accordingly.