Juliearna's Steamed Mussels

Picton, South Island, New Zealand

Our 6th and final South Island episode presents Picton, Marlborough New Zealand, famous for being the gateway to the Southland and it's incredible seafood. So, let head chef Juliearna from the Escape To Picton Boutique Hotel, show you how to create her steamed garlic mussels, in lemon, butter and Marlborough sauvignon blanc, using fresh produce from the region!

About Chef Juliearna Kavanagh

Juliearna Kavanagh is a business entrepreneur from New Zealand. She has worked in all areas of hospitality from head chef to PR and has also dealt with recruitment and training throughout her 34 year career in the hospitality industry.  She is a true lover of fresh local produce and fine wine.

Juliearna is from Southland and has been running her own businesses since the age of 18. She was one of Australasia’s youngest night club owners, has been a restaurateur and her most famous business was a hotel, restaurant and bar called Kavanagh House, just outside Winchester, Timaru which she transformed from a derelict building in 1994 to a thriving business, securing her a finalist’s place in the HANZ (Hospitality Association of New Zealand) 1999 Best Redeveloped Hotel, Bar and Restaurant in New Zealand Award. 

Steamed garlic mussels, in lemon, butter and Marlborough sauvignon blanc!

In this sixth episode, Head Chef Juliearna showcases steamed garlic mussels, an iconic dish of the Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand today has over 550 mussel farms totalling 4500 hectares, most of them in the Marlborough Sounds. 

The deep, clean and cool waters of the Marlborough Sounds provide an ideal environment for raising mussels from spat through to harvest, with sound cultivation methods ensuring they grow quickly and are sand and grit-free.


Serves 2-4

Fresh mussels cleaned and debearded

Unsalted butter

Garlic finely chopped

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc



3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Place cleaned mussels into a pot which has an airtight lid, pour over a generous amount of Sauvignon Blanc add a teaspoon of garlic butter.

Step 2: Season with black pepper & squeeze a lemon and put lemon in a pot.Heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Let steam build up, lift lid if you see mussels opening just leave the lid on and take off heat for a minute.

Step 3: Make sure you have a warm bowl, take out and make sure mussels are opened. Serve with garlic bread and lemon wedge plus some dill as decoration.  

Give this easy, stunning dish a go, perfect for sharing over this festive season!

For a vegetarian option, try replacing mussels with mushrooms!

Book your adventure with Mighway!

Now that you’ve got this exclusive recipe using the best produce from the Marlborough region, you’ll be a pro at cooking your own steamed mussels. So, get the best of both worlds with experiencing Picton and it’s local food, by booking your next culinary roadie with Mighway!

Rent your own private motorhome direct from owners, and have the freedom to travel where you want, when you want, and even cook what you want!

Make your way to Picton!

Watch our third episode of On the Road Recipes, Picton.

Discover more of the Marlborough Sounds

From gourmet food and plenty of charming places to stay, Marlborough is a lovely place to spend a holiday away from it all. You can enjoy your family’s favourite outdoor adventures or romance your sweetheart over wine tours and stolen kisses. Whatever your fancy, Marlborough is an unforgettable New Zealand destination for recreation and relaxation. When you plan your winter vacation to this region, you can enjoy smaller crowds and friendly locals making the best of all that Marlborough has to offer. Enjoy adventures in the sea or snow by day, and wine and dine by night. We’re betting you’ll never want to leave!

What a better way to travel through Marlborough than with a motorhome. Hire a campervan with Mighway and let the journey.

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