The producers: Cambinata yabbies

Meet the Western Australian Wheatbelt family supplying live yabbies to the nation and beyond.

Who Michael and Mary Nenke started Cambinata Yabbies in 1991 when depressed wheat and sheep prices forced them to investigate alternative streams of income. Today, all of the Nenke family is involved in the business.

How Cambinata buys yabbies from a huge network of farms located predominantly in the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions of WA. The yabbies are available year-round, but production quadruples in summer when the yabbies are most active (during winter, the crustaceans enter a state of partial hibernation).

Why Like marron and redclaw, yabbies are a native crayfish (though the word "crayfish" is often used to describe rock lobster in Australia, it's technically a term just for freshwater crustaceans) with sweet, juicy flesh that takes well to steaming, boiling and grilling. All Cambinata's yabbies are sustainably raised in farm dams and fed grain grown by the farmers. A water-saving processing system purges the yabbies of mud while preparing them for domestic and international transport. Yabbies are a cold-water species, so they can be held in good condition in fridges and coolrooms for at least a week, and taste best when kept alive until the time of cooking.

Where Cambinata yabbies are served at several top-flight Perth restaurants including Print Hall and No 4 Blake Street. Live yabbies are available direct from Cambinata Yabbies (prices start at $27.50 per kilogram) and can be delivered anywhere in the world.

Read more: tips for grilling shellfish.


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Artisanal Korean ingredients at Table 181
30.10.2017
Adelaide's Ferment the Festival
25.10.2017
The Producers: Fawk Foods
26.09.2017
Meet Your Maker: Tanto, QT Melbourne
14.09.2017
Sydney is part of Airbnb's Flavours of Home
11.09.2017
Perth's Chu Bakery: home to the matcha choux puff
06.09.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot 100 2015 - Food

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Women in Hospitality

A new organisation is empowering women working in the hospit...

The producers: Two Rivers Green Tea

A leading local tea exporter now offers his leaves to the do...

The producers: Colony honey

A selection of regional monofloral honeys sourced direct fro...

Liquid gold

We find ourselves inexorably drawn to salt caramel in a jar....

The producers: Atssu Divers

Hand-dived abalone, turban shell and sea urchin.

Making a scene

Entertainer Julia Zemiro notes there’s little difference bet...

Deutscher’s Turkey Farm

When it comes to talking turkey, the best birds have lived t...

Sandor Ellix Katz Q&A

Food fermentation 'revivalist' and guru Sandor Ellix Katz di...

The producers: Alexandrina Jersey milk

Meet the producers of the creme de la creme of Australian fu...

Gamze smokehouse

Bringing local flavour to artisan-made bacon.

Gourmet Traveller Gourmet Fast app

Now, here's a mighty handful: GT's Gourmet Fast recipes are ...

Food emoji we wish existed

What? More than 200 new pictograms in the latest Emoji set, ...

What is jumbuck?

The jumbuck has leapt straight from the pages of Banjo Pater...

Inside Out almond milk

Thicker, creamier milk, with a more pronounced almond flavou...