From Sea To Plate

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6th July 2016 by Steve Rooney

Sustainable seafood is often high on the agenda of consumer opinion and many are mindful when it comes to buying fish. At Bel & The Dragon, our commitment to our guests is to serve the freshest, tastiest, most environmentally friendly seafood possible. On Monday I took some of our new team members to Brixham in Devon so that they could meet the fishermen as well as our friends at Kingfisher Brixham, and experience what I believe to be some of the best seafood in Britain…

You may ask what makes Kingfisher Brixham produce so superior and the simple answer is their knowledge & values. They have been in business for over 30 years and their team has a wealth of experience – many have grown up in the local area and fish is in their blood. Their experience enables them to not only take orders but to offer advice on menu creation, fish availability & recommend specials each day. Their premises have a prime coastal position, allowing them to source & prepare all of their produce within a few miles. Most importantly, the fish that they land is with us within a matter of hours – it doesn’t get much fresher than that.

First stop, Brixham Fish Market, where we met their team of buyers bright and early to snatch up the best of the produce on offer. It is important to note that Brixham is “the biggest grossing fishing port in England” with a “fishing fleet of 70 registered boats supplying fish of all types”. We watched the boats unload and many crates of hake, mackerel, squid and much more be prepared for auction.

[morningmarket]

For some years I have wanted to try my hand at fly fishing, but in the same way as taking up any sport – where do you begin? Naturally, I was delighted to have the opportunity to take to the water on this occasion in search of mackerel. Rod in my right hand and instructor to my left, I was hooked. In an instant.

[fishing]

As I stood and looked out to sea, I could not help but feel inspired by the fishermen of Brixham. After all, many fish solo in small open boats which has to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. They have also been taking part in an ongoing initiative to collect marine litter, bag it and bring it back to port. So far, the fishermen have collected over 50 tonnes of litter. Marc Shipton, who manages the whole operation at Kingfisher Brixham, explained that it is great to be able to reward these men for the work that they do day in day out. I couldn’t agree more.

[filleting]

Back at Kingfisher Brixham, we watched the team process the day’s catch and helped fillet a few fish along the way. From Lobster to crab, hake to halibut, wild seabass to stone bass and sea trout to turbot – we saw it all that day. One thing for sure, I couldn’t wait to take it back to the kitchen. Thank you to the fishermen of Brixham and everyone at Kingfisher Brixham. I salute you.

Fresh on the menu this month

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