‘Sample local fishy dishes’ is the message from chefs


Cornish chef James Strawbridge is urging holidaymakers to sample local seafood this summer; Cornish sardines

4th August 2021

Cornish chef, food photographer and author James Strawbridge has joined fellow West Country sustainable seafood champion Mitch Tonks in urging British holiday-makers to try out the local seafood at their holiday spots this year and support the growing sustainable seafood movement.

The Marine Stewardship Council has launched an online map which showcases sustainable fisheries in the UK and Ireland, along with information about the different species, history and fishing methods.

The MSC says people have a great range of sustainable seafood available in the UK, from cockles fished in the Burry Inlet when in South Wales and the Dee Estuary in north Wales, to sardines and hake in Cornwall, clams from Poole Harbour in Dorset, herring and mussels in Ireland and haddock, crab, scallops and mussels in Scotland.

There are 17 new pages, with information about each MSC-certified sustainable fishery from across the UK and Ireland. Strawbridge said: “For me, there is nothing better to cook with than local seafood; it’s healthy, fresh and delicious and makes a chef’s job easy.”

“Whenever I travel around the coast of the UK, I always make a habit of asking after what the locals eat and this new map is such a perfect way to tap into local knowledge, pick up some fishy facts and learn more about sustainable fish from our UK fisheries.”

“When friends and chefs visit me in Cornwall, I always point them in the direction of Cornish hake or some fresh Cornish sardines and now with this map you can make your way around the coast of the UK. I think this will massively change the way we buy fish and engage with suppliers around the UK.”

Restaurateur Tonks, from Rockfish in Devon and Dorset and The Seahorse in Dartmouth, said: “I love to source local wherever possible across my restaurants and this map will make it easier for diners to find out about different sustainable species when on holiday this year. We’re very lucky that our restaurant at Poole Quay is so close to the MSC-certified clam and cockle fishery.”

“Clams have such a lovey meaty texture and a fresh salty sea taste that is packed with flavour. I like using the smaller ones for cooking with spaghetti and the larger ones in a simple chowder.”

Katie Keay, MSC senior fisheries outreach manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “We hope it will encourage seafood lovers to try out different species when on holidays across the UK this year. Cornish chef James Strawbridge is urging holidaymakers to sample local seafood this summer; above, Cornish sardines

“Fishermen work extremely hard to ensure we have sustainable seafood to enjoy and it’s great to be able to support them by choosing the blue MSC label whether dining out or when shopping for seafood.”

Some 72 per cent of UK seafood consumers believe we need to switch to only sustainable seafood sources, according to research conducted by insights consultancy GlobeS

‘Sample local fishy dishes’ is the message from chefs can for MSC. Around nine in ten want better information so they can avoid making unsustainable choices, the study also found. Earlier this year, Seafish, the seafood trade industry body, teamed up with DEFRA to launch its Love Seafood campaign to encourage people to think local when choosing seafood.

See more details at www. msc.org.uk

Pop up grub vendors will populate beach

On the shores of Carlyon Beach, near St Austell, a local and independent collection of food and drink pop-ups are serving up a feast of Cornish beach life this summer.

Everything from seafood curries and Asian infused slow-cooked meats to homemade cakes and, of course, ice-creams and pasties, are refuelling beach-goers in a mini foodie festival experience.

A converted horse box selling Cornish wraps sits with a pizza kitchen and bar, alongside beach huts serving cakes, coffee, pasties, fish and chips, prawn salads and towers of mussels.

James Shimwell of CEG, owners of the beach with year-round public access, said: “After such a challenging year we wanted to create a buzz and capitalise on the incredible natural environment to offer an outdoor dining experience that can be enjoyed throughout the day and into the evening, whether fresh out of the sea or meeting up with friends.”

Jusu Kitchen takes slowcooked meats such as duck and pork and combines them with Asian flavours. A regular at Carlyon Beach for Cornish pasties and pies, the Ogy1 Pasty Shack is twice the size as before. Home-made cakes, cream teas, sausage rolls, coffee and speciality hot chocolates come from, Manor Made Cornwall, a cake shed.

What’s on the menu of Harvester Seafood Shack depends on what’s been caught from local waters that day. Kelly’s Ice Cream is an ever present while Wrap Shack is all about the Cornish twist. Pizza f is fresh from the oven and cooked to order from Jasper’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, the brand new Shoreside beach bar offers drinks.