UK - This year’s Seafood Week (7-14 October) saw thousands of individuals and businesses get involved in celebrations taking place throughout the country. A varied programme of events focusing on topics including the health benefits of eating seafood, fish identification and sampling to more tailored sessions with young chefs encouraging them to put more seafood on their menus took place. All of the events were geared towards increasing consumption of seafood amongst the UK public.
To mark the start of Seafood Week, Seafish held a recipe booklet launch at the Grimsby Institute entitled ‘Recipes from Yorkshire and Humber’. The booklet is packed full of delicious recipes, created using contributions submitted from seafood businesses local to the Humber area.
In Northern Ireland, ‘The Loaves and the Fishes’ event helped celebrate the Year of Food and Drink and provided both catering professionals and the public with an opportunity to sample the produce of thirty two local artisan producers.
Later in the week, catering students from across Northern Ireland competed in a Seafood Masterchef competition judged by a host of foodies including renowned critic Charles Campion. The student chefs created dishes using a range of species including gurnard, halibut, scallops and John Dory with Belfast Met lifting the title of Student Seafood Masterchef.
There was a cook-off between students from three renowned colleges in Wales which highlighted the best of seasonal Welsh seafood. The competition gave college students the opportunity to work with high quality, local produce, with Joshua Roberts from Coleg Llandrillo crowned the overall winner.
In the South West, Barry Young, manager at Brixham Trawler Agents, hosted a special tour of Brixham Fish Market. Afterwards guests got to sample some fantastic regional seafood at Mitch Tonk's Rockfish restaurant in Brixham, recently named as one of the top five Seafood Restaurants of the Year.
In North Devon, students at Petroc College were treated to a special evening event hosted by Dan 'the Fish Man' Garnett, who spread his enthusiasm for fish to catering students, before teaching them how to cook lobster.
Moving north of the border, 40 catering students from Edinburgh College were schooled on the best of Scottish fish and shellfish. Catriona Frankitti from Fish for Health delivered a lecture and highlighted how restaurant menus can become more adventurous with seafood, encouraging the young chefs to be more creative in their choice of species.
It wasn’t only college students that were inspired by Seafood Week. Primary pupils around the country in Glasgow, Liverpool, Cleethorpes, Portsmouth, London and Preston had special seafood experiences brought into their classrooms.
Year five pupils from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Cardiff, hosted a special silent film screening of their film “Message in a Bottle”. Produced as part of Captain Catch’s Silent Film Festival which educates children on the seafood industry, the film featured the journey of seafood from catch to plate and educated the children on the importance of safety at sea.
Heather Middleton, Marketing Manager said: “We are thrilled that so many individuals and businesses have been involved in Seafood Week 2016. The campaign has had tremendous support across the supply chain, with fishermen and processors, right the way through to retailers, restaurants, fish and chips shops, and fishmongers getting involved.
“The seafood industry is vibrant and full of passion. The events held during this Seafood Week brought fish to the attention of consumers of all ages and received amazing support from the seafood industry. We hope to build on this year’s success for Seafood Week 2017, and plan on next year being even bigger and better.”
TheFishSite News Desk