From 29th September to 15th October, England’s Seafood FEAST is returning to the English Riviera, in South Devon, for a two week celebration of world-renowned locally caught and landed seafood.
A feast for all the senses, over 40 eateries have joined forces to put on an incredible array of experiences and special menus for visitors to enjoy. It’s an opportunity to dine like a local, taste some of the best seafood in the world right where it’s landed, learn about sustainable fishing practices and meet the people who make the festival what it is.
Taking place in the heart of England’s Seafood Coast, England’s Seafood FEAST is expected to attract thousands of locals and visitors from afar. They will be taken on a journey from sea to plate in the towns of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay, having the opportunity to enjoy a whole host of exclusive events, as well as seafood set menus, platters and tasting menus from Torbay’s best independent eateries.
From scallop diver to Michelin-star chef, restauranter to coastal artist, here are only a few of the talented Faces of the FEAST:
The Scallop Diver - Frazer Pugh
Frazer Pugh, Director of The Hand Picked Scallop Co., dives for scallops locally on England’s Seafood Coast, to depths of 10 to 29 metres. He catches around 2,000 scallops per fishing day. A portion of them go to ethical wholesalers, some go directly to restaurants on the English Riviera and around the country and the rest are processed and delivered to their nationwide customers.
Frazer explains why sustainability is an important topic: “Sustainable fishing goes further than whether a single species will remain a viable commercial commodity. It is just as much about what detrimental effect catching that one species has on the marine environment as a whole. For example, are we causing damage to the habitat to catch it? Are we taking the food source of another species to the point that said species is declining? But most importantly, is it morally correct? The reality is for something to be truly sustainable; we need to look at the bigger picture, rather than focusing on the narrow point of what suits us.”
Frazer continues discussing why diving for scallops by hand makes a difference: “Scallops are an extremely abundant and successful breeding species that reaches maturity quickly. Removing them from the habitat while leaving a viable amount, allows the bed to replenish quickly. Diving for them is a way of catching very popular seafood without causing any damage to the habitat and without any bycatch. Whilst we are down there, we also fish for plastic rubbish and ghost fishing gear, which helps to keep the reef healthy.”
The Michelin-star Chef - Simon Hulstone
Simon Hulstone, chef/proprietor of The Elephant, runs the restaurant alongside his wife Katy. It was the first restaurant in Torquay to be awarded a Michelin star which it has maintained since 2006.
Simon explains why he loves being involved with the FEAST: “South Devon has an abundance of fantastic produce and I honestly can’t think of anywhere better in the UK for local sourcing. It’s a pleasure to support the local coastline with England’s Seafood FEAST and I’m looking forward to being involved again this year.”
“As a chef, it is very important we celebrate the great fish that is landed locally which is also important when it comes to supporting our local economy and eco structure. Hopefully through England’s Seafood FEAST and the great producers involved, we can highlight this to many more customers and show the benefits of using sustainable fish and shellfish caught locally.”
Meet the Maker with Simon Hulstone of The Elephant and
Frazer Pugh of The Hand Picked Scallop Company
There’s an opportunity to meet Simon and Frazer on the 12th of October. Simon will be cooking up a delicious feast featuring hand-dived scallops from the local waters of Torbay, whilst Frazer will immerse guests in an engaging discussion about what life is like at sea and his passion for protecting the local waters.
Seafood Celebration Lunch at The Elephant
From Wednesdays to Saturdays (4th - 7th October / 11th - 14th October) during England’s Seafood FEAST, celebrate in style at The Elephant’s Seafood Celebration Lunches. Dine on locally landed and caught seafood, expertly prepared by Michelin-star Chef Simon Hulstone.
The Restaurateur - Mitch Tonks
Mitch Tonks is the founder and CEO of Rockfish, a unique seafood business which catches, processes and serves local seafood at 9 coastal locations in the South West as well as delivering fresh fish to people’s homes nationwide from the Rockfish online seafood market. He’s made it his life’s mission to get more people to enjoy British seafood in the UK.
“The world of seafood can be a bit of a mystery sometimes, we often stick to the things we know. Our Seafood Coast in England has the most amazing range of species caught and landed in our waters by our fishermen. England’s Seafood FEAST is a fantastic couple of weeks showcasing all of that, people can visit and try so many different things. It really is feasting; feasting on all the variety, going from place to place and trying something different, it’s like a seafood trail. Get your map out and plan where to go and what to eat, it’s time to feast!”
Seafood FEAST Mussels at Rockfish Brixham and Rockfish Torquay
Both Rockfish Brixham and Rockfish Torquay will be serving their special of local mussels including their signature unlimited chips throughout England’s Seafood FEAST. Enjoy locally harvested mussels, steamed with white wine, bay leaf, onion and garlic and unlimited chips for just £23.95.
The SUP Adventurer - Brendon Prince
Brendon Prince, named International Stand Up Paddle Boarder (SUP) of 2022, holds an impressive 9 SUP world records, including an incredible feat of circumnavigating mainland Britain on a stand up paddle board known as “The Long Paddle.” This summer, Brendon achieved a remarkable world record by living on a paddle board for an astounding 8 days and 4 minutes, bringing with him all necessary supplies from the very start, as supply drops were not allowed. Throughout this challenge, he never set foot ashore. Beyond his athletic achievements, Brendon’s ultimate aim is to raise awareness about preventable drownings and fund the creation of the world’s first water safety app. To further this cause, he established the water safety education charity, Above Water.
*New to the programme*
Brendon Prince at Shoreline
Meet the local legend, Brendon Prince, at Shoreline Paignton (13th October) for a three course Seafood Sharing Feast before hearing all about his fascinating and inspiring journey to date whilst raising money for Above Water.
The Coastal Artist - Becky Bettesworth
Becky Bettesworth is a coastal artist who lives in South Devon. Her work draws inspiration from the classic railway posters of the 1930s. She designs vintage posters with a modern and fresh twist. Her portfolio began when she was asked to exhibit in the gallery at Greenway National Trust in 2013 and it has since grown from strength to strength.
*Limited Tickets Remaining*
Coastal Art and Afternoon Tea with Becky Bettesworth
Art enthusiasts can meet Becky for a Coastal Art and Afternoon Tea at Hampton by Hilton Hotel (13th October), indulging in a coastal afternoon tea while she shares her inspiring journey and what fuels her creativity as an artist by the sea.
The Winemaker - Duncan Schwab
CEO and Head Winemaker at Sandridge Barton, Duncan Schwab joined the team at the winery in 1992, known then as Sharpham Wine. Following a move to the Sandridge Barton Estate near Stoke Gabriel in 2022, Duncan now heads up the team at Sandridge Barton’s state-of-the-art winery and visitor centre on Lower Well Farm.
Exclusive Celebration Seafood Supper at Sandridge Barton
Meet Duncan and his team at an exclusive celebratory seafood supper at Sandridge Barton (29th September). Tour the winery whilst sipping a glass of sparkling wine and sampling local oysters before being served a special five course tasting menu (with optional wine flight) showcasing local independent fisherman Keith’s best catches.
The Marine Biologist - Monty Halls
Dartmouth-based explorer, marine biologist, and broadcaster Monty Halls is currently on an extraordinary voyage - Generation: Sea Change - to explore the South West and highlight the inspiring stories of coastal communities and individuals tackling challenges around marine conservation. He is joined by his family, Tam, Isla and Molly, plus their golden retriever Luna. The Royal Caribbean Group is the lead partner in this voyage of discovery.
*New to the programme*
5 Course Seafood Taster Menu followed by Monty Halls Talk
A popular event taking place at The Thatched Tavern (11th October) during England’s Seafood FEAST, will feature a talk by guest speaker and broadcaster, Monty Halls. Guests who are lucky enough to get tickets will enjoy a five course seafood Taster menu with a wine flight.
The Author - Matt Newbury
Matt Newbury is the author of Wild Swimming Walks (Torbay, Dartmoor and South Devon and Cornwall editions).
Sea Swim and Seafood at Cantina
Join Matt on Goodrington Beach for a Seafood Feast Dip and Dine at Cantina (3rd October). The evening will include a wild sea swim, inspirational talks, short films, all swimming-related, and a delicious bowl of warming seafood chowder.
The Bird Expert and Illustrator - Mike Langman
Local bird expert and illustrator, Mike Langman is known for his extraordinary knowledge of Devon’s birds, especially in his local area of Torbay.
Seabirds and Seafood - Guided Walk and Breakfast at Berry Head and Guardhouse Cafe
The Guardhouse Cafe on Berry Head Nature Reserve is partnering with Mike for a ‘Seabirds and Seafood’ Guided Walk and Breakfast (10th October). As participants venture along the clifftops, they can expect to spot the first returning winter flock of guillemots and keep their eyes peeled for kittiwakes, skuas and shearwaters. They may even catch the occasional sighting of dolphins and porpoises, while the lucky few may see splashes of huge Atlantic bluefin tuna further out to sea. A scallop benedict will be served on return to the award-winning cafe.
The Organisers - Carolyn Custerson and Kelly Widley
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the English Riviera BID Company, says: “England’s Seafood FEAST is an occasion for both locals and visitors to the area to fully immerse themselves in a true celebration of our locally caught and landed seafood. It’s an opportunity to taste the exquisite flavour of dishes cooked by local chefs while breathing in the fresh sea air and admiring the natural beauty of our stunning coastal region.”
Kelly Widley, Programme Coordinator of England’s Seafood FEAST, says: “Each year the FEAST goes from strength to strength, with more and more local businesses, chefs and individuals featuring in the programme. The programme has 40 eateries listed to take part, including Mitch Tonks’ Rockfish and Simon Hulstone’s The Elephant.”
England’s Seafood FEAST is brought to you by English Riviera BID Company and kindly sponsored by Torbay Council and Henderson Seafood.
The full programme can be found at www.theseafoodfeast.co.uk. Limited tickets remain. Book your tickets through participating businesses to avoid disappointment.
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