Catch of the day at Seafood Festival
PLYMOUTH has all the ingredients to lead the revolution towards eating sustainably-caught food, according to a television star and fisherman.
Thom Hunt, of Channel 4's Three Hungry Boys, was speaking yesterday at the official launch of Plymouth's first ever Seafood Festival, which will see the city's historic quays come alive with food-related activities today and tomorrow. Celebrity chefs will be cooking on a stage at Commercial Wharf, there will be a quayside food market, and live music performed at venues throughout the Barbican.
Thom, who works with Trevor Brinkman and Tim Cresswell, as Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's Three Hungry Boys, spoke to The Herald after he had just taken out a boat with 14 schoolchildren to teach them how to fish.
The pupils, seven girls from Plymouth High School for Girls and seven boys from Stoke Damerel School, had a competition and the girls thrashed the boys catching 15 mackerel, to the boys four mackerel and one pilchard.
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"I think over the next few years Plymouth will become the flagship city for sustainable foods. We have access to the best seafood, fish and shell fish, and with the moors we have many individual farmed meats," said Thom.
"The seafood festival is great because it has something for everyone. Education, science, food and fun."
School pupil Issy Nelder aged 14, said: "I thought it was so much fun learning how to fish. Pulling them in was so rewarding. I had never fished before and would definitely try it again!"
The event, part of the Plymouth Marine City Festival (Sept 8 to 16), started by The Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, aims to develop into an annual event that puts the spotlight on the thriving fishing industry and attract visitors.
Sarah O'Leary of the Waterfront Partnership, said: "We really want to reconnect the community with its waterfront. We want to create a vibrant area for residents and welcome everyone to come along and enjoy the spectacular views we have here and become immersed in our heritage."
The impressive line-up on the cookery stage includes Plymouth chefs Chris and James Tanner, Three Hungry Boys and Peter Gorton, plus many of other top chefs from city restaurants.
Yesterday fish2fork, a national campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably, announced that of 56 restaurants in the city they reviewed, more than half scored a blue fish rating, which signifies that the fish was caught without causing too much damage to fish stocks and the environment. The highest ratings were given to the Boathouse Cafe and Harbourside fish and chip shop.
Paul Cox of the National Marine Aquarium, said: "We want to be a start point to raise awareness of Plymouth as a sustainable seafood city. It's great to see people getting awards, with smiles on their faces, and everyone applauding them. We want to set an example nationwide. It's great to think I can go out and eat in Plymouth and not feel guilty about where the fish came from."
Yesterday some new nautical artwork was unveiled by Plymouth University. A sculpture called Arrival and Departure, to symbolise the city's rich history of travel and journeys, was placed on James Square. It was created by Ian McChesney, of McChesney Architects.
To see the full programme of activities see www.marinecityfestival.co.uk/seafood_festival.