Shore Thing - BBC Good Food Magazine - Rebecca SmithApr 02 2010
I’m generally reluctant to describe any book as the ‘definitive’ guide to anything but I think Mitch Tonks, the award winning restaurateur and fishmonger, might just have cracked it with this comprehensive book.
It contains just about every bit of information you will ever need about this much misunderstood subject, including advice on seasonality and sustainability, tips on how to prepare your catch and of course fantastic recipes. Dishes such as Roasted mackerel with North African spices and Fried snapper with sweet chilli had me dying to catch the first train to Brixham and stow away on a fishing boat. Or failing that, simply to buy the entire contents of my local fishmongers and start cooking.
Fish is clearly a lifelong passion for Mitch, as well as being an environmental issue that he feels incredibly strongly about. The first half of the book is devoted to the explanation of the industry, interviews with some of the fishing’s leading spokesmen and labelled diagrams on what to eat and how to buy. In part two, he lists his fuss free recipes by species with categories for white fish, oily fish and shellfish. Perfect for the eager novice and fish expert alike.
Now to the kitchen - I decided to try the scallops seahorse-style (named after the Seahorse restaurant, which Mitch has recently opened in Dartmouth). They were very easy to prepare and the result was delicious - rich and luxurious, with a heady kick from the anchovy and Tabasco. When I make this again I will probably reduce the butter and olive oil, as there is rather a lot of it. The scallops make a perfect weekend treat for two, or an indulgent dinner party starter for friends.
One for the shelf? A wholehearted yes - anybody with an interest in fish will find this book invaluable. And with its beautiful food photographs and scenic shots, it may be one for the coffee table too.
Book of the Month - Woman & HomeApr 01 2009
Undoubtedly one of the most important books of the year, this fish bible boasts fab photography, advice on seasonality and sustainability as well as masterful recipes. Our favourites are Monkfish cooked as osso bucco and Fried hake with oregano and chilli breadcrumbs. A book for novices, professionals and all those in-between.
Review - Tenby ObserverMar 06 2009
Some of the country’s most exciting young chefs will be heading west this summer to take part in Pembrokeshire Fish Week. Mitch Tonks, Matt Tebbutt and Simon Rimmer will be taking part in the seriously fishy festival to be held between June 27 and July 5. Restauranter and fishmonger Mitch Tonks will be making his second visit to the award winning festival, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The founder of a chain of sea food restaurants will be demonstrating his skills at the Family Open Day in Milford Docks on Saturday, June 27. The following day, he will be hosting a Tutored Tasting at St. Bride’s Hotel in Saundersfoot. Mitch will be accompanied by top chef and ‘honorary Welshman’ Matt Tebbutt.
A passionate advocate of modern British cooking, Matt runs the award-winning Foxhunter pub at Nantyderry as well as presenting Market Kitchen. "I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Pembrokeshire Fish Week for the second year," said Mitch Tonks.
"I’m looking forward to cooking up a bit of a storm and creating a bit of theatre with my good friend Matt. This is a fantastic week of events that gets everyone involved - everyone should follow Pembrokeshire’s lead and really get behind and celebrate the fantastic seafood that we have in the UK." Matt Tebbutt said he was really excited about being involved with Fish Week and working with Mitch Tonks. "We’ll be cooking some great dishes with the superb local fish - and having some fun! It’s a great event in the Welsh foodie calendar," he said.
Meanwhile, top chef Simon Rimmer, who presents BBC2’s Something for the Weekend, will be hosting Fish Week’s master class this year. Famed for his down-to-earth personality and fun approach to cooking, the keen fish chef will be demonstrating his skills on Wednesday, July 1, at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven.
Festival organiser Kate Morgan, Pembrokeshire County Council food officer, said she was thrilled that so many top chefs would be appearing at this year’s event. "The festival is now a nationally recognized event and gaining more recognition year on year," she said. "We’re really looking forward to celebrating its tenth anniversary and making an even bigger splash than usual this year." Pembrokeshire Fish Week celebrates not just the county’s abundance of sea food, but also its beautiful coast and beaches, clean seas, great angling and fishing heritage.
Jam packed with over 200 events for people of all ages - including more than 50 events for food lovers - the festival attracted around 20,000 visitors last year. Events planned for food lovers this year include fish and shellfish masterclasses, cookery demonstrations, fish tapas evenings, sea food extravaganzas and fresh mackerel barbecues set against a backdrop of the county’s picturesque harbours. Lobster and crab lovers will find plenty of evening and lunchtime choices to satisfy their palates with a crab lovers weekend at the Sloop Inn in Porthgain and lobster sales in Little Haven and Newport.
Visitors will also be able to take a boat trip to Lawrenny and take a lobster lunch at a shoreside café, while entering a fishy limerick competition or take a boat trip from Dale or St. Dogmaels and cook the catch! Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in waterway, coastal and beach activities from guided kayak trips and sedate riverboat cruises, to beach activity days as well as rambles on the bird lovers paradise of Skomer Island. The more physically adventurous could even try their hand at long boat rowing at Tenby Harbour, while would be sea anglers can try - or improve - their skills at Fishguard.
Families can enjoy lots of different events from crab-catching, snorkel safaris, river walks and beach sports to fun days at Milford Haven Tenby and Fishguard. Meanwhile, those more interested in culture and tradition can watch coracle making at St. Dogmaels, join an environmental beach day and learn about rock pools, geology and fossils, listen to live jazz at Tenby Harbour or visit one of Fish Week’s many sea inspired art or craft exhibitions. Pembrokeshire Fish Week is organised by Pembrokeshire County Council and was a finalist in the Best Event Major in Wales category at the prestigious Welsh National Tourism Awards in 2007.
It is part funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is financed by the European Union and the Welsh Assembly Government. Other funders include Pembrokeshire County Council, South West Wales Tourism and Milford Haven Port Authority. Pembrokeshire Fish Week will be launched on Saturday, June 27, with a fun-filled open day at Milford Haven. It ends on July 5.
For more information, view www.pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk or contact Fish Week organiser Kate Morgan, food officer for Pembrokeshire County Council on 01437 776168 or at email@example.com.
Book of the Month - Waitrose Food IllustratedMar 04 2009
If there’s a fishy fact that Mitch Tonks doesn’t know, it’s probably not worth knowing. This impressive book from the FishWorks founder includes a species guide, sections on seasonality and sustainability and plenty of simple recipes.
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