Britain’s Ocean City prepares to celebrate Plymouth Seafood Festival with launch at Rockfish

The Plymouth Seafood Festival, which returns to the Barbican and Sutton Harbour on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September, was today launched with a cookery demonstration at Rockfish.

Organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and supported by local businesses, the festival showcases the quality fresh fish available in the city. Plymouth is home to the second largest fish market in the UK and was the first city to be awarded Fish2Fork Blue Fish status for its commitment to sourcing sustainable fish, so has a great deal to celebrate.

The launch saw top local chef, Jacques Marchal, cooking with the Leader of Plymouth City Council, Tudor Evans and Simon Lyddiatt, Head Chef from Rockfish cooking with Josh McCarty, board member of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership.

Jacques Marchal, said: “We didn’t have any idea of what we were cooking today, until we arrived at the fish market to see what had landed this morning.

We were very lucky to have outstanding quality John Dory and Mackerel, which was kindly donated by Nick Henry of Moby Nicks. Tudor simply grilled the fish on a plancha, we served the John Dory with a vibrant and fresh salsa, and the beautifully fresh Mackerel we served with orange segments and the fresh orange juice, with flat parsley.”

Simon Lyddiatt, Rockfish, said: “It was a pleasure to open up my kitchen to Jacques, for the launch of the Plymouth Seafood Festival. I really enjoyed cooking with Josh and we created some great dishes. Josh chargrilled Red Mullet and finished it off with a little garlic butter and a squeeze of lemon. We also chargrilled Cuttlefish wings, topped off with salsa verde, and Cuttlefish tentacles which we coated with rice flour and lightly fried, finished with salt and pepper. I think Tudor and Josh enjoyed their cooking experience, and the guests enjoyed the dishes too!”

Sarah Gibson, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to have launched the annual Plymouth Seafood Festival, it’s a highlight of the city’s events calendar and a very special celebration of seafood and the fishing industry.

“Plymouth Britain’s Ocean City, has an impressive pedigree when it comes to the marine environment in aspects of science, technology, education, recreation and food. Our festival attracts thousands of visitors to Plymouth’s fabulous Waterfront and places a spotlight on the importance of preserving the marine environment, sustainable fishing, healthy seafood and the significance of the fishing industry.”

There’s lots for visitors to see and do throughout the weekend festival. The Cookery Theatre will host talented regional chefs, including Paul Doidge from The Mission and KUKU, Tom Dodd from the Greedy Goose and Dez Turland from Saunton Sands Hotel.

Two Demonstration Marquees, hosted by the National Marine Aquarium and Plymouth Trawler Agents will allow eventgoers to learn more about life in the ocean, with activities including fish dissections and interactive talks about sharks.

Fishing vessels provided by Interfish will be moored alongside Quay Square during the weekend, offering a great opportunity to see the vessels and chat to the local fisherman about their fascinating and sometimes forbidding experiences out on the water.

On Saturday 15 September, the IMechE Cardboard Boat Race returns to Commercial Wharf. Teams are tasked with building a boat out of nothing but a few bits of cardboard and some sticky tape, then sailing it around the harbour with the winner being the last one to sink.

Also on Saturday 15, Le Vignoble and Plymouth Boat Trips have teamed up to offer an extra special ‘Cook Your Catch’ experience. After a morning fishing at sea, there will be a fully guided English wine tasting at Le Vignoble in Royal William Yard, while chefs cook your catch. Pre-booking is essential.

On Sunday 16 September, Commercial Wharf will host the RNLI Open Day and visitors can explore the charity’s new vessel and talk to volunteers.

Also on the Sunday, Rockfish are hosting their annual Crab Festival in Plymouth, with live music throughout the day and plenty of delicious crab dishes to enjoy.

There’s plenty to keep children entertained too, with CaterED providing free Fish Kebab and Smashing Smoothie sessions throughout the weekend and a crabbing competition on Sunday. To take part in the competition, you need to register at the Boathouse Café at 2.30pm. Participation costs £5 per person and equipment is provided.

The Sutton Harbour Ferry will be running throughout the weekend from West Pier from 9.30am to 6.45pm. Tickets cost £1 for a single trip, £1.50 for a return trip and under 5’s travel free.

For more information about Plymouth Seafood Festival, see


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