Dorset Seafood Festival receives the 'Fish2aWeek' message loud and clear

Posted on 11 July 2017

It was a weekend of glorious sunshine on the South West for The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival. Held over two days (8-9 July), around 50,000 seafood lovers descended on the beautiful beach town of Weymouth to sample the best that Dorset, and its surrounding seas, have to offer.

In its 10th year, the festival seeks to celebrate the quality and diversity of the local seafood , while highlighting Dorset's inextricable links with the sea and its fishing communities. Over the last 8 years, the Festival has also raised over £60k for the Fishermen's Mission. 

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This year, our Fish is the Dish field team (Nikki Hawkins, Gus Caslake and your scribe for this blog Julie Roberts), created an event designed to promote, inform and educate consumers about fish and shellfish from the South West.  A fully branded 'Fish2aWeek' kitchen demo stand allowed us to run cooking demonstrations over the course of the two days, showing easy to follow, quick and healthy fish recipes that support our Fish is the Dish and Fish2aWeek campaigns. 

Celebrity chefs that took part included Alex Aitken (Seafood Restaurant of the Year winner 2016), Matt Budden (Head Chef, Standwell House Hotel), Nigel Bloxham (Crab House Café), Sarah Ali Choudhury (Channel 4's 'My Kitchen Rules' & Saturday Morning Kitchen favourite), and Pete Mills (Dorset Oysters), while Seafish Ambassadors Ben Bartlett & Simon Dyer were also on hand to show how easy it is to cook up a seafood storm on the BBQ.  There was also a superb filleting demonstration by Duncan Lucas of Passionate About Fish. His fabulous fish display stand helped us 'show and tell' consumers about local species including whelk, razor clams, winkle, scallops, sardines, mackerel, cuttlefish, lobster and whiting to name just a few.

Celebrity chefs also helped to deliver our key health message, encouraging people to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, and showed just how easy it is to achieve (with Ben Bartlett's mackerel on watermelon proving a firm favourite).

Our consumer competition to win a meal for two at Nigel Bloxham's award winning Crab House Café helped pull a huge crowd to the stand where we were also able to share recipe cards, health information, RFS hats, as well as stickers for children and our fuzzy fish bugs - which are always a big hit!

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Not one to miss an opportunity, the festival also provided a fantastic chance to ramp up support for Seafood Week 2017.  Celebrity chefs were asked to sign our 'Pledge Board' making a live (and public!) commitment to supporting Seafood Week this year and Seafood Week flyers, including a call to action to take part, were included in all trade stand packs. 

A flavour of our two days of fish fun can be found on our Fish is the Dish Facebook page in an album called 'Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival.' See you again next year!