Billingshurst MasterChef backs fish farming campaign

JPCT 031213 Horsham launch of the Create and Cook Competition at The Pass, South Lodge Hotel. Steven Edwards (masterchef competitor). Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140212-105437003

JPCT 031213 Horsham launch of the Create and Cook Competition at The Pass, South Lodge Hotel. Steven Edwards (masterchef competitor). Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140212-105437003

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Billingshurst Masterchef Steven Edwards will be filmed cooking at Europe’s biggest fish market tomorrow (Friday) in a project encouraging people to try new types of fish.

Following the release of new research showing the stocks of many commercial fish species have reached the ‘gold standard’ of sustainability, Steven is backing the ‘Deck to Dinner’ initiative being run by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).

The research, carried out by Research Now, has revealed that despite two thirds of people now eating fish once a week, and supermarkets reporting increases, in wet fish sales, the majority of us (90 per cent) are only comfortable cooking familiar fish that is pre-prepared.

The ‘big five’ - salmon, cod, haddock, tuna and prawns - which according to the latest data from Seafish now command over 70 per cent of all UK seafood sales.

Deck to Dinner will see Steven join a team of nationally recognised, award winning chefs at London’s Billingsgate Market tomorrow (Friday August 14).

There they will be filmed creating a series of ‘easy to cook’ recipes for what the NFFO calls its ‘Magnificent Seven of Sustainable Seafood’ - crab, megrim, coley, mackerel, hake, gurnard and plaice.

Steven, the winner of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013, has recently begun his own venture, Etch food.

His contribution to the menu of sustainable seafood, will be a recipe for mackerel.

Steve said: “I am really happy to be supporting the NFFO. It ties in perfectly with the mentality we are trying to promote through etch food; using humble, less used ingredients and making them into the star of the show. We work really closely with our local fishmonger Chris from MCB Seafoods, based in Newhaven who is always supplying us with not only the freshest fish from the South Coast but plenty of lesser known varieties too.”

TV personality and presenter of MasterChef Gregg Wallace is also supporting the campaign.

He said: “It’s interesting to see from the new research that despite over 80 per cent of people saying they prefer to eat seafood at home rather than in a restaurant, the majority stick to the same two or three species.

“Deck to Dinner is all about showing people the breadth and variety of sustainable seafood offered by the UK fleet and most importantly how easy it is to prepare a simple yet delicious, nutritious and often more affordable meal at home.

“Fish is one of the healthiest and tastiest food options out there and hopefully through Deck to Dinner people will find a new and unusual favourite.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the NFFO, said: “The UK fleet catches a variety of unique, delicious and highly sustainable fish that are regularly overlooked.

“Deck to Dinner is all about championing these and the fact some of these fish are at the more affordable end of the market means people’s taste buds, wallets and conscience will benefit from eating them.”

All the videos created tomorrow and the recipes will be available free to download from the NFFO website www.nffo.org.uk

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“I am really happy to be supporting the NFFO. It ties in perfectly with the mentality we are trying to promote through etch food; using humble, less used ingredients and making them into the star of the show. We work really closely with our local fishmonger Chris from MCB Seafoods, based in Newhaven who is always supplying us with not only the freshest fish from the South Coast but plenty of lesser known varieties too.”