Two of the UK’s top TV chefs, Brian Turner CBE and Jean-Christophe Novelli are heading to Whitby to prove that there’s much more to the Yorkshire Coast than fish, chips and scampi during Whitby’s Fish & Ships Festival on 18–19 May 2019. A free festival, Whitby’s new seaside spectacular celebrates the Yorkshire Coast’s magnificent maritime culture, with sensational seafood in the festival kitchen, and live entertainment throughout the town.
“It’s a great time to be casting a spotlight on Whitby as a fishing town,” explains Janet Deacon, the festival organiser and Tourism and Corporate Marketing Manager for Scarborough Borough Council and Area Director for Welcome To Yorkshire. “Whitby Scampi is more popular than ever (and we are now the largest supplier of scampi in the world), while its fish restaurants – like Trenchers and the Magpie Café – are winning awards as the UK’s best. Meanwhile, Yorkshire’s shellfish – its crab and lobster – is amongst the best in the country, with some of the UK’s biggest fishing ports exporting across Europe.”
“But that’s just dipping the toe in the water,” Janet adds. “During the festival, we’ll be making the most of Whitby’s extraordinary seafood harvest, showing visitors how to catch, fillet and dress a huge variety of locally-caught seafood – as well as cooking it up in live demos or transforming the daily catch into BBQs on the pier.”
Alongside Brian Turner (appearing on Saturday, 11.30am and 1.30pm) and Jean-Christophe Novelli (Sunday, 12.30pm and 2.30pm), visitors will also be able to see top local chefs and producers championing Whitby’s seafood in the Food Theatre, including multi-award-winning Rob Green, Paul Gildroy, Martyn Hyde, Tim Lawrence, and Andrew Barker, Fish Craft Champion 2018. Restaurants across the town will also be serving up special ‘Dishes of the Festival’.
Brian Turner CBE says: “Having visited Whitby as a child, one of the great fishing ports of the United Kingdom, I am so excited to be coming back to demonstrate in the food theatre on Saturday 18th May. I look forward to using some fantastic local produce as well as joining some great talented local chefs.”
The festival is not just about sea food, however. Whitby was once an international maritime centre, and it is still one of the few places left in Britain where visitors can experience the seafarer’s way of life from sea to shore, as it’s been for hundreds of years. Today, Whitby is home to one of the UK’s leading boat builders, and its coastal colleges have become premier training grounds for the next generation of mariners and chefs, its alumni including Michelin-starred Andrew Pern and James Martin.
At Whitby’s Fish & Ships Festival, visitors will be able to experience this way of life first-hand, discovering how today’s fishing families, and tomorrow’s apprentice seafarers are building on tradition to put top quality seafood on Britain’s plates in their own unique and sustainable way. There will also be plenty of maritime fun, with music, madcap street theatre, inspired artworks, and a grand firework display.
Jean-Christophe Novelli – about to appear in a new ITV cooking series with Alison Hammond – adds: “I’m excited to be coming to the Fish and Ships Festival, promoting the local fishing and boat building industries, and supporting the great local chefs and cooks! I do hope you’ll come to see me in the cookery theatre on Sunday 19th May when I’ll be demonstrating some quick and healthy dishes with fabulous fresh fish and seafood. I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the people who live and work around Whitby, as well as those who will be visiting this lovely seaside town.”