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Grimsby and regional Seafood producers, chefs and recipes headline Cleethorpes' new 'Grub Fest'

July 25, 2023

 Over 35 food, drink, and independent traders came to Cleethorpes for the first ever 'Grub Fest', including classic street food and drink vendors from all over Grimsby and Cleethorpes come together with a number of independent makers to provide an "amazing" experience.

 Grimsby-headquartered Fastnet Fish Limited were a major sponsor of the event and they were joined in the seafood cookery marquee by specialist traditional haddock & salmon smoker, Alfred Enderby. Along with other organisers were able to invite special chefs to share their seafood and food knowledge and expertise. On Saturday, three of the five live demonstrations highlighted the importance of fish in our diet and the wider importance of buying fish on the economy of our country. 

Patrick Salmon of Enderby's showcased simple but delicious dishes using their award-winning smoked haddock and smoked salmon, which went down a treat with the crowd. His knowledge about the smoking process, what to look out for when buying smoked fish, and why it’s important to incorporate it into our diet was fantastic.

Simon Gray, who was recommended by Fastnet Fish through their work with Fish Heroes in collaboration with Fishmongers' Company, was a literal font of information and skill. In his demonstration, he showcased two of the dishes they are teaching in schools across North East Lincolnshire - paupiettes of hake, and a posh fish finger sandwich. Both dishes were incredible and really easy to recreate.

Organiser Ruchita Green said ‘ We also had a chance to sit down with Simon and Matt Renshaw of Fastnet to talk about the vital role businesses like Fastnet play in the wider community. Beyond the obvious job of being part of the supply chain, the direct impact on children and families is invaluable. On a personal note, I was incredibly grateful for them taking a leap of faith and supporting a festival in its first year, with no previous evidence of success, but for the sheer motivation of supporting 100% local small businesses and giving them a chance to shine. It was fantastic.’

The fest had the amazing Steph Dexter of The Swallow Inn, who used Alfred Enderby smoked salmon in her gluten-free salmon burger. The smells in the tent were phenomenal, and her passion for great food using local produce is evident in her food.

On Sunday, Jack Phillips of Nasturtium Bistro made one of the starters from their menu - cured salmon with beetroot, Japanese accompaniments, and salmon roe. Nasturtium is a relatively new business in Grimsby, and it was the first time Jack has done a live cookery demo, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The star attraction for the weekend was Gareth Bartram of Michelin star restaurant Winteringham Fields, who recreated their hand-dived scallops and laksa curry dish from the restaurant menu. Gareth’s vast experience, attention to detail, and sheer expertise in his craft left the audience enthralled. He talked about the importance of using good quality produce and using every part of the product in their dish. Having him there as part of the event gave the whole weekend a real boost.

The organisers say they are looking forward to going bigger and better next year.