Culinary broadcaster Nigel Barden urges the championing of fish

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Oct 2018

FOODIE broadcaster Nigel Barden has encouraged Grimsby’s seafood leaders to champion fish far and wide.

The culinary voice of Radio Two is compering the UK Seafood Summit, which opened today, Wednesday, October 17.

In an interview with, Barden said: “Sometimes we don’t shout about our fish enough.  It is really important to me to champion fish that is landed or processed here. It is a fantastic coast we have in the region, and if we are lucky enough to have a fishmonger we should celebrate them too.”

Referencing regional operator Papas, about to open in Bridlington after taking Cleethorpes Pier by storm, having ventured over from Hull, Mr Barden said: “Fish and chips is still a great success story and a rising market within the UK, and we export as well, providing that taste of the UK.

“So much of the fish we eat is the last great wild catch and we need to treasure it. Grimsby is still a real heartbeat of that, people are really aware of that, more so than elsewhere.

“We really do need to appreciate our seafood, and we need to know what to do with it when we get hold of it.”

Heaping praise on the efforts made to prepare fish easily, something the processors bring through new product development, he said: “The growth for fishmongers too is in pre-prepared, all done for you in a little tub so it is as easy as possible to cook at home.”

UK Seafood Summit round-up:

A regular appetite whetter on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show, Barden also has his own show on BBC London, and took the opportunity to meet Patrick Salmon, owner of Alfred Enderby.

He led the Great Taste Award judging panel , with the Grimsby smokehouse awarded the highest three-star rating for its traditionally smoked salmon, and two for the haddock.

“They produce fantastic products, it really is superb,” he said of the dishes that give Grimsby a PGI status.

Intrigued by the international trade session, he said: “It is interesting on export as we import 70 per cent and export 70 per cent, and much of that is our shellfish too. Far more is exported and enjoyed overseas, getting top Euro in Spain and Italy, and long may that continue.”

Asked about his own preferences, he told how he fell in love with Britain’s favourite take-away as a child.

“I’m a northern boy and I love haddock if it is fish in batter. As a young lad the family had a tannery in Armley and we came over to Staithes, Filey and Scarborough, and I remember vividly having my fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper, and it was marvellous.

“I eat a lot of fish, and I particularly love oily fish. Mackerel is a great, giving fish.

“Whatever the choice, we’ve really got to champion our seafood.”

Addressing delegates at the seafood fayre, the major networking event of the summit, Barden urged work with schools and colleges to inspire the next generation of seafood entrepreneurs.

"There is no doubt this profession, like bakers, they are a different breed. The call of the sea goes in it, the last great wild catch element. 

"You are an inspirational brand of people, it is a great industry. You  have soul in this industry in keep nets worth. There is going to be some rough water ahead, but as an industry will get through it."   

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