We all know that local produce is always better than having it shipped in from overseas. It’s fresher and helps to support the local economy. This being said, we don’t often get to see firsthand exactly where our food comes from. This was what Lee, our Head Chef at the TLH Carlton Hotel, wanted to do and I was excited to join him and document the occasion. In this blog, you’ll see how we sourced some whole Plaice from Brixham Fish Market and took it from boat to plate in a day, serving it to our guests in the restaurant.
An Early Start at Brixham Fish Market
A fisherman’s life is not an easy one. They’re out in their boats throughout the night so that we have fresh fish in the day. So that we didn’t miss the boat… literally, we had to get to Brixham Fish Market for 6.00am. Les Daniels, the buyer from our regular local fish supplier, Ocean Fleet Seafood invited Lee along to the fish market to see the fish auctions in action. Les has been getting up at 5am for 35 years to purchase fish from Brixham, so we knew we were in expert hands. The beauty of being up this early is that you get to see the beautiful sunrise.
Inside Brixham Fish Market
As we arrived, the auctions had already begun. Lee met Les and was given a quick tour around the market before Les had to get back to the auctions. This gave Lee a great opportunity to see the huge range of produce that was on show. If you’re wondering what it smelt like, surprisingly it didn’t smell fishy at all. It was later explained that it was because the produce was so fresh!
Auctions and Produce
The auctions were fast paced and everyone knew exactly what they wanted. Each catch was sold, labelled and then it was on to the next lot. There were plenty of buyers from all kinds of different seafood retailers. They all seemed to know each other well and the atmosphere was a friendly one. The produce available was fascinating to see. We saw Red Gurnards, Lobsters, Oysters, Smooth Hound Sharks, Cod, John Dory’s and fresh plaice which is what Lee decided to purchase.
Back to the Kitchen
With 12 fresh Brixham Plaice selected and purchased, it was time to head back to the TLH Carlton Hotel kitchen where the day’s catch would become Chef’s Special the very same evening. Lee rustled up a recipe to produce a delicious Whole Plaice in Lemon Butter Sauce served with fried onions, fresh parsley and a selection of steamed seasonal vegetables (also locally sourced).
Recipe and Method
For the Plaice:
- 1 whole Brixham Plaice
- 1 lemon
- 1 sprig of parsley
- Rub 1 knob of butter onto your fish.
- Cook under a grill for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from grill and baste with melted butter.
- Plate up and add parsley and lemon slice to serve.
For the Lemon Butter Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion
- Pepper (for seasoning)
- Chop onion into short strips and fry off in pan.
- Melt butter in warm (not hot!) pan. Add lemon juice to the butter and warm briefly.
- Add the fried onion.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste.
- Spoon sauce over Plaice or in boat to serve.
If you have tried our recipe, we would love to see your pictures. Share them using our hashtag #TLHhotels on Facebook, Instagram and twitter and we’ll share them too.
Book a Tour of Brixham Fish Market
Fancy a tour of Brixham Fish Market? Book yourself a tour and see the sights for yourself. To do so, visit the English Riviera Website.