We won a Great British Food Award!

Sebastian Candelon

Over the moon to finally be able to share this fantastic news!

WE have been crowned ‘best regional producer in London and the South East’ in the Great British Food Awards 2020.
Judged by a formidable panel of celebrity chefs, critics, food writers and influential buyers – including The Hairy Bikers, Booths supermarket, and Michel Roux Jr - The Fresh Fish Shop was praised for its mission to take Sussex seafood nationwide, and for our commitment to sourcing only
the best quality, sustainably-caught fish.
Commenting on the award win, Sebastian Candelon, our CEO of The Fresh Fish Shop said: “This has been a tough year for British food and drink producers and retailers, so we are really thrilled to receive this fiercely-contested accolade.
“Like many others, we’ve had to quickly adapt our business during the pandemic, launching an e-commerce store and home delivery option, and expanding our premises to accommodate social distancing measures and to meet the increase in demand for fresh fish. We have recruited a ‘night-team’ of highly-skilled local people, many of whom had found themselves out of work during
lockdown, so that we could work around the clock to deliver fresh fish to our local community, and to our customers nationwide, when they needed it most. It really is testament to the whole team’s hard work that we have won this award - they thoroughly deserve it.
“Despite the challenges we have faced, our commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood remains
steadfast and we’re delighted to have welcomed a number of new wholesale customers on-board this year who share our values, including Planet Organic; the UKs largest fully certified organic supermarket, with stores across London.”


The Fresh Fish Shop is also working with UKHarvest, a not-for-profit perishable food rescue
operation and education charity.
“We know a lot of people are finding life particularly tough at the moment, which is why our partnership with UKHarvest is vital now, more than ever, helping to reduce food waste and redistribute quality surplus food to those who need it most”, Sebastian explained.

“We’re proud to have donated over a quarter of a tonne of fish, which UKHarvest has redistributed to charities (women’s and men’s refuges and youth centres) so that people in need can receive food
relief.”

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ASIAN TUNA SALAD RECIPE

Sebastian Candelon

Lockdown although a difficult time for many, also became a time to really take time to nurture talents, hobbies or discover new gifts. 

So we were over the moon to see local business The Table Cookery School get creative with our fish and share a delicious recipe for Asian Tuna Salad.

The Table Cookery School are on a mission to teach relaxed, hands-on cookery classes with a focus on real food – classic skills, achievable recipes and great local produce, giving you fresh ideas and the confidence to get in the kitchen. 

Overseeing the new limitations to teach in groups they have taken the innovative measure to move their classes online, choose from an abundance of lessons, many aimed at kids and teenagers, from cooking tagine dishes to cupcakes!

Private online classes are also available where you can gather round with your family to learn together and have a lesson made designed to meet your intention and taste!

But for now, let's get back to the tuna!

RECIPE 

Marinate the tuna for an hour in soy sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, fresh ginger and a lime leaf.
Whilst marinating put together the Asian salad of parboiled sprouting, plunged quickly into cold water to keep its colour and crunch.
Added thin strips of carrot and strips of spring onion and made a dressing of sesame oil, soy sauce, splash of rice vinegar, a tsp of local honey and a squeeze of lime juice, grated ginger, some red chilli and chopped coriander.
Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the flavours then BBQ or pan fry the tuna steaks for a minute or so each side to leave them pink inside.

Place the salad on top of the Tuna, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

 

Thanks so much Table Cookery for sharing your divine recipe!

If you want to learn more about what Table Cookery have to offer click here

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MEET OUR OWNER + FOUNDER

Sebastian Candelon
What inspired you to set up The Fresh Fish Shop?

I was born in Venezuela and raised in the UK and France so I grew up surrounded by fresh produce and with a love of good, seasonal food made simply. In my twenties I was a tour leader for a travel company and ventured all over Europe. Travelling from France through to Belgium, across to Holland, and onto Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece I sampled all of the local cuisine and it reignited my passion for quality, local produce. When I returned from my travels I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime. A friend’s father, who owned The Fresh Fish Shop at the time, was moving to Spain and wanted to sell the fishmongers which had been established in Haywards Heath, West Sussex for well over 30 years. Despite never handling fish professionally before I jumped at the opportunity. Spending early mornings at Billingsgate Fish Market, hand picking fresh fish, I quickly learnt about quality, provenance and how to sell. My hard
work paid off and I have since been recognised as one of only a few ‘Master Fishmongers’ in the UK, and I am very proud to be an advocate for our industry.


How has the business developed since you took over?
In the early days we supplied several local restaurants with fresh fish and seafood. After 12 years we still proudly maintain our high street presence but the business has grown in a very different direction. In 2013 I had a call from a well established supplier who wanted me to package sustainably-sourced, quality fresh fish for them to sell in their ethical grocery store. It was something I’d never done before and it sparked an exciting new direction for the business. From there on our wholesale
arm of the business began working with more and more retailers with a primary focus on quality,sustainability and provenance. We now supply over 60 retailers today. 


Why do you think independent food shops are so important?
When my family moved to the UK in 1996 it was a culinary culture shock! At the time the big retailers dominated and convenience was king. Despite Haywards Heath traditionally being a market town the major multiples had moved in and the decline of the high street had begun. In most of Europe, even though larger supermarkets exist, the love for good quality, fresh food drives people to
shop more locally and through artisan producers and suppliers. Fast forward a few years and it seems that the UK is now waking up to this style of food shopping and sourcing again. Despite two major supermarkets opening within 100 metres of our shop, our retail sales continue to grow and many customers have remained loyal to us since the very beginning. We want to encourage as many people as possible to shop local, buy local and eat local so we try to inspire our customers – and
keep them coming back for more – by providing cooking tips, recipes and culinary advice, alongside every purchase they make with us.


Where do you source your fish?
We are committed to protecting fish stocks and, wherever possible, our fish is sourced from small day boats along the South Coast – from Sussex all the way across to Cornwall – using low impact fishing methods. We work with specialist importers for our sushi grade, line caught tuna and swordfish and our salmon is from Loch Duart, which is RSPCA and Freedom Food-approved. All of
our produce is clearly labelled with information about how and where each fish is caught for complete transparency from sea to serve.


How many different types of fish do you sell?
We stock over 100 fresh fish and seafood products. We also offer an array of locally sourced foods, such as honey made less than five miles away from our shop, locally-made bread, and biodynamic eggs.


Do you have a particular favourite fish?
I honestly love all fish! No matter what type of mood you are in, or cooking style you favour, there is always a fish to match. For me, fish is the ultimate fast food as it requires so little time to prepare and cook.
What does the future hold for the business? We are continuing to expand our packaged fish business and we have recently launched a range of
oven-ready and marinated fish dishes, so you can enjoy a delicious meal in minutes. We have recently relaunched our website and developed an online shop so you can now buy fresh fish directly from us and have it delivered straight to your door no matter where in the UK you live. I hope you’ll give us at try!

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