Today is the fourth anniversary of my blog. My very first post was a recipe for courgette chutney, (quite apt considering I currently have a glut in my fridge) but today I will mostly be writing about my amazing weekend.
What can I say? I keep finding myself smiling at random moments as I think back over Saturdays first ever Menai Seafood Festival. We thought people would come, we hoped it would be worth all the effort and hard work. We expected maybe three, four thousand but in the first hour we clocked 1,500 and stopped counting when numbers reached 8,500. We were gobsmacked (for want of a better phrase, but this perfectly describes our open-mouthed observations of the crowd that streamed into Menai Bridge). It didn’t just catch us, the organisers, off guard. Stall holders sold out in two hours, car parks overflowed and my demo tent had queues of people waiting to get in!
The total number of visitors was undoubtedly closer to 10,000. I’d call that a success, don’t know about you!
Sadly I didn’t get out to see much as I was so busy stage managing the demo tent, but here is small selection of the pictures I managed to snap on the day (between rounding up chefs, ingredients and getting the washing up done in-between demo’s)…I think the pictures speak volumes about how good our day was and how professional the event was.
Demo tent at 10.30am packed already
Rob Alexander from The Black Lion, cooking razor clams
Aled Williams, Cennin….and his beautiful crab risotto served in a stunning Welsh slate bowl
Neil Davies, Dylan’s Restaurant cooking clam chowder and drunken mussels
Rowan Clark, Coleg Menai tutor overseeing their demo
Young chefs Jake and Ioan do a double act as they cook up two mussel dishes….they had the audience in stitches. It was their first ever demo and they loved it (both are third year Coleg Menai students training as they work…one with the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris and the other at the Hayloft Restaurant, Ye Olde Bulls Head in Beaumaris.
Visitors enjoying the event
The air sea rescue helicopter and boat do a quick fly past…
…Crowds in the boatyard give them a wave as they pass over head
Our wonderful compere Elliw Williams from ATOM PR…dropped in it by me, she did a truly wonderful job especially as it was her first time compering
Matt White and I also did a double act…Matt is one of very few local fishmongers (he runs MJWhite Fishmongers) . He demonstrated how to fillet seabass and turbot
…while I demonstrated how to hot smoke at home, then pan fry turbot and make a simple white wine and cream sauce to go with it.
mum watches on enthralled
smoked seabass with beetroot slaw and a lime and ginger cream…the healthy option!
….while Elliw enjoys the turbot dish