Two Whitby restaurants have reached the finals of the 2019 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition.
The Star Inn The Harbour is one of several restaurants run by Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern, who grew up in Whitby.
The restaurant specialises in surf ‘n’ turf-style dishes, mirroring its ‘one-foot-in-the-sea-one-foot-on-the-Moors’ location, and has won a prestigious AA rosette.
The team at Estbek House create a natural menu using the fresh produce available on their doorstep and have a particular focus on sustainability – growing and producing as much of the menu as possible in house.
Mr Pern said: “It’s brilliant news to be in the Seafood Restaurant of the Year shortlist of just 12 restaurants in Britain.
“I was born in Whitby so I feel that it’s a vote for Whitby too.
“We have such fantastic seafood on our part of the coast and it’s good to be able to showcase it, literally on the harbour side.
“The Star Inn The Harbour has a great team of star performers in our kitchens too, headed by Ryan Osborne, and this is a big ‘Well Done’ for them.”
David Cross, Estbek’s co-owner and managing director, also thought the nominations were positive for Whitby.
He said: “We’re absolutely thrilled, I’m a bit shell shocked.
“For Whitby to have two restaurants receive this national recognition is brilliant for the town.
“It’s great for the team to get the accolade for what they’re doing and what they believe in – trying to use local produce.
“It’s the local fish that have won it, it’s good for the fishing industry as well.”
The competition is sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10 billion UK seafood industry, and organiser The Caterer.
The competition is open to all UK restaurants that include fish and shellfish on their menus.
It was created to find and celebrate restaurants demonstrating excellence in the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, as well as evidence of good knowledge among staff.
The competition will now heat up as the next round of judging begins.
Over the next few weeks the restaurants will be visited by a mystery diner, who will judge customer service as well as the quality of food on offer.
A final top five shortlist will then be announced at the end of September, before the overall winner is crowned in October.