Whitby chef’s insider view of industry on trip north of border

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Luke Dean from Whitby’s Trenchers Restaurant enjoyed a two-day trip to North East Scotland – a key area within the UK for the landing and processing of whitefish species, accounting for around 79% of all UK whitefish landings.

Luke, a guest of Seafood Scotland, said: “Not only did we learn about the whole process of distribution, but what it takes to get the fish to us in Whitby and how the market works.

“From it coming off the boat to being auctioned, issues of sustainablity and sorting out fresh fish for the whole of the UK.

“During the trip, attendees had the opportunity to learn about the supply channels for haddock and cod from Scotland to the rest of the UK and further afield.”

Andy Gray, Trade Marketing Manager of Seafish, said: “We gained an insight into North East Scotland’s key role within the UK fishing industry for the landing and processing of major whitefish species.”

Luke got an insider view of the whole industry, into how one of the largest whitefish markets in Europe works.

“An awful lot goes on behind the scenes, we met fishermen and heard all about what they have to go through, from fishing to landing,” he said. “I went to a processing factory in Peterhead and Aberdeen.”

With much of the UK’s primary processing of seafood being focussed in the Grampian area, the finalists also visited the Sustainable Seafoods Limited and Nolan Seafoods processing units to witness the highly skilled and flexible production capacity of two leading companies.

Luke has worked at Trenchers for 17 years and is an expert in preparing seafood. He said: “It was really interesting and opened our eyes into the amount of work that goes into getting fish and chips onto a plate.”

Trenchers, on New Quay Road, always highlights where and from which boat its cod and haddock has been landed, informing its customers who regularly believe it has come from just off the Whitby coast.

Scottish cod has a high reputation, renowned taste and texture.

With improving stocks and supplies due to responsible operation and sustainable management, the industry in Scotland is in good health.