Posted tagged ‘mitch tonks’

Dartmouth Food Festival details announced

June 17, 2015

Dartmouth Food Festival returns this October with a mix of delicious regional food and drink, chef demonstrations, workshops, lively food debates and fun for all the family.

Set in the beautiful Devon estuary town of Dartmouth in the South Hams from Friday October 23 to Sunday October 25 it celebrates the very best food, drink and culinary skills from the south west.

Chef Mitch Tonks will be taking to the stage to host cooking demonstrations and will be joined by a host of other exciting names in the food world and local food heroes with the likes of Simon Hulstone, Darrin Hosegrove and Nick Evans from Rick Stein‘s St Petroc’s Bistro sharing their skills. 

Wine seminars will once again be led by wine expert Susy Atkins so expect an exciting, informative and highly entertaining programme.

Mr Tonks said: “The Dartmouth Food Festival is a celebration of the fresh and exciting produce we have available to us locally. With the coast and countryside on our doorstep and the strong character of our farming community, we are able to produce some of the very best, truly delicious food and drink.” 

New for this year, the Embankment, Quay and Royal Avenue Gardens venues will be open until 8pm on the Friday so visitors can browse and enjoy the stalls while soaking up the festival atmosphere. The Festival Bar will also be open until 8pm on both Friday & Saturday, so visitors can make the most of their trip before enjoying a meal in one of the town’s many restaurants and eateries.

The popular Eat Your Words event is back. Taking place in The Flavel Church in the heart of Dartmouth and sponsored by Corinium Care, the event provides a forum for informative and fun talks on food and drink. With highly regarded chefs, writers, producers and critics taking to the stage to lead discussions, the event will also include taster sessions.

Confirmed sessions include Mouthwatering TV with David Pritchard, in which the television producer who brought us Keith Floyd and Rick Stein will spill the beans on what it’s like to work with some of the nation’s favourite foodies. 

Advice for Aspiring Food Writers will feature Orlando Murrin, founding editor of BBC Good Food magazine, and Rosemary Barron, author and journalist, offering advice on how to make it in the world of food writing from building a blog to bagging a book deal.

How Green is Your Business? will examine the ways in which a growing number of food businesses are going green with Lucy Siegle of The Guardian and The One Show, joined by award-winning chef Tim Bouget

Fishing into the Future, with award winning restaurateur and seafood champion, Mitch Tonks, will discuss the future of fishing with Dartmouth crabber and chairman of Fishing into the Future, Alan Bennett.

The Flavel Arts Centre will once again be the venue for a series of events including our Festival Feast, Wine & Food matching sessions and, back by popular demand an amazing Saturday lunch with an Italian theme devised and created by chef and food writer, Jane Baxter.

Families visiting the festival will find many activities to keep the little ones entertained in the children’s marquee. Activities on offer will include biscuit decorating, face painting, apple bobbing and the ever popular flag decorating competition.

Entry to the festival is free with a charge for some events. 


Flavour Fest returns to Plymouth for tenth anniversary with Michael Caines, Mitch Tonks, James Tanner, Chris Tanner and Masterchef’s Anton Piotrowski,

August 13, 2013

Celebrity chefs Michael CainesMitch Tonks and Anton Piotrowski, the winner of Masterchef The Professionals 2012, will join established Plymouth culinary stars James and Chris Tanner for the tenth anniversary Flavour Fest, which starts on Friday.

Helluva good.

Helluva good.


Top food and drink names to help Dartmouth Food Festival celebrate its 10th birthday

October 7, 2012

Some top names from the world of food and drink will help Dartmouth Food Festival celebrate its 10th birthday at the end of October.

Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix, James Tanner, Fiona Beckett, Giles Coren, Henry Dimbleby, Thomasina Miers, Holly and David Jones, Richard Bertinet, Tom Parker Bowles, Joyce Molyneux, Matthew Fort, Jane Baxter, Christine Smallwood, Steve Lamb, Mark Puckey, Serin Aubrey and Monty Halls are among those who have already confirmed for this year’s cookery demonstrations and discussions.


Autumn Flavours: Mitch Tonks’ monkfish roasted with 50 cloves of garlic, olives and basil

October 5, 2012

When planning a Sunday lunch, fish doesn’t often get a look in amongst all the meat choices, largely I think through tradition but also because we aren’t familiar with serving a whole fish on the table.

It is a wonderful experience, a real sense of occasion and this dish is perfect for four or more people sharing lunch.

Don’t be put off by the 50 cloves of garlic, during the cooking the garlic loses its raw pungency and become incredibly sweet, part of the enjoyment of this dish is the squeezing out of the garlic cloves onto your plate.

It makes a wonderful combination with the monkfish and the warm oil takes on all the flavours of the dish and is lovely spooned over creamy mashed potatoes or mashed squash.

Serves 4


1 fennel bulb, very finely sliced
Small glass dry white wine
50 cloves of garlic, skin on
250 ml / 8 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
1 monkfish tail weighing about 1kg / 2.2 lb prepared as above
1 tsp fennel seeds finely ground
1 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly roasted and crushed
1 birds eye chilli
A handful of black olives
6 tomatoes, cut in half
A handful of basil, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

To make:

Pre heat the oven to 220c.

Take a roasting dish and spread out the fennel on the bottom, add the wine, olive oil and garlic cloves then sprinkle in the ground fennel and coriander, then crumble in the chilli and add the olives. Squeeze some juice from the tomatoes into the dish then add them.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and rub in a little ground fennel seed all over it then sit it in the oil on top of the vegetables. Roast for 30/35 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 4 or 5 minutes, there should be a white milky juice flowing from the fish as it rests, this is the protein in the fish naturally leaking out during cooking.

Stir in the basil, and after the oil has cooled slightly season to taste before serving whole at the table surrounded by the vegetables and with plenty of oil, olives, tomatoes and basil spooned over the top, a little lemon juice added to the oil sauce can be a good idea. You will find the fish comes easily away from the bone as everyone gets stuck in, it can be quite and occasion. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and spinach or braised fennel.

Mitch Tonks is an award-winning food writer, restaurateur and fishmonger who runs RockFish Grill & Seafood Market in Bristol and The Seahorse and RockFish Seafood and Chips in Dartmouth.

Recipe taken from The Aga Seafood Cookbook by Mitch Tonks published by Absolute Press

Festive food: Mitch Tonks’ Zuppa de Pescatore

December 17, 2010

This recipe is a classic Italian fish stew and the beauty is that you can use readily available shellfish and add in whatever is seasonal and available on the counter, making it a good sustainability friendly recipe too.

It is a great family dish for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or NYE, warming and filling without being heavy or rich like much of the food over Christmas.   Shellfish being held often in tanks or farmed are readily available all through the year and even though many of the fresh fish markets shut down over the holiday period you can freeze fish beforehand as this works perfectly well in this dish.

Zuppa da Pescatore

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the Zuppa

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Olive oil

2 roasted tomatoes

Pinch of saffron

3 or 4 sprigs of thyme

Splash Pernod or anise

Selection of fish, ask your fishmonger what is in season and at its best – lobster, clams, mussels, chunk of skate, steak of hake, gurnard and haddock – buy enough for 4 and to fill the pan packed tightly in one layer

200ml white wine

200ml fish stock

Sea salt

Parsley or basil chopped, for sprinkling over the top

For the Aioli:

2 egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon mustard

4 cloves of garlic, pasted

150ml/5fl oz good olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt

Grilled bread to serve

To Make the aioli:

Put the egg yolks in a bowl with the mustard and garlic.  Whilst whisking add the olive oil in a steady stream until a thick emulsion is formed.  Add the lemon juice, season, and let it stand an hour before serving.

To make the Zuppa.

In a large pan, sweat the shallots and garlic in olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, saffron and thyme and stir together.  Add the Pernod and tip the pan away from you allowing it to catch fire and burn off the alcohol.  Add the wine and simmer gently for 2 minutes.  Add the fish and add enough fish stock to just cover it.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Remove the thyme and season.  Finally sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and accompany with grilled bread topped with rich, garlicky aioli.

© Mitch Tonks

Review: Eat Fish, the new Mitch Tonks iPhone app

November 29, 2010

An iPhone app to tell you all about fish? What’s the point in that? Well, it turns out there is quite a lot of point to it.

The app in question has been launched by Devonian chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks. Now I have to admit, my natural cynicism kicked in when I first read of the app. I admit I thought that it was a gimmick, a way of cutting in on the iPhone/iPad cool and a way of throwing business money down the drain. But now I have tried it I’m not so sure.

I’m probably not the only person (I hope I’m not the only one) who has cooked from a recipe that is on the screen of a laptop or smart phone while I sift, sip, strain and slurp. And what this app does is take that premise and package it up in an application all about fish.

It is well laid out, simple to navigate and concise. You can wade in and search the recipes, but what I liked was being able to scroll down a list of 40 fish – some common and some not – and pick a dish depending on what you have. So you can cook according to what fish you have, rather than shopping especially for a type of fish to fit a recipe. In addition it will teach you how to de-bone, fillet, skin and store each type of fish so you can go from whole fish to meal.

And once you choose one of the 27 recipes, it is all laid out to make it easy to follow the steps and scroll your way to a nice dinner.

A nice extra feature is a section telling you which of the featured fish is in season for a particular month so you can cook seasonally as well as locally. There are also video clips and tutorials on topics ranging from storing fish to how to cook a lobster.

Overall it is a great little addition to my iPhone. It cost £1.79 on offer when I downloaded it but full price is £2.99.

Any negatives? Well some of the copywriting is a bit poor in places, but maybe that’s my journalist’s eye picking up on that! And some of the fish only had one recipe for them. But that can always be updated and expanded on, that’s the beauty of updates!

Overall it is a good little app and perfect for flicking on while you are standing at the kitchen counter with some lovely fresh fish in front of you. It really is like a mini cookbook on your iPhone with a price tag to match. You could buy a full cook book (Mr Tonks does have one out) but it will cost you a lot more.

I’d love to know what you think of the app. Email me here and get cooking!

Rockfish Devon wins Best Restaurant award

November 12, 2010

RockFish Seafood & Chips in Dartmouth scooped the award for Best New Restaurant in this year’s Devon Life Food & Drink awards at last night’s awards ceremony held at Sandy Park in Exeter. RockFish beat off competition from all other new restaurants in the county to whom the award was open to make the final shortlist of 3 restaurants going on to win.

Owners Mitch Tonks and Mat Prowse were delighted, Mitch said, “This is a great success for us and the whole team who have worked really hard since opening in June to make RockFish the place to eat fish and chips. We’ve had over 30,000 eating with us since we opened and big thanks must go those customers who are Devon Life readers who have given us this big stamp of approval, we’re thrilled!”

RockFish is also shortlisted in the final four for the Best Newcomer in the UK-wide Seafish National Fish & Chip Awards which takes place in January.

Mitch and longstanding business partner Mat Prowse opened this family seafood restaurant just a few doors along from their acclaimed Seahorse restaurant on the South Embankment in Dartmouth in June this year aiming to provide top quality but affordable local fried fish. The uber chic interior of this 70 seater restaurant has a beach feel about it and diners can choose from regular favourites such as cod and haddock and local fish from the market including
whiting, lemon sole & gurnard which are all served up in stylish card take away style boxes.