Celebrity chef Mitch Tonks launches first British tinned seafood collection
- Credit: Nick Hook
Brixham-based chef Mitch Tonks, founder of the fish restaurants Rockfish, has launched Rockfish Tinned Seafood – a uniquely British product made using fresh seafood direct from the South Coast.
Deliciously preserved, each tin is packaged with bold, colourful modish designs created by artist, and Mitch’s wife, Penny Tonks.
The artwork tells the story of the fish on the inside, including deep ink-black of the Brixham cuttlefish, vibrant red of the Lyme Bay mussels in escabeche, and the golden tones of the Mount Bay Sardines in olive oil.
Mitch said: "The UK has a great and varied history of preserving, from pickling and smoking to drying and curing, allowing people to enjoy our Island’s bountiful produce all year round.
"However, tinned fish has been a speciality of our European neighbours in the likes of Spain and Portugal, rarely associated with the British catch… until now."
Mitch and his Rockfish team are sourcing fresh seafood direct from Devon and Cornwall - from both their own The Rockfisher boat and other fishermen’s catch.
Landed at its prime, the seafood is frozen at the Rockfish facilities just 17 meters from Brixham’s quayside to preserve the quality and well-known benefits of fresh fish.
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It is then transported to a canning facility in Spain where it’s preserved and packaged, before arriving back in Brixham.
Mitch said: “Tinning fish is such a wonderful way to not only preserve the best of the British and help reduce waste from surplus catches but to add and infuse extra flavour through oils and sauces.
"It seemed such a shame that it’s a method we Brits haven’t pursued before.
"With this venture, I wanted to find a way for us to preserve our own fish, carefully manage the process from start to finish to ensure quality and celebrate the magic of tinned seafood.
“After extensive research, in the UK and around the world, we found that we didn’t have the expertise to create a premium, hand-made and artisanal product that maintains the quality in the UK.
"So instead we found a fantastic partner in Spain, with generations of heritage and experience, who can create an authentic product, still showcasing how special and delicious our South East Coast fish is... from well-loved sardines to cuttlefish - hugely popular in Spain and Portugal - many people don’t realise it can be found off our very own coastline.
"With this new British tinned fish range, we’re showing that what we have is worth celebrating and getting people eating more of our seafood.”
Rockfish Tinned Seafood will be available to purchase directly from the Rockfish website, therockfish.co.uk. Orders placed before 12pm will be delivered the following day. Recipes and tips on how cooks can use tinned fish at home will be shared via the Rockfish website.