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Get hooked on a new fish dish

GBE Conrad Brunton and Andrew Insley

GBE Conrad Brunton and Andrew Insley

“England’s number one fish and chip shop”, Great British Eatery (GBE), is among those regional restaurants supporting Channel 4’s’ Big Fish Fight.
Owners Conrad Brunton and Andrew Insley have been using sustainable fish stocks since the restaurant opened.
Conrad said: “Approximately 95% of Fish and Chip shops in the UK are already using fish from sustainable sources. We felt that didn’t really come across in the programmes. Our cod and haddock all come from well managed stocks in Iceland.
“We are really pleased that Channel 4 is raising the profile of the campaign to halt some of the negative practices and try to halt the UK’s rapidly depleting fish stocks. It’s also important, however, for those of us who sell large quantities of cod that people get a full picture and a proper understanding of where their fish comes from. Iceland sets a perfect example of how well looked after and carefully managed stock can be maintained.”
When GBE first opened there was a whole variety of fish on the menu in addition to the usual cod and haddock. Ling, coley, whitebait, scampi and halibut regularly featured as alternative options, however due to lack of demand from customers these choices were relegated to the specials board.
“As a direct result of the programmes we decided to introduce mackerel to the  menu which we were pleased to do. It’s selling well and I really hope that the demand is maintained so we can keep it. We’re buying it fresh from Birmingham wholesale market so it has the added advantage of supporting local trade, which we would love to do more.
“We featured halibut on the menu last summer which did very well for a while but really it’s not an easy job to get people to try something new. I just hope the recent publicity about the variety of  fish available will encourage our customers to go for something different.” Conrad added.
It’s up to us, the public, to make a difference and ask for what we want. We can’t lay the blame at the feet of the industry, restaurants and retailers will always supply to meet our demands.  As the number of people signing the petition to show support for the campaign climbs well above the half a million mark it would be very interesting to see how many of us actually diversify our fish eating habits for good.
Channel 4 series The Big Fish Fight has seen top chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver joining forces to champion sustainable seafood and help promote the lesser known delicacies of the deep.  Concern is growing due to the global problem of diminishing stocks of the most widely consumed species of fish; cod, salmon & tuna.
To find out more about how to support the Big Fish Fight, log on to UNIT 13 BROADWAY PLAZA, FRANCIS ROAD, Birmingham B16 8LP Tel: 0121 456 5955 Join their Great British Eatery Facebook Page

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Article by Kate Eccles for ETM. Follow Kate

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