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Brixham hosts record-breaking fish festival for charity

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 11, 2012

Richard Hunt,  head chef at The Grand Hotel in Torquay, was one of many chefs demonstrating at the Fishstock festival, Brixham PICTURE: STEVE HAYWOOD

Richard Hunt, head chef at The Grand Hotel in Torquay, was one of many chefs demonstrating at the Fishstock festival, Brixham PICTURE: STEVE HAYWOOD

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A celebration of all things fish marked a record year as the sun shone on a day of festivities.

The port of Brixham in South Devon was a hive of cookery demonstrations, live music and entertainment as Fishstock took over the fish market on Saturday.

The event features everything from sea shanties to the chance to tour beam trawlers, and plenty of opportunity to sample seafood dishes cooked in open kitchens.

Fishstock chairman Jim Portus yesterday described the event as "the most brilliant day out", and said he expected to exceed last year's £7,000 donation to The Fishermen's Mission charity by "several thousand".

"We couldn't have wished for better weather," he said. "I know a lot of events have faced traumatic outcomes because of the weather, but we were extremely lucky.

But Mr Portus admitted he was "tearing his hair out" when a bumper landing of fish at the morning's market meant organisers were not allowed to move in to prepare until around 2pm, two hours later than expected.

But he said: "It was a testimony to the professionalism of the team that they managed to set up the exhibition space, prepare the stage for live music and sort out television screens to showcase the cooking demos to a wider audience."

Altogether, more than 1,700 fish-based meals were served during the day, and 3,500 people paid the £5 entrance fee, with under-15s going free.

"Everybody had a wonderful time, and left with huge smiles on their faces. I'm absolutely delighted because the team I had was marvellous."

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