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Newlyn is the ideal spot for a fabulous foodie festival

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 25, 2013

  • One for the pot? Part of a pescatorial celebration by Passionate About Fish

  • Dan 'the Fish Man' Garnett cooks herrings on a single burner PICTURE: Richard Austin

  • Fresh crabs for sale, lobster pot making and the luggers in action (above) and the Cornish Fishmonger of the Year competition (right) – all scenes from previous Newlyn Fish Festivals

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Su Carroll looks ahead to Monday’s Newlyn Fish Festival.

The village of Newlyn just outside Penzance may be small, but it is home to one of the country's biggest and most important fishing fleets.

Inevitably, it is also where you will find the largest event of its kind – the Newlyn Fish Festival, which is now in its 24th year.

This distinctive and original event, which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, celebrates the fishing industry and supports the work of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen by raising much-needed funds.

The festival celebrates the skilled and dedicated fishermen whose craft has shaped the picturesque Cornish landscape of working ports and harbours. It is their efforts that deliver the fantastic fresh fish helping to give the region its reputation as a top foodie destination.

On Monday it's all about fish – seeing it, learning about it, meeting the men who catch it and, best of all, eating it.

Satisfy your appetite with superb seafood while enjoying great cooking demonstrations from top chefs such as Michelin-starred Nathan Outlaw, Ben Tunnicliffe – now in the kitchens of Newlyn's Tolcarne Inn – and Sanjay Kumar of the Headland Hotel.

There will be cookery demonstrations and tastings throughout the day with seafood and Cornish specialities central to this fabulous festival. After all, around 60 different catches are landed at Newlyn, so there's plenty of choice.

The demonstrations will be sure to work up a healthy appetite which can be satisfied with gourmet ice cream, paellas, grilled mackerel, fish curries and lobsters from the barbecue. You can pick up some of the freshest of fish at the fish auction or on sale from quayside fishmongers for dinner too.

Setting the fishy foodie tone will be the annual Cornish Fishmonger of the Year competition. The contest is hosted by Seafood Cornwall Training and judged by Duncan Lucas from Passionate About Fish.

Dan "the Fish Man" Garnett will be making the journey from Clovelly in North Devon to run a free workshop for children with Tim King from the Cockleshell Deli.

Dan is quite a character and loves passing on his passion for all things pescatorial to youngsters.

Dan and Tim's fish road show has a live lobster tank, a display of different fish on his traditional barrow and the chance for children to explore, cook and taste different fish. Fishmonger and former lifeboat man Dan will be demonstrating a new recipe – a fast three-fish chowder – and doing his bit for a cause close to his heart.

Other highlights of the festival include the Lugger Rowing World Championships, when boats powered only by the blood, sweat and tears of the crew, race the length of Newlyn Harbour, competing for the coveted Golden Pilchard.

Music is an important element of the event, and this year there are two stages – the One And All stage in festival square and Buskers Corner on the Mary Williams pier, showcasing the best of traditional Cornish music.

Always a family affair, festival goers can get knee-deep in gig-racing and jet skis, watch lifeboat demonstrations and Fish Films, listen to the Fish Tales brought to life by the local story-tellers, follow the Fishy Trail and watch Fish Films.

Newlyn Fish Festival offers visitors the chance to be educated about the reality, diversity and sustainability of commercial fishing from those who have been in the industry for generations.

Newlyn Fish Festival is on Monday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is £5 – under-16s go free. Full programme at newlynfishfestival.org.uk.

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