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Hand-picked by Harvey Nichols
Hand-picked by Harvey Nichols

24/09/2010

As the consumer becomes more and more concerned about where their food comes from Harvey Nichols have had a light-bulb moment. This autumn they are staging a series of unique events celebrating their local suppliers. Chefs are taking their customers to farms and fisheries across the country for a back-to-basics lunch with a Harvey Nichols twist. Bite was lucky enough to be invited along to the Scottish leg with executive chef, Stuart Muir.

 

We travelled  to Tarbert, Loch Fyne to meet fisherman Neil Prentice and learn the provenance of the Harvey Nics menu.

 

On the shores of Loch Fyne along with a small group of HN customers Bite enjoyed a West Coast seafood BBQ of razor clams, scallops, langoustines, lobster and oysters.

 

The seafood tanks were metres away and it was fascinating to see all the critters. Everything from a day old lobster, a fleck of life, to a thirty year old which weighed in at about three kilos! Next time I eat a lobster I will definitely enjoy it with renewed respect.

 

The fishermen explained the monitoring of the PH levels in all the tanks as they shucked and prepared the seafood for dispatch. Unfortunately 90 plus percent of this seafood still goes to Spain. The affinity they feel for their produce was evident, one stroked a large lobster to calm him and chatted about how the shellfish love human attention.

 

Our BBQ of course was magnificent; simple, produce cooked at its source. I particularly enjoyed the spoots with their unique texture (between scallop and squid) and strong flavour. The langoustine and lobster were sublime and the scallops the largest and meatiest I have ever seen.

 

A trip on a small working creel boat was a rollercoaster ride on the choppy sea waters of Loch Fyne. It was nothing short of a privilege to see how hard these men work to bring food to our plate but sad to hear of the friction between them and the trawlers that fish the same waters with very different techniques and results.

 

Respect and enjoy the food on your plate, it is very, very special.

 

Harvey Nichols plan to make 'hand-picked by Harvey Nichols an annual event.

 

 

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