Shetland’s seafood suppliers have received a glowing review this week from two top members of staff at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant Fifteen in London.
Executive chef Andrew Parkinson and head of buying Tony Welch arrived in the islands on Monday to visit some of the suppliers and to find out more about where their ingredients come from.
The trip was organised by Alasdair MacPherson of Shetland’s Finest, together with Promote Shetland. Mr MacPherson said: “The first stop on our itinerary was a visit to Blueshell Mussels to see, first hand, the environment in which Shetland mussels thrive. From there, we went fishing out of Muckle Roe on the white fish boat, Viora, to haul some creels and land some line-caught mackerel, cod and haddock.
“We also took a tour of Lerwick fish market so that Andrew and Tony could see for themselves the range and quality of fish landed in Shetland. Sourcing seafood from a sustainable resource and MSC [Marine Stewardship Council] certification is a top priority for Restaurant Fifteen and we were able to demonstrate the fisheries in Shetland that are already part of the programme and those that are working towards certification.
“The close proximity of our markets to the fishing grounds means frequent landings of high quality fish at its freshest and this is a factor that is particularly important to the restaurant.”
Executive chef Parkinson agreed that the visit had been a huge success: “From our trip to Blueshell Mussels where Michael Laurenson fascinated us with his information and product, to the visit to Lerwick Fish Market, we’ve had an amazing visit.
“The prospect of Shetland’s Finest gaining accreditation from MSC is very exciting as we at Fifteen are already signed up, therefore we will be able to highlight this on the menu.
“As a first time visitor to Shetland, I’m very impressed with the sights we’ve seen. Alasdair’s knowledge of the product is second to none and he leaves me no choice but to continue to purchase even more produce from Shetland for use on our menus at Fifteen Restaurant London.”