Dan The Fish Man

Cooking up a treat with Martin Hesp

I enjoyed a great inpromptu day out with my old friend the Devon journalist Martin Hesp. He's just recovered from open heart surgery, and on his first day back at work I joined him for a cookery session on Appledore Fish Quay.

Martin brought along his special high-tec barbecue, and we cooked up delicious grey mullet and some mouth-watering lobsters – the Black Gold of the Sea.

It was great to see Martin back on his feet again.

Pursuing the Silver Darlings

Back in 1900 over 50 two-man boats would slip out of Clovelly harbour each evening in pursuit of the herring.They'd return at day-break, their boats filled with thousands of shining, slippery 'silver darlings'. Wives and daughters joined the fishermen on the quay to shake out the nets and to load the catch into deep baskets called mawns. These mawns, packed full of fish, were hauled up the cobbles by donkeys to waiting carts.

Today, the heady days of massive catches are long gone. Here in the seas around Devon we’re delighted to be promoting sustainable, carefully managed fishing, which helps safeguard the livelihoods of fishermen and supports the local economy through environmentally sound means.

The photograph shows me with Stephen Perham, Clovelly fisherman and Harbour Master, shaking out the herrings from our net on the pebbles beside by Crazy Kate's cottage. Stephen fishes much as his dad did before him, using a small picarooner, an open lug-rigged sail boat. It's a tradition I'm proud to still carry on.

It's the last photo, hopefully, in a wonderful new book by a local photographer. He's been putting together a photo documentary on me and my work in and around Devon. The book celebrates my 25 years of fishing, and I'm delighted with it. I'll tell you more about it when I get back from my holiday.

My first time in Dulverton

This Saturday will see my first foray into Exmoor. I'll be working on my fish barrow at the Dulverton Farmers' Market. It's something I've been really looking  forward to – meeting new customers and spreading the word about the excellence of Devon fish and seafood.

You'll find me there on the last Saturday of each month, from April to September, 10am to 2.30pm. So do come along, I look forward to seeing you!

Sincere apologies to my Hatherleigh customers

I'd like to apologise to my customers at Hatherleigh Market today. I'm afraid I won't be there. Liz and I are celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. We are delighted to be going up to Raymon Blanc's Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire for an anniversary lunch.

Everything will be back to normal this Thursday (13th), when I'll be on my barrow at South Molton market. See you there!

Plymouth Flavour Fest, 2 June to 4 June

Plymouth Flavour Fest
Friday 2 June to Sunday 4 June

The South West’s largest food and drink festival returns for it's 14th year to the city centre Piazza from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 June 2017. This hugely popular three-day weekend event is one to be enjoyed by the whole family. The city Piazza is transformed with stalls brimming with local delicacies, live music and a marquee bar. It's great for food, too, with top chefs giving demonstrations.

I'll be there, too! I wouldn't miss it. I'll be offering visitors some of my most flavoursome fish and seafood delights, and running cookery workshops for the children.

More than 100 traders will line the streets, showcasing the best in regional produce - fantastic fruit and veg, organic meat, home baked cakes, artisan bread and pastries, preserves, chutneys, cheeses, beers and wines, plus much more.

Find out more by visiting http://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/whats-on/flavour-fest-p1988533

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