Meet The Fishmonger: Veasey and Sons
We have the most amazing network of suppliers at La Petite Bouchee, without them we would not have enjoyed the success we have to date. To us, having ingredients which speak for themselves is key to each dish we create and Dan from Veasey and Son’s understands that. I trust Dan implicitly, he advises me on the best seafood available and of course is responsible for sourcing the best mussels we’ve ever tasted. We’ve had rave reviews from our customers too. Moules night is the most popular event at La Petite Bouchee because of the Mussels, they are always the star of the show. My weekly trips to Forest Row HQ are a delight and when I see the slab, just finished, I get the choice of the best of the catch that day, usually for lunch or I pick one of their ever growing range of restaurant quality produce. The crab soup is the best i’ve ever tasted and I don’t mind telling you, I am a bit addicted to the fresh anchovies. We’ve caught up with Dan for the inside track and to find out a little bit more about our fabulous fishmonger Veasey and Sons.
How did you become a fishmonger?
My wife’s stepfather Chris is a fisherman and one evening around the dinner table we were discussing the future, I was working as a Sous Chef in a restaurant in Alfriston at the time and was finding it hard missing out on many family occasions. Chris asked me if I would want to make a change and help him run a new business he was starting, Veasey & Sons Fishmongers was born that evening 5 years ago.
How does Veasey and Sons differ from other fishmongers
We are an inland fishmonger that prides itself on quality and customer service. We love making an enticing display in the morning and we are lucky enough to now have two fishing boats that fish purely for us on the south coast.
How do you source your fish?
Most of our fish comes from our own boats or from neighboring boat on the south coast, we have many contacts as Chris has been fishing for 30 years and we ensure that the fishermen get good prices for their hard earned catch. We also deal direct with Cornish and Scottish merchants so that we can get the fish we can’t get in the south east.
You’ve won many awards and what do you put this down to?
We’ve won Best Food Shop in Sussex for 2 years running, Fishmonger of the year for 2014 and we were finalists for the BBC Radio 4 food & farming awards “Best Food Retailer” and Sussex Life Magazine’s food awards for “High Street Hero” we put this down to the passion and hard work that we put in everyday, the quality of the fish itself and the level of service we give our customers.
What is your favourite fish and how do you like to cook it?
My favourite fish is Red Mullet it’s a firm fleshed fish that has a sweet almost shellfishy taste it’s quite rare to find around Eastbourne as it likes a warmer water but we do get a few now and then. I believe that the less you put with fish the better it tastes, my favourite recipe would be to lightly dust the fillets it a seasoned flour and pan fry in butter until golden brown, I like to serve them with a green salad with an orange dressing and sautéed new potatoes.
What’s new this year?
We have recently taken on a new member of staff (Charlie) he has enabled us to start making our own weekly specials which include a variety of fishcakes, fish gratins, pates, soups, sauces and compound butters these are available from our shop from Thursday on wards. We now attend 7 other locations in the week where our customers can buy our fish from markets and farm shops. We are currently in the process of having a large fish grill made so that in the summer we can attend events and food festivals and show off our lovely fish.
You can find Dan and Chris at Veasey and Sons also on Facebook and on their respective Twitter accounts @FishmongersFR and La Belhara If you’re a geek like me, you can track La Belhara here. Dan and the rest of the team have pop up shops around sussex and kent and attend two local markets to where we live, Brockley Market and our very own Crystal Palace Food Market Where I can go pick up my order for Saturday service or just because we fancied something special to eat and ordered on Twitter in the late evening. That’s how accommodating Veasey and Sons are.
Dan has already said he loves red mullet and given us his favourite way of cooking it, here’s one from us you may want to try.Print
Red mullet Provençale
A delicious mix of fabulous red mullet with the flavours of Provençale
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- 4 red mullet fillets
- A large pinch or salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A glug of olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic,minced
- 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- A glass of Noilly Prat
- A large pinch of dried herbes de Provence
- 350 g tomatoes,roughly chopped
- 12 black olives, roughly chopped
- A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley
- Season the Red Mullet fillets with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.
- Next heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan and fry the garlic, pepper and shallots until they are softened.
- Add the Noilly Prat and cook until it is reduced by half. Add the herbs, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the olives and parsley and adjust the seasoning.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a griddle pan and cook the fish fillets, skin side down, for 4 minutes. Turn them carefully and cook for a further 2-4 minutes until they are opaque and flake easily.
- To plate up simply spoon the sauce onto four dinner plates, place a fillet on top of each, skin side up, and serve with crusty bread.
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