Neven gets hooked on Cork’s seafood bounty

Celebrity chef Neven Maguire casts his net wide in Cork in the next episode of his TV food show
Neven gets hooked on Cork’s seafood bounty

REELING IN THE FOOD: Neven Maguire fishing in Bantry Bay with chef Eddie Attwell of the Eccles Hotel

YOU can’t produce an Irish cookery programme about seafood and not travel to the Rebel County.

Sure enough, Neven Maguire pitches up in Cork in the next episode of his seven-part series Neven’s Irish Seafood Trails on RTÉ1 on Wednesday at 8.30pm.

The chef’s first stop is Glengarriff Harbour, where he joins local guide Brian O’Rourke for a boat tour of Bantry Bay and see a 60- strong seal colony, an eagle, and a pod of friendly dolphins who swim alongside the boat.

A calm day at sea is ideal for on-deck cooking and Neven is joined by chef Eddie Attwell, of the Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff, who shares his recipe for Gin and Blackcurrant Cured Pollock.

The Eccles Hotel dates back to 1745, but Eddie is renowned for being contemporary and innovative using many ingredients he has grown or foraged himself.

Neven then travels south-east to Long Strand Beach, home of The Fish Basket, a fish and chip shop, where he meets owner Peter Shanahan. Here he samples the Fish Basket’s signature dish the ‘Sharing Box’ comprising crispy battered hake, lemon sole, calamari, prawns and chips.

There’s also time to enjoy Peter’s Fish Tacos. The Fish Basket’s ingredients are all locally sourced and fresh.

Neven continues his tour of West Cork as he travels to Union Hall to see how hard our fishing crews work and take a trip on board a trawler.

Although only 22 years old, skipper Charlie Deasy runs a 40ft trawler where he and his crew work long hours in often turbulent sea conditions.

Seven miles out to sea, Neven chats to Charlie as his crew lands a catch of megrims, monkfish and white sole and grades them by hand.

Back in Union Hall, Neven visits Glenmar Shellfish, one of Ireland’s largest fish processors. He sees the megrims from his trawler trip being expertly hand-filleted ready to be sold.

Neven’s recipe this week is versatile and can be cooked using haddock, whiting or hake. He makes Steamed Haddock in Tomato Sauce with Chorizo and Cannellini Beans.

On a similar vein, Cornwall: This Fishing Life returns for a second series on BBC2 on Monday at 9pm.

It starts in the popular tourist resort of Newquay as restrictions begin to ease after the coronavirus lockdown.

It is not a moment too soon for the town’s fishermen, most of whom have been tied up for months, and with lost time to catch up on, and livelihoods on the line, the fleet is steaming into a summer like no other.

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