Emsworth’s big seafood lunch sells out in 28 minutes

The sun shone for last year's inaugural community seafood lunch / Picture by John Tweddell
The sun shone for last year's inaugural community seafood lunch / Picture by John Tweddell

Emsworth’s fourth Food Fortnight is shaping up to the best yet – with one of the showpiece events selling out in just under half an hour.

Exictement is growing at the most full and varied programme yet for the town’s part in the nationwide celebration of food and drink.

This year’s line-up was launched at the recent Emsworth Show and interest across the programme is strong.

One event to catch people’s imagination in particular is the Community Seafood Lunch, which sold out in 28 minutes.

The lunch, on Sunday, October 1, will aim to repeat the success of 2016’s inaugural event, celebrating Emsworh’s fishing heritage.

It will be served on the Quay on long communal tables and will be prepared by five of the area’s leading chefs: Lawrence Murphy, of Fat Olives, Giles Babb, of the Bluebell Inn, Gary Pearce, from Restaurant 36 on the Quay, Jon Scourfield, of the Brookfield Hotel and Barbara Crick, of Emsworth Cookery School. The lunch will also see the launch of this years’ Emsworth’s Lobster Pot Christmas Tree. Profits from the lunch will go to Emsworth’s two primary schools.

Emsworth epitomises everything that British Food Fortnight, the national food celebration, seeks to achieve in communities across the country.

Alexia Robinson

Since its formation in 2014, Emsworth’s Food Fortnight has won national awards and become one of the most successful food events of its type in the UK. This year it runs from September 23 to October 8.

Three words sum up what the fortnight is all about: community, education, celebration.

Other events include local-produce markets, an apple pressing day and a beer and cider festival.

Emsworth businesses will be pushing the boat out with tastings, demonstrations and special offers. Organisers are working with local schools and colleges and supporting the local Beacon Food Bank.

Alexia Robinson, founder of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight, said: “Emsworth epitomises everything that British Food Fortnight, the national food celebration, seeks to achieve in communities across the country.

“It’s an event that embraces the whole town, is organised by people who know and love its food heritage and who use this annual flurry of food activities to showcase Emsworth’s producers, food shops and restaurants.”

Alistair Gibson, from the event’s organising committee, added: “I firmly believe community is the thing that binds us together, makes us part of the same story, gives us our sense of place.

“The Emsworth British Food Fortnight is not just another food festival – this is a real celebration embracing community and education and celebrating Emsworth and the local region through its people and its food.

“In essence we’re laying the table and are adding new dishes all the time... all you have to do is pull up a chair and enjoy the feast.”

* See the Chichester Observer next week (Sep 14) for a full list of Food Fortnight events and stick with this website for all the Foos Fortnight coverage before, during and after the event.

STEVE BONE