Festival puts Rye on UK food map

RYE’S week long Scallop Festival has earned the town a place on the national food map.

The festival has already grabbed the attention of the national media, attracted celebrity chefs and been named as one of the top 52 UK weekends away by Lonely Planet.

This year’s festival, which officially starts today (Friday) looks to be better than ever and is set to provide a good early-season boost to the town and local fishing industry.

Restaurants and fishmongers are expecting to sell and serve an astounding 15,000 Rye Bay Scallops during the nine day event. Rye Bay Fish down on Simmons Quay will sell over 3,000.

This week has seen students from Rye College getting involved in the Festival by taking part in a cookery competition to come up with the perfect sauce to serve with scallops.

Restaurants and pubs around the town will be show-casing scallop dishes on their menus with a wide variety of imaginative recipes.

The latest exciting event to be added to the programme is a cookery demonstration by Tim Hughes, chef director of Caprice Holdings.

On Saturday join Tim at Rye Bay Fish where he’ll be showing how to cook a dish from the celebrated London fish restaurant J Sheekey.

Simmons Quay is the place to be for the ‘What a Load of Scallops’ race 2011, hosted by The Ship Inn. It’s year three of this event and competition is intense.

After last year’s humiliation at the loss of his crown to some Brighton intruders, local hero Thomas Jebb will be looking to once again restore local pride and glory by arriving first at The Ship Inn with his barrow load of scallops.

‘Scallopships’ will be presented to Rye College winners of the ‘Design a Dish’ competition during a pre-event ‘cook off’ organised by chef/teacher Paul Webbe.

See page 21 for a full list of festival events.