Rye celebrates harvest of the sea

Scallops King SUS-150218-113915001
Scallops King SUS-150218-113915001

Seafood lovers will be flocking to Rye this weekend as the annual Rye Bay Scallop Week pushes the boat out.

The event has already gained national media attention this year with Rye scallops praised by Janet Street-Porter on BBC’s “A Taste of Britain.

Scallop Week takes place from Saturday February 21 and runs until Sunday March 1.

This year sees a record 28 restaurants taking part in and around Rye who will be serving up the local delicacy in a mouth-watering variety of ways.

The festival provides a great early-season boost for Rye and has put the town on the nation’s food map.

Locally caught scallops will be taking centre stage but there are also many events taking place throughout the week including, cookery classes, live music and a comedy night.

On both Saturday mornings (the 21st and 28th) Market Fisheries’ Russell Drew will be talking about the local scallop industry, performing shucking demonstrations and there will also be taster samples of scallop ceviche and chowder.

There will be scallop and wine tasting from midday at Olde Worlde Wines; top Rye chef Kyle Tatner will be cooking up a smoked Rye Bay fish chowder and slow braised pork belly and Rye Bay scallop kebabs with sticky sweet glaze.

On Wednesday 25 John Botterell will be cooking fresh scallops on the quayside at a special Farmer’s Market.

Friday 27th has a gig not to missed at the Queen’s Head Inn at Landgate, when Kevin Armstrong (who is to play with Iggy Pop at the Wembley concerts opening for the Foo Fighters) will be performing an acoustic set with X Factor’s Hannah Bradbeer.

Scallop Week organiser oliver campion said: “It’s also not too late to get your wheelbarrow team together for the “What a Load of Scallops” race on Sunday March 1. Contact Theo at the Ship Inn if you want to take part in this extremely silly, but very fun, event.

Scallops have long been fished in the waters of Rye Bay. Local bye-laws restricting the fishermen to harvesting their scallop catch from 1st November until the 30th April are strictly adhered to by Rye’s fleet who use the small (under 10 metre) RX registered boats.

The beds are checked regularly and allowed to regenerate when necessary. There are also size restrictions on the catch, leaving the smaller scallops in the water for future years.

For all the latest information regarding the menus and events for Rye Bay Scallop Week, visit scallop.org.uk.