Galloping gourmets race to victory

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Theo from the Ship Inn gets the scallop wheelers ready for the wheelbarrow race

What a load of scallops

There was a great deal of excitement on Sunday morning March 1 when the annual “What a load of scallops” wheelbarrow race took place. Teams from Rye’s tennis club, Rye Runners, an elite women’s selection, the Harbour Health club and the Mermaid hotel all ran like demons to be first past the finishing line. But it was the Harbour Health club team that won – and without a scallop shell being dropped.

The winners of this year's "What a load of scallops" award is - the team from Rye Harbour Health Club.
The winners of this year’s “What a load of scallops” award are the Harbour Health Club’s team.

Kyle’s kebabs keep customers coming

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The start of this year’s scallop festival was marked by  a day of fantastic scallop cooking to delight all foodies, and the highlight seemed to be Kyle Tatner’s pop-up scallop kitchen at the Olde Worlde Wine Bar.

Kyle (on right in photo) was previously the head chef at the Mermaid and has now set up his own catering business. His scallop kebabs proved to be such a hit that he ran out – twice! – and had to commandeer extra supplies. Vintner Danny Delenio (on the left in the photo) had lined up several fantastic wines to complement the scallops, which were served in a delicious chowder and the customers kept asking for more.

The success of the festival is a great tribute to founder Ollie Campion, although I’m not sure it allows him to get away with jokes like this: “Why do scallops mussel in? Because they’re shellfish”, and yes, at that point Ollie was politely asked to clam up.

Anyone wanting to sample Kyle’s catering should look at his website and for those who like a nice glass of wine chosen by an expert you should check the wine bar’s website.

Paul’s perfect preparation

Paul Webbe shows how to remove the excess scallop with precision
Paul Webbe’s scallop cooking demonstration

Paul Webbe of Webbe’s Fish Restaurant held a masterclass on Sunday February 22 on how to prepare and cook scallops and his lucky audience got to eat the fruits of his labour. Paul showed observers how to remove the scallop “skirt” without losing any of the meat and also had lots of tips including not to season uncooked fish until just before serving, otherwise the fish starts to cure. Also he recommended serving flavoured seaweed, an underused accompaniment to any fish dish, which is perfect for scallops. You can visit Webbe’s Fish Restaurant website here.

Scallop and salmon carpaccio, with pear and lime dressing and seaweed, as served by Paul Webbe
Scallop and salmon carpaccio, with pear and lime dressing and seaweed, as served by Paul Webbe

Photos: Tony McLaughlin