Zecca joins Hugh’s fish fight

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AN Amble restaurant has been bombarded with a wave of telephone calls, following a campaign to champion sustainable seafood and celebrate lesser-known delicacies of the deep.

Italian restaurant Zecca, on High Street, has become the centre of attention in the wake of Channel 4’s Big Fish Fight.

As part of the campaign, food champion Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall starred in the programme Hugh’s Fish Fight, which was broadcast last week.

Hugh said there are flaws in the fishing industry and called for a change in regulation and consumer habits.

He stated that more than half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead due to lack of demand or strict EU quotas, because, he claims, fishermen often cannot control what they catch. To stop the waste, the campaign challenges people to diversify their eating habits and sample some less fashionable dishes.

Zecca chef Richard Sim said: “We have had a lot of calls due to the type of cuisine we serve and our location, all because of Channel 4’s fish fight.”

Richard believes the mass interest is also due to Zecca being one of the only restaurants in the region to be awarded a fish buyers’ licence by the Marine Management Organisation, meaning that it can buy fish from Amble or any harbour in the country.

He added: “Everyone loves cod and haddock but what Hugh is trying to do is admirable by encouraging us all to try other species.

“At Zecca we have dishes like line-caught mackerel, pollock, dab and mussels, all of which are on the Marine Conservation Society’s sustainable list.

“Some of the fish we take are less popular but the flavours can be amazing.”

The fish fight is supported by chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, as well as other celebrities, including Dermot O’Leary and Ricky Gervais.

For more about the fish fight, visit www.fishfight.net or to sample Zecca’s fish specials, call 01665 713575 or visit www.eatzecca.co.uk