New Wave Fish Shop is the Cirencester retail arm of New Wave Seafood, a specialist fish supplier run by Tim Boyd in Fairford, Gloucestershire. He started the business in 1989 with one van and nearly a quarter of a century later he employs 55 people and supplies 400 customers and 9 Michelin starred restaurants, including Le Manoir Au Quat’Saisons, Barnsley House and Lucknam Park as well as nearby Allium Restaurant in Fairford and The Chef’s Table in Tetbury.
The Headquarters of the whole operation is a 10 000 square foot purpose built unit on the outskirts of Fairford, a pretty market town near Cirencester. Tim’s interest in all things piscine began at an early age:
“It started when I discovered fishing from a young age. I was always fascinated with fish and it was my favourite food to eat if we went on holiday or went out to eat. My family said I would always work in something related to fish one day! When I moved to the Cotswolds, I worked for a fish wholesaler, but it was the fresh fish that really interested me, and over the next few years I learned about the different species, the way they were caught and which were the best species for eating.”
Tim starts his day at 4am in order to bid for fresh fish at the Cornwall fishing auctions which sell the day’s catch from Plymouth and Looe. Some of the fish sold is farmed, namely sea trout, sea bass, gilthead bream, Bibury Trout and halibut. From native oysters to carp, John Dory, squid, clams and octopus, the Cirencester shop run by business partner Ben Hoggett, opened in 2008, caters for all tastes.
In today’s depressing recessionary climate it is so refreshing to be able to step inside such a well-stocked fishmonger’s larder. Fresh seasonal herbs, wild mushrooms, organic vegetables and gourmet produce from the world's largest and finest food market, Rungis Marché in Paris, adorn the shelves and the refrigerator. The shop stays open until 7pm from Tuesdays to Fridays, to fit in with late shopping hours.
New Wave Seafood is approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and support the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS). They have a firm policy to buy seafood from well-managed, sustainable sources, and wherever possible, buy fish that are line-caught by small dayboats to minimize the impact on the marine environment.
Tim gave me advice about what to look for when shopping for fresh fish:
“Make sure you look at the eyes, they should be bright. Look at the gills – they should be bright red. The fish scales should be shiny and have no smell, and if you push the flesh with your finger it should be firm and bounce back, not indent.”
Ben was a Chef at Bibendum Restaurant in London and he gives customers advice on how to prepare and cook fish and seafood as well as making his own fish cakes and pies to sell at the shop.
He gave me this useful method for perfect pan fried sea trout.
Ben Hoggett’s Crispy Skinned Sea Trout Method
First season the fish with sea salt and pepper, then pan-fry skin-side down for two minutes in an oiled oven-proof frying pan. Finally, move the pan into a 200 C oven for 5 minutes.
Serve skin side up with a fresh salad. Ben suggested a salad of broad beans, peppers, tomato, red onion and basil. English asparagus is also a good companion, when in season. I did a hybrid of his ideas and made a salad of boiled potatoes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley and basil. The leftovers made a delicious breakfast salad the next morning.
New Wave Fishmongers Shop : www.new-wave.co.uk
Follow the team on Twitter: @NewWaveSeafood
Monica Shaw's website: www.monicashaw.com
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