Rockfish founder Mitch Tonks is a bit of a dab hand (excuse the pun) at food writing, with Rockfish the Cookbook the sixth he has penned. However, this is the first to bear the name of his popular seafood-focused group of casual restaurants, of which he operates eight across the Devon and Dorset coastline.
Tonks is a champion of sustainability but also of fuss-free, family-friendly cooking at Rockfish, and his latest book is packed with recipes that err on the side of simplicity so as not to be too onerous but which also have enough about them for those who want to get a bit more creative. As chef Nathan Outlaw describes the approach in his foreword to the book, recipes are “from the traditional to the slightly more exotic, the simple to the more challenging.”
The 144-page book comprises more than 50 recipes in total, with additional instructions for sauces and sides, and is split almost evenly into summer and winter to reflect the seasonally changing catch. Recipes under the former are for lighter dishes such as sea bream tartare; ceviche of salmon; dressed crab; and fish tacos, while winter recipes include hake kievs; scallop and ham hock suet crust pie; chilli seafood ramen; and a breakfast scallop and black pudding roll.
Many of the recipes included have been staples of the Rockfish menu at some point while others, such as those for the mackerel shawarma, pizza ‘claminara’ and fried salt and pepper cuttlefish, seem to have been created for the home cook.
Tonks has been at the forefront of encouraging people to embrace seafood and look beyond cod and chips, whether through his restaurants or writing. With Rockfish the Cookbook as accessible as his restaurant group, his passion for poisson will likely galvanise a whole new set of seafood lovers.
Number of pages: 144
Self-indulgence rating: ✪
Must try dish: Cuttlefish and shrimp burger
Publishing date: 17 May
Publisher and price: Jon Croft Editions, £18