CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Mitch Tonks shares Seafood Specials with Devon Life

PUBLISHED: 15:16 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:43 20 February 2013

Mitch Tonks shares Seafood Specials with Devon Life

Mitch Tonks shares Seafood Specials with Devon Life

Mitch Tonks talks about his new book and 30 minute seafood recipes to try at home.

Fish Easy


Mitch Tonks talks about his new book and 30 minute seafood recipes to try at home.


Writing a new recipe book is such a great pleasure, and working with the team at Pavilion and with my good friend and photographer Chris Terry makes it even more so. As a restaurateur I love to be in the kitchen and cooking, so this is a close second best for me, writing about what I love doing. I sit in my office and write whilst looking over the harbour and fishing fleet at Brixham. I collect recipes through the year in my notebook, often inspired by travels and eating out; this new book is a collection of recipes, still inspired by those travels, but ones that we love to eat at home as a family and with friends. They are all nice and easy with ingredients that are regularly available.


It is designed to be a book that anyone can cook from. Being right by the South Coast fishery, we are fortunate to have the freshest fish landed every day which we buy and use in The Seahorse and at RockFish alongside our MSC Norwegian cod and haddock. I cant help but come back from the morning markets wanting to eat some of that fish right from the start of my day!


This recipe is one that uses local lobster, clams and fantastic South Devon crab. Try them at home and enjoy the fruits of the seas!


Grilled spider crab - as cooked in Spain


Spider crab may be hard to find but it is worth seeking out. Try to buy the meat only, as its time-consuming to pick from the shell. The cooked meat is so good its worth eating it dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice and a few lettuce leaves, but this dish is superb too. It can be made equally successfully with meat from the more common brown crab. I like to serve this in the shell, as the final grilling heats the shell and you get some wonderful aromas from it. If you have no shells, small gratin dishes or scallop shells work fine.


Serves 2


olive oil 2 tbsp finely chopped leeks 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered garlic clove, crushed to a paste 2 tbsp finely chopped celery 1 tbsp dry sherry 1 tbsp brandy 60 g/2 oz cooked brown spider crab meat a few fresh tarragon leaves, chopped 50 ml/2 fl oz/4 tbsp double (heavy) cream sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 150 g/5 oz cooked white spider crab meat handful of fine fresh breadcrumbs small knob of butter 1 tsp finely chopped fresh curly parsley lemon wedges to serve


1 Preheat the grill (broiler) to hot. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan, add the leeks, tomatoes, garlic and celery and cook over a low heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat, add the sherry and boil off, then add the brandy and boil off again. Stir in the brown crab meat and tarragon, then add the cream, taste and season and take off the heat. Stir in the white crab meat.


2 Pour into the shells or dishes, sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs add a small knob of butter and brown under the grill. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges.


At the fishmonger


Ask your fishmonger for the crab meat only, as its time-consuming to pick from the shell.


Photos: Chris Terry

0 comments

More from Food & Drink

Tue, 12:31

Kath Hope takes up the challenge to reduce her festive food miles and source her Christmas food and drink from within our bountiful county

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SU CARROLL breaks bread with charismatic Devon restaurateur Edmond Davari as he embarks on a new venture

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

We hooked up with RACHAEL JOWITT, head roaster for leading South West coffee roastery, Voyager Coffee, to hear how the business is developing

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From pale ale and real cider to craft beer, Devon is home to a number of real ale breweries and CAMRA award-winners, meaning a good pub is never far away – we pick 16 places to go in Devon to find the best pint

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Devon Life’s readers and followers have been voting for their favourite food & drink stars and we can now reveal our winners who were honoured at our glamorous ceremony at Sandy Park on November 15

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Public Houses are a cornerstone of life here in Britain, dating back as far as the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Devon is no different and its humble establishments are steeped in history and nostalgia. We’ve taken a look at 11 of the county’s most historical pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A traditional Christmas pudding recipe, served with clotted cream and a brandy Crème Anglaise with a dash of cognac

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Whether you have strawberry or raspberry jam on your scones, or prefer Earl Grey to English breakfast tea, we’ve found 12 of the best tearooms that Devon has to offer

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

We’ve spoken to award-winning chef Michael Caines MBE to find out more about Lympstone Manor’s wine celebration evenings and when their new vineyard will produce its first bottle of wine

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Sunday lunch is an enduring British institution that’s incredibly important to get right. We’ve chosen 12 places in Devon that will guarantee sublime stuffing, mouth-watering meats and Yorkshire pudding perfection.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

As the winter begins to close in, there’s nowhere better to take refuge than one of Devon’s many cosy pubs. Here are 9 you should look for when needing to escape the nippy British weather

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Check out Michael Caines’ column in the latest issue of Devon Life where you can read more about what this recipe will be perfect with

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Tea Room / Coffee Shop of the Year. Sponsored by Radio Exe

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Best Sunday Roast. Sponsored by cottages.com

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search