The Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton has taken delivery of one of the largest fresh swordfish to be reeled in in the seas around the UK.
The fish, which weighed in at 32kg or more than 70lbs, was line caught and landed in an area called FAO27, which makes up the fishing grounds around the UK, France and Northern Spain.
Swordfish of this size are unusual in these waters, with fish such as this more usually landed in the Pacific.
It was landed by Spanish fishermen aboard the Fasciniosi Do Mar before being brought into the UK at one of the UK’s largest fishing ports, Brixham, in Devon.
Owner and chef at the Wensleydale Heifer David Moss said: “It is unusual to see a fish of this size and we leapt at the chance to be the lucky restaurant to use such wonderfully fresh and fantastic quality fish on our menu.
“To make sure we maximise the flavour and texture and really showcase this fantastic fish in all its glory, our chefs will treat it simply – a simple char grill cook with prawns in a light garlic butter, served with a simple salad and some frites.
“Around 100 lucky people will be able to enjoy this freshest of swordfish as we estimate that’s how many portions we will be able fillet.”
The fish was supplied by Hodgson Fish, who are based in Hartlepool.
Business development manager Keith Thornton said: “When we knew we had such a fantastic and unusual fish making its way to the UK, we knew we wanted to make sure it went to a restaurant where it would be used in the very best way.
“We pride ourselves on providing the very best quality fresh fish to our customers, and the Heifer is known for its focus on quality always, so we knew this was the right place for such a special fish. We know the dishes it is used in will really showcase it in the very best way.”
The Wensleydale Heifer has form for working with huge fish. In 2011, it hit the record books for preparing and cooking a world-record beating portion of fish and chips weighing in at a massive 101lbs.
The Wensleydale Heifer has been named as a finalist in this year’s White Rose Awards in the Small Hotel of the Year category.