Mark Hix: The Fisherman’s Friend

Mark Hix (far left), pictured with celebrity chef Michael Caines, headline guest at the 2018 Food Rocks festival, and compere Steve Lamb, from River Cottage (photo by Matt Austin)

CELEBRITY chef Mark Hix is never happier than when he has a fishing rod in his hand.

It’s his way of escaping the rigours of running a hugely successful restaurant chain and he’s so keen on reeling them is he has dedicated his latest book ‘Hooked’ to his favourite way of relaxing.

They say fishing is a sport, but not in Mark Hix’s eyes. It’s much more than that, for a day’s fishing with a close-knit group of friends invariably ends in Mark cooking up a delicious meal from their catch of the day.

It all started when Mark was eight years old, growing up in West Bay, and caught a fish which his grandmother cooked for supper, the catalyst for what has become his passion.

As a celebrated angler, chef, restaurateur and food writer, Mark rarely misses the opportunity to head for his home in Charmouth, meet up with his fisherman friends and launch his boat from Lyme harbour.

This is what Mark says in the introduction to his latest book, ‘Hooked, Adventures in Angling & Eating’: “Angling has become a social event that involves cooking and having a laugh and a bit of banter with the boys.

“I shoot a little bit in season, but, given the choice, I’d rather be on the river or out at sea.

“Shooting a bird above your head is instant; once you’ve hit it, you wait for the next one to kill. But with fishing there’s a bit of a fight – sometimes a hell of a fight, depending on what you have hooked – and then there’s the opportunity to release the fish or take it home for supper.”

‘Hooked’ is a collection of amazing fishing adventures with tales from the banks of the coast of Dumfriesshire and fishing expeditions in New Zealand, the Bahamas and Iceland, together with some of Mark’s favourite fish recipes.

You may well be able to see Mark cook-up one of his favourite fish dishes at the seventh Food Rocks Festival in Lyme Regis on September 7 and 8.

Food Rocks was founded by Mark in 2012 to celebrate the fantastic produce that the South West, and Dorset in particular, has to offer whilst raising funds for the Fishermen’s Mission and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Each year the festival has grown in size and popularity and has raised thousands of pounds for the two charities, unlike other food festivals on Lyme’s seafront.

The two-day food extravaganza curated by Mark brings together the best of Dorset food and drink, celebrated chefs and local producers from the surrounding area.

Both days will see a busy programme of chef demonstrations, food and drink to take home, supper clubs and a raffle of prizes donated by the producers and chefs. The event is free to attend and suitable for all the family.

As well as the Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis, Mark has four restaurants in London and a guest house in Lyme. He is also a renowned food writer with 12 cook books to his name and many columns in magazines and newspapers throughout the UK.

His dedication in sourcing seasonal British food and drink is unrivalled and he is known for championing British producers. In 2017 he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty The Queen for his services to hospitality.

Win a copy of Mark’s new book – ‘Hooked’

MARK Hix is pictured left at the recent Melplash Show signing a copy of his new book – ‘Hooked, Adventures in Angling & Eating’, a collection of extraordinary fishing adventures with many of Mark’s favourite fish dishes.

You too could win a signed copy of the book by answering the following simple question, the answer to which can be found in the article above: In which Dorset town did Mark grow up?

Email your answer with your contact details to francesca@lyme-online.co.uk or put your answer and contact details on a postcard or in a letter marked ‘LymeOnline – Hix Book Competition’ and send to: LymeOnline, Unit 5 Uplyme Business Park, Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3LS, or hand it into the LymeOnline promotions stand at the Food Rock festival.

Closing date for entries is 5pm on Sunday, September 8.

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