LOCAL chef and restaurateur Mark Hix MBE has handed over a cheque for more than £5,500 to Lyme Regis lifeboat crew.
The money was just half of the record-breaking £11,191 raised at the chef’s seventh Food Rocks festival, held in the town in September, with the other half to be donated to the Fishermen’s Mission,
The annual event attracts food lovers from all over the UK to celebrate the the best food and drink producers in and around Dorset.
This free food festival is organised by staff from the HIX team, who donate their time to the cause in order to raise money for the two charities.
The weekend-long event welcomed top names from the culinary world, including Mitch Tonks, Richard Bertinet and Gill Meller, to host cooking demonstrations in the festival marquee in Lister Gardens.
Fifty traders also pitched their gazebos along the seafront selling food, drink and handmade homewares to the thousands of guests that attend.
The annual Glenarm Estate Meat Feast and Crab & Mackerel supper clubs held over the weekend were sell-out successes yet again, taking place in the marquee on the Friday and Saturday night.
Mr Hix, who handed over a cheque to members of Lyme’s volunteer lifeboat crew this morning (Tuesday), said: “It was another great year at Food rocks, raising the most money to date for The Fishermen’s Mission and Lyme Regis RNLI. We had fantastic support from all the locals, tourists, producers and of course, our sponsors.
“My team work hard throughout the year to put this event on, volunteering their time to raise money for the charities. Every penny from our demos, raffle and supper clubs goes directly to the charities.
“It’s great to support the local community and bring new people to Lyme Regis outside of the summer season, as well as having the opportunity to meet local food and drink producers face to face.
“This year’s festival raised almost three times the amount of 2018’s event and the charities couldn’t be happier.”
Ken Lavery, chairman of the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Supporters Group, and the crew’s volunteer deputy launching authority, commented: “The Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Supporters Group would like to thank Mark and his team for their continued support.
“It’s fantastic that Mark, who is a keen local fisherman, has supported two important charities that support those that work on the sea – the Fishermen’s Mission and those that go to sea 24/7, 365 days a year to save lives – the RNLI.
‘We would like to thank all those who supported the food festival and gave so generously as all the money raised goes to saving lives at sea and so a big thanks to Mark and his team for all their hard work.”
Dean Lawrence of The Fishermen’s Mission added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be supported once again by Mark Hix’s Food Rocks festival, not only because of the incredible amount raised this year which will help us carry out our welfare and emergency services.
“The incredible support we receive from industry ambassadors like Mark is vital in creating awareness about our charity and the dangers of the fishing industry.”
Headline sponsors for Food Rocks 2019 were Lyme Bay Holidays, HIX Oyster & Fish House, Tracklements, twentyretail, Fever-Tree, Clarence Court, Lyme Bay Winery and Palmers Brewery.