The Jetty restaurant in Christchurch, Dorset, has been revealed as the winner of the 2016 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition at an awards ceremony held at the Woodford restaurant in London last night (16 September).
The competition, now in its second year, is organised by Seafish UK and The Caterer and was launched to highlight great use of seafood and businesses' knowledge of often under-used products, in all types of restaurants.
Recognised for its forward-thinking and passionate chef-patron, its location, and its responsibly sourced fish, the Jetty has consistently delivered high-quality service and reviews, and achieved high scores in the competition's mystery audit carried out by Seafish UK.
The Jetty restaurant, part of the Harbour hotel collection, was also a finalist in the inaugural year of the competition in 2015 and is situated on the water's edge, across from Mudeford Quay in Dorset, where some of its fish is sourced.
The 2016 judging panel included Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba, winner of the 2015 Restaurant of the Year; restaurateurs Xavier Rousset and Will Smith; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; Giovanna Grossi, AA group area manager; and José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College, London.
"The Jetty is a stunning restaurant that does a lot of work on assuring responsibly sourced fish," said judge José Souto.
Fellow judge Grossi added: "Alex Aitken is a passionate chef who leads by example. Alongside this, the restaurant has a stunning location which is matched by the interesting and extensive menu and great food sourced at the highest of standards."
AJ Aitken, (chef-patron Aitken's son) and food and beverage director for Harbour hotels, commented on their win: "This award symbolises everything we stand for at the Jetty and Harbour hotels. Sustainability is at the top of our agenda. It's especially timely as we expand the Jetty brand across four new locations where we can showcase our fresh, seasonal and local ethos."
The final five shortlisted restaurants included Ondine, Edinburgh; One-O-One, London; Rockfish, Brixham; and the Staith House, North Shields, Tyne and Wear.
Three members of the Jetty team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the fishing docks of Brixham or Peterhead, where they will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the catching, processing and supply of seafood.
Each finalist was awarded with vouchers from Russums and a signed copy of Mark Greenaway's new book Perceptions.
Mel Groundsell, corporate relations director of Seafish UK, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Restaurant of the Year awards. It's genuinely inspirational to be among such talented seafood ambassadors. Seafood really is centre stage right now and the lowest carbon footprint of any protein, with unique nutritional benefits - it's healthy, clean and green."
Pictured: Craig McColm, group executive chef; Fabrice Lamon, group director, Jetty brand standards; AJ Aitken's, food and beverage director, the Jetty and Harbour hotels; Mel Groundsell, corporate relations director, Seafish UK
Scottish seafood restaurant Gamba named Restaurant of the Year 2015 >>
Shortlist for 2016 Restaurant of the Year revealed >>
Are you looking for a new role? See all the current restaurant vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>
Latest video from The Caterer