Chefs give new smoked halibut from Gigha the thumbs up

05 September 2012 by
Chefs give new smoked halibut from Gigha the thumbs up

A new smoked variant of the organic halibut farmed sustainably on the Scottish island of Gigha is going down a storm with chefs and was a finalist in the new product marketing category at the recent Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

But Amanda Anderson of Gigha Halibut ](

After testing out a number of cures, the company finally settled on an artisan smoker in Argyll who smokes the fish over whisky barrel chips from the Kilchoman distillery in Islay, which are known for their peaty aromas.

The smoked halibut has already made it on to the menus of Scott's of Mayfair, Le Manoir Aux Quats 'Saisons, Cliveden, the Peat Inn, the Connaught, Simpsons, and Park House. Alain Roux recently served it at the Waterside Inn's 40th birthday celebration.

It has also found favour with a roster of top chefs, including Marcello Tully, Michael Smith, Tom Kitchin, Rick Stein, Tim Hughes, Ashley Palmer Watts, Mark Edwards, Keith Braidwood, Bruce Sangster, Rachel Humphrey, Ashley Davis, Kevin Dalgleish, Jon Edwards, Carlos Martinez, Andy Cumming, and David Scott.

The Gigha halibut is smoked to order, which takes two weeks. It is sold in 100g, 200g and 500g weights that cost, respectively, £8, £15 or £37.50 plus delivery.

Gigha Halibut operates the only land-based halibut fishery in the UK and pumps 1,400 litres of fresh Atlantic water a second into the roomy tanks.

Anderson said halibut husbandry was hard work as the fish have a high mortality rate, need to be kept at the right temperature, and can suffer from sunburn.

They undergo a long fertilisation and gestational period and take up to four years to reach a sellable size (typically 3-5kg or 5-7kg). The company sells its fresh halibut to customers across the world.

By Angela Frewin

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