A round up of food news from across the North East

PUBLISHED: 17:13 18 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:24 20 February 2013

Patrick Wilkin, of Swallow Fish, now serving at Fenwick, Newcastle

Patrick Wilkin, of Swallow Fish, now serving at Fenwick, Newcastle

The North East is a larder of fine food and drink. Side Dishes brings together in bite-size morsels a selection of food-related news and events from around the region

Plenty of fish in the sea at Fenwick

Swallow Fish, operators of one of the UKs oldest working smokehouses, have started trading in the Food Hall of Newcastle department store, Fenwick.

Swallow Fish, based in Seahouses, prides itself on heritage and tradition and will bring fresh, local and seasonal produce to consumers in the city after being invited to take over the fishmonger shop in the Northumberland Street store.

One of Rick Steins Food Heroes, Swallow Fish sells seafood caught locally by boats fishing out of Seahouses and the neighbouring village of Beadnell.

Patrick Wilkin, who owns and runs Swallow Fish with his wife, Karen, said: This is a golden opportunity for us. Were looking forward to giving shoppers in Fenwick the same experience as customers in our Seahouses fish shop receive.

We guarantee the product our customers buy is 100% fresh. The crab and lobster we supply is landed in the morning and you can have it for tea the following day.

Royal appointment for Gusto Group

One of the North Easts most successful entrepreneurial families, the De Giorgis, have won the contract to manage the bars and caf of the newly-restored Theatre Royal, Newcastle, from September.

The Gusto Group, comprising Geordie-Italians Aldo, Cristina and Joseph De Giorgi, already have a strong following in the city garnered from the portfolio of popular bars and restaurants they have established, including Don Vitos, Secco, Paradiso, Popolo, Intermezzo and Alvinos.
Their plans for the Theatre Royal include the major conversion of the current caf into a contemporary Italian bar-restaurant. The coffee shop, on the corner of Shakespeare and Grey street, will be turned into a continental pavement caf serving home-made pastries and specialising in an innovative coffee concept, to be revealed in the summer.

The De Giorgis will also be taking over the management of all three of the theatres bars.
The new Stalls Bar/Diner will take over the full Market Street ground floor wing, and be open all day and evening. The Box Office will be relocated to the main entrance area.

The launch of the Theatres new dining areas will coincide with the reopening of the Theatre after its 4.75 million Edwardian restoration on September 12.

New head chef is already part of the team

One of the North- Easts leading restaurants, Jesmond Dene House Hotel, is reaping the rewards of its home-grown talent after promoting sous chef Michael Penaluna to the coveted position of head chef when Pierre Rigothier, current holder, returned to his native France.

Michael, 29, who joined the hotel four years ago and quickly worked his way up to the number two position, developed his skills under Pierres guidance.

Pierre opened my eyes to different techniques and styles of presentation, said Michael, who is from Newcastle.

Under Pierres three-year tenure, the restaurant gained a third AA rosette plus the hotel became AA Hotel of the Year in 2008-09. Pierres long-term plans, however, were to return to his home country, and to Paris where he learnt to cook. His technical skills have won him the highly regarded position of Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hlne Darroz.

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