MORE than £5,000 was raised for local causes in this year’s Lyme Regis Crab Festival, which saw a celebration of seafood across the town.
The event, which ran from June 7 to 9, saw a variety of crab-themed activities and has been branded a success by local chef Mark Hix.
Mr Hix worked in association with Lyme Traders Organisation to set up the debut festival in 2013.
Scores of people gathered in the Marine Parade shelters on the seafront to watch a live cook-off with Mark Hix and his chef, who aimed to create as many crab dishes as possible in just one hour.
The dishes were then auctioned off to raise even more money.
Three local causes have benefitted from this year’s festival: the RNLI, the Fisherman’s Mission and the Marine Theatre.
Festival organiser Jo Harris said £550 was raised at the cook-off in one hour alone, another £2,000 was raised for the Marine Theatre from a crab feast event, and a separate auction netted a further £2,017 for the Fisherman’s Mission.
She added: “The festival this year was fantastic.
“We saw lots of familiar faces return to the town and raised more than £5,000 in total for local good causes.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response from volunteers and businesses, including Dorset-based Black Cow Vodka who auctioned off cocktails at the festival.
“Mark Hix has also been really impressed with the number of businesses and people that have got involved in the festival.
“This year has been a real community effort.”
Most restaurants and businesses in Lyme also featured a crab special on their menus, contributing 50p to the RNLI for each dish sold.
Gordon Gleaze scooped first place in the event’s recipe competition for his crab beignets with a coconut mousse.
His winning recipe will now feature in the Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme.
The two runners up were Phil Hayward, who will have his recipe featured in the By The Bay restaurant, and Georgina Bedford’s dish, which will feature in the Mariners Hotel.
STAND BY FOR MACKEREL WEEK
ANOTHER popular seafood celebration, Mackerel Week, will run in Lyme Regis this year from July 4 to 11.
Preparation for the week has begun and fish lovers are asked to send in what could be winning mackerel recipes for a special competition. The headline event of Mackerel Week will be a panel discussion on sustainable fishing with chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix on July 4.
It will be followed by a Mackerel Feast and an auction in the Marine Theatre.
Festival organiser Jo Harris added: “We’re now all looking forward to Mackerel Week, and those with recipe ideas should send them in as soon as possible for a chance to win the competition.”
For more information or to send recipes for Mackerel Week email mackerelcomp@lymeregis festivals.org.