The Sportsman, Seasalter

July 18, 2011

Grilled scallop with seaweed butter.
I have always been passionate about the local 
sourcing of food and have recently been particularly 
interested in the culinary delights Britons 
coasts have to offer us.

Amongst the search for edible Seaweed and Native Oysters, 

 I have discovered the Michelin starred Gastropub
The Sportsman in Seasalter, Whistable.

Crispy duck with smoked chilli salsa and sour cream.
Many restaurants now incorporate locally sourced and Organic food within their menu's, 
but when I read about The Sportsman I was truly impressed 
-the Gastropub's menu varies day to day depending on what the local suppliers 
can get there hands on. 

Stephen Harris, owner and Chef, bought the Pub in 1999. 
Harris originally thought of the concept in 1992 whilst eating the 2 Michelin star 
awarded Chez Nico, and wanted to create a relaxed environment in which people can 
enjoy good food without the massive price tag and intimidating atmosphere. 

Rock oysters and hot chorizo
 -Also available are Whitstable Native Oysters.
Harris told the telegraph 'My aim was to cook with very local ingredients 
–the whole area is still so abundant. 
There's shellfish from the estuary and beautiful fish from local fisherman', 
'We get pork from Monkshill Farm at the top of ridge, the salt marshes are full of 
game birds and the salt-marsh lamb tastes superb.'

Local lamb from Monkshill Farm in Canterbury.
 Harris forages daily on the beach for sea beet and sea purslane, in which he 
makes a sublime meringue ice cream with seawater 'spray' and crystallised seaweed. 
'That's on the tasting menu, for people who like to be challenged'.
'But the difference between me and some experimental chefs is that I don't do 
anything challenging unless it tastes delicious, too; the place has to be full to pay the bills!'

Pickled herrings and cabbage salad.
There's no worries about that however, as there is currently an 
8 week waiting list for a table. 

I can predict the making of yet another Great British Chef who will no 
doubt be in the media spot light in months to come; 
Heston watch out!