British native lobster season is in its peak.
Each week, here at L’ortolan we receive two deliveries of these fantastic animals, allowing us to serve the very freshest of those worlds famous crustaceans.
We have very exacting standards we look for when purchasing lobsters, but being over 200 miles from the fishing port of Newlyn we need to ensure we have a great working relationship with our suppliers. In "Dreckly Fish” we have found exactly that.
Dreckly operate their business in the most modern yet quite old fashioned of ways, no tele-sales, no fish markets, no big supply chains going from person to person; Dreckly sell their catch via Twitter, directly from their boat, most of the time whilst off shore. "Dreckly” is a Cornish term, meaning "to do it when I get around to it”, which completely embodies a day out at sea floating away on the day boat. Dreckly’s modern approach to selling, means that they are only fishing for the fish they have already sold, aiming to a more sustainable future, and helping to reduce over fishing.
Dreckly have a specialist in lobsters, their very own Louis Mitchell, recently featured on BBC1’s Countryfile. Lewis cultivates slightly different approach, without storing lobsters in tanks or in a depot on land. After catching his lobsters in pots, they are kept out at sea until they are sold. Sent via an overnight courier, packed snug in blanket of local seaweed.
The seaweed forms a natural insulation.
One of the most important reasons we approve of the Dreckly approach, is that for every lobster they sell, 50p is donated to the national lobster hatchery in Padstow.
In March this year, a team of L’ortolan chefs visited the hatchery to learn about the amazing work they do there, and how they are ensuring lobsters will still be around for many years to come. Every local and national fishermen are encouraged to bring any hens (female lobsters) in egg to the hatchery, where they are kept safely and allowed to hatch their baby lobsters. The mother is then returned to the fisherman. Over the next 6 months, the lobsters are kept in tanks of fresh seawater, cycled directly from the camel estuary, until they are around 5cm in size. From there they are released directly into the seabed’s surrounding the UK, where they burry directly into the sand, ready to begin their own journey to our dinner plates over the coming years.
Our Cornish lobster can be enjoyed at L’ortolan right now, served with raspberries, orange and charcoal.