Paralympic champion David Weir MBE and pop star turned TV science-guru Professor Brian Cox were among the guests tucking into smoked fish from a Long Riston smokehouse, at Yorkshire’s most prestigious business conference.
Up to 700 guests – including Tesco supremo Sir Terry Leahy and former Labour MP David Milliband – got a flavour of Staal Smokehouse products as its Hot Smoked Trout is used as a starter at the banquet for this year’s sell-out Yorkshire International Business Convention (YIBC) at Bridlington Spa.
The trout, one of a seven-strong range of smoked foods produced by Justin Staal, was taste-tested out of a range of foods and chosen to take a star-turn as the starter at the meal, served with beetroot relish, rye bread and crème fraiche.
The 140 fillets, sourced from Star Carr Trout Farm, just four miles from Staal Smokehouse in Brandesburton, had to be prepared by hand for the meal, put together by Spa executive chef John Spence.
“I feel very honoured that the conference ‘tasters’ selected my smoked fish to grace the menu. It took me more than six hours to hand fillet and pin bone the fish, before brining and resting them overnight.
“The following day, I cold smoked it to lock in the flavour and hot smoked to cook through.
“It’s great recognition to have my fish at the meal. I think they liked the fact it’s local produce that’s smoked locally.
“It’s also a fresh water fish so it’s something a little bit different for the guests to sample.”
The YIBC has developed across the last two decades to become the leading business event in continental Europe, attracting some of the biggest and most recognizable names from across the globe. Former guests have including Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, his Holiness the Dalai Lama – and now Staal Smokehouse trout!