DINERS can journey “under the sea” at an immersive experience created by chef Caspian Armani at the city’s Sealife aquarium this summer.
As part of the August bank holiday Bite Sussex food and drink festival, Isaac At’s head chef Caspian Armani will be serving up a five-course menu packed with locally sourced produce including sustainably caught seafood from Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales in Portslade Basin.
For one night only on Wednesday, August 24, guests will journey through the aquarium – from the Victorian Arcade to Rainforest Adventure via the ocean tank’s underwater tunnel – while enjoying dishes including:
l Oysters with sea herbs and coal oil
l Crispy plaice with foamy peas
l Smoked mackerel and Nutbourne tomato salad tropical surprise
l Crab brioche rolls with crispy chicken skin
l Sussex apple sorbet with sparkling custard and crumble.
The team at Isaac At work with Sussex producers to ensure menus are hyperlocal, using the best ingredients from small farms and foragers.
“We work intuitively with the seasons and in harmony with the local environment,” said Caspian.
“That requires a great deal of engagement and responsibility to preserve the sustainability of the complex ecosystem we have so boldly built our business around.”
The headline sponsor of the event is Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales (BNFS), based in Portslade basin.
“This event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a variety of the in-season local species we have on the Sussex coast,” said Kier Foster of BNFS.
“Consumers and restaurants can be confident that local companies like us are fishing in a responsible and sustainable way, providing the highest quality fish and seafood.”
Each course will be matched with wine, beer and spirits from some of Sussex’s best-known makers including Brighton Gin, MDTEA, Wiston Estate, Stopham Estate, Bolney Wine Estate, Brighton Bier, Arrowtown Drinks, Dedbest Distillery, Boho Gelato, Wobblegate and Slake Spirits.
Caspian said: “I enjoyed my first visit the Sealife Brighton in the early spring. I shared some photos online that Nick Mosley from Bite Sussex saw. He asked if I might like to do something fun there.
“From that point, plans fell into place with the help of the brilliant Sealife team.
“Doing an event at the aquarium is an absolute dream come true for me.
“I am so unbelievably honoured and humbled to be part of the amazing network of hospitality and tourism businesses in the local area that have made this event possible.”
Sealife Brighton’s general manager Neil Harris is excited to host the event not only to showcase the aquarium but also to highlight the company’s wider commitment to marine conservation.
“By hosting this unique event in the world’s oldest aquarium, we are able to bring a whole new dimension of immersing guests into what us here at Sealife Brighton are all about,” he said.
“We love to inspire our guests to care for our oceans and that includes all aspects of sustainability and our own conservation work.
“Hosting this event will support our ongoing efforts with this and raise funds for our charity partner the Sealife Trust which has a vision that our oceans are healthy, properly protected and full of diverse life.
“The trust champions the need for plastic-free oceans and an end to over-exploitation of marine life through our global projects and campaigns, as well as at our marine animal sanctuaries, including the world’s first Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland.”
Over the bank holiday weekend, Bite Sussex is hosting numerous events including a Cocktail and Canapés Party at the Brighton Toy Museum, a Yard Takeover at Brighton Bier Brewery, a Sustainable Sussex night with Slake Spirits in Worthing and the Brighton Cocktail Weekender at partner bars across the city.
Many Bite partners will also be throwing open their doors for tours and masterclasses.
“One-off events such as this are very much at the heart of what we do at Bite Sussex,” said festival director Nick Mosley.
“We bring together local food, drink and hospitality businesses to create inventive and exciting collaborations that push the boundaries of dining.
“It’s an unforgettable and fun experience not just for our guests but also for all the professionals
“In addition to our core aims of promoting and celebrating local and sustainable produce, raising money for the valuable work of the Sealife Trust is an added bonus.”
Limited tickets are £57.50 including five courses and matched drinks and available online at www.isaac-at.com.