DINERS can travel “under the sea” in an immersive experience created by Chef Caspian Armani at the city’s Sealife Aquarium this summer.
As part of the Bite Sussex food and drink festival in August, Isaac At’s head chef, Caspian Armani, will present a five-course menu filled with local produce including sustainably caught seafood from Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales in Portslade Basin.
In just one night on Wednesday, August 24, guests will travel through the aquarium – from Victorian Arcade to Rainforest Adventure via an underwater ocean tunnel – while enjoying dishes including:
For oysters with seaweed and charcoal oil
l Shark with foam peas
l Tropical Surprise Smoked Mackerel and Nutbourne Tomato Salad
Crab brioche roll with crispy chicken skin
L. Sussex apple sorbet with sparkling custard and crumble.
The team at Isaac works with Sussex producers to make sure the menus are extremely local, using the best ingredients from small farms and foragers.
“We work intuitively with the seasons and in tune with the local environment,” Caspian said.
“It requires a great deal of engagement and responsibility to maintain the sustainability of the complex ecosystem around which we have so boldly built our business.”
The main sponsor of this event is Brighton and New Haven Fish Cells (BNFS), based in the Portslade Basin.
“This event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a variety of native species in season we have on the Sussex Coast,” said Kier Foster of BNFS.
“Consumers and restaurants can be confident that local businesses like us fish in a responsible and sustainable way, and deliver high-quality fish and seafood.”
Each course will be matched with wine, beer and spirits from some of Sussex’s most famous makers including Brighton Jane, MDTEA, Weston 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 to Sealife Brighton in early spring. I shared some photos online that Nick Mosley of Bite Sussex had seen. He asked if I’d like to do something fun there.
From that point on, the plans were put into place with the help of the wonderful Sealife team.
“Doing an event at the aquarium is a dream come true for me.
“I am honored and incredibly honored to be part of the amazing network of hospitality and tourism companies in the local area that made this event possible.”
Neil Harris, Managing Director of Sealife Brighton, is pleased to host the event not only to showcase the aquarium but also to highlight the company’s broader commitment to marine conservation.
“By hosting this unique event in the oldest aquarium in the world, we can bring a whole new dimension to immerse guests in what we aim for here at Sealife Brighton,” he said.
“We love to inspire our guests to take care of our oceans and this includes all aspects of sustainability and our conservation business.
“Hosting this event will support our ongoing efforts with this and raise funds for our philanthropic partner Sealife Trust who have a vision that our oceans are healthy, properly protected and full of diverse life.
“The trust supports the need for plastic-free oceans and an end to the overexploitation of marine life through our global projects and campaigns, as well as in our marine animal reserves, including the world’s first beluga whale reserve in Iceland.”
During Banks Weekend, Bite Sussex hosts several events including a Cocktail and Canapés party at the Brighton Toy Museum, Yard Takeover at Brighton Bier Brewery, Sustainable Sussex Night with Slake Spirits at Worthing and Brighton Cocktail Weekender at partner pubs across City.
Many of Bite’s partners will also open their doors to tours and master classes.
“One-off events like this are at the heart of what we do at Bite Sussex,” said festival director Nick Mosley.
“We bring together the local food, beverage and hospitality businesses to create innovative and exciting collaborations that push the boundaries of dining.
“It is a fun and unforgettable experience, not only for our guests but also for all the professionals
“In addition to our primary goals of promoting and celebrating local and sustainable products, raising funds for the valuable work that the Sealife Trust does is an added bonus.”
Limited tickets are £57.50 including five courses and identical drinks and are available online at www.isaac-at.com.