Cracking time for crab lovers at Dartmouth's Rockfish Festival

The renowned chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks hosts the annual Rockfish crab festival in Dartmouth this Sunday.
The sold-out event – listed among Devon’s 10 best festivals by the Travelmag website last year - will see hundreds of seafood lovers tucking into delicious dishes made with some of the world’s finest crabmeat, supplied by the local family firm Favis of Salcombe.
Now in its 6th year, the festival takes place in a marquee on South Embankment and is co-hosted by Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett.
Guests are encouraged to ‘dress’ their tables with flowers, decorations and bunting, with a prize for the best display, and there is also a children’s crabbing competition, and live entertainment.
The Rockfish festival is among the many events which are increasingly putting the South Hams on the map as a food and drink destination, and one of the highlights of the summer holiday season.
It is also an important showcase for Favis and a celebration of their long-standing relationship with Mitch Tonks, who is known as a seafood ambassador and national expert, and has a branch of his award-winning Rockfish restaurant chain in Dartmouth, as well as the more long-established Seahorse.
The Favis family have been in the fishing business for more than 40 years and export their products worldwide.
Pippa Favis said, “We’re delighted to be working with Mitch Tonks and once again supplying to this fantastic festival, celebrating all that is wonderful about British crab.
“Crab and lobster are our family passion, and this is a chance to share that passion with hundreds of like-minded people in a real festival atmosphere.”
The Rockfish crab festival takes place this Sunday July 30th, starting at 12pm.
• Anyone who has missed out on tickets can still enjoy a delicious crab dish, with a recipe created exclusively for Favis by the food researcher Becca Watson, who has worked on the Great British Bake-Off and with the Hairy Bikers. Crab may not be the first thing that comes to mind if you’re planning a barbecue, but this will make a classy change from burgers and sausages:

BBQ Crab burger with pickled cucumber and lime mayo

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the cucumber
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 small cucumber, cut into thin ribbons
For the burger
454g (1 tub) Favis white crabmeat
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 large egg
Plain flour, for dusting
4 ciabatta buns, toasted
Small handful rocket
For the mayo
4 tbsp mayonnaise
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lime
Pinch of salt


For the cucumber, pour the vinegar into a shallow dish. Add the sugar and stir together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat. Leave to stand while you make the burgers.
For the burger, place the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and egg into the bowl of a food processor and pulse together until mixed. Season with crushed sea salt and ground black pepper.
Divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers about 9cm in diameter. You can either do this by hand or press the mixture into a 9 cm round cutter or chefs ring to help shape. Place the burgers on a plate lined with greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat the grill to high and cook the crab burgers for 4 minutes on each side. To barbecue, place each burger on a double thickness sheet of foil and cook for 8 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
For the mayo, mix the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice and salt together in a small bowl.
To serve, drain the cucumber in a sieve. Split the buns (toast or griddle them if preferred) and spread the top and bottom with the lime mayo. Put some rocket on the bottom then sit the crab burger on top. Top with the cucumber, then the bun lid.