Local crab firm grabbing attention on the Internet

The Devon crab and lobster specialists Favis may have narrowly missed winning a top prize at the Taste of the West Awards last Thursday, but they still have plenty to celebrate.

Favis were among the three finalists for the overall prize in the fish category, but it was won by the Tanglewood Fish Company in the Isles of Scilly.

However, Favis had already won three Taste of the West Gold awards earlier in the year, for their 100% Handpicked White Crab Meat, 100% Handpicked Brown Crab Meat, and 100% Handpicked Dressed Crab.

The family firm are also enjoying a rise in popularity on social media, after food and lifestyle bloggers and websites began picking up some of their crab recipes and promoting them online.

The delicious Crab and Mango Salad recipe is featured on https://thelifestylelibrary.com, while the Summer BBQ Crab Burger appears on both www.studioclubmag.com and www.sugarvine.com, which also credit Favis and recommend their products. (Recipes reproduced below)

Pippa Favis, who attended the Taste of the West awards at Exeter University’s Great Hall on September 14th, said, “While we were a bit disappointed not to win the overall Champion Product award in our category, it was great to be in the top three, and we’re also very proud of our Gold awards.

“And it was really good to be there and see the local food and drink producers being recognised for what they do. The south-west is really pushing forward now in the field of quality produce and the awards were really celebrating that as well – and we’re very happy to be part of that success.

“Now it’s also really pleasing to see bloggers and websites spreading the word about our products and recipes as well.”

Favis are a local Salcombe company whose roots go back to 1972 when Keith Favis decided to change career, from lorry-driving to fishing. He bought his first boat, a 22-foot crabber, four years later.

During the 80s his two sons, Kevin and Nigel, joined the fishing operation, and over the years Favis have invested in bigger boats and brought in more family members as their business expanded. They now have Kevin’s daughter Laura and Nigel’s wife Pippa running the offices, and Nigel’s son Sam has joined as an apprentice.

Favis supply their hand-picked crab and lobster to many of the UK’s finest hotels and restaurants, and export live crab to Europe, Hong Kong and China. Closer to home, they supplied all the crab for the Rockfish festival in Dartmouth in July, hosted by chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks.

Try these delicious crab recipes for yourself:

BBQ Crab Burgers 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 burgers
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 burgers, 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.

Crab & Mango Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the dressing
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed

For the salad
200g white crabmeat
200g brown crabmeat
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (or flat leaf parsley, if preferred)
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
4 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 large ripe mango, peeled and sliced
100g bag watercress rocket & spinach salad
4 tbsp pomegranate kernels

For the dressing, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic together in a jug until combined.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the white and brown crabmeat together in a bowl and pour over three quarters
of the dressing. Add the coriander and mint (reserving some for garnish), spring onions and cucumber and mix well together.
Very carefully fold the mango through the mixture.
Arrange the watercress, rocket and spinach leaves on four serving plates and spoon the crab mixture on top. Sprinkle the pomegranate and remaining coriander and mint over the salad, drizzle the remaining dressing over it and serve.