Freshest of Fish is a Family Affair For Local Pesto OwnerPublished On Saturday 14 Oct 2017 by Sticky Beak
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My “Cod” look at that!
The restaurateur behind Pesto at The Peacock, in Oakerthorpe, really does go the extra mile to deliver something special for his customers.
For the last few years, Pesto has been buying its cod at the market in Fraserburgh, in north east Scotland, and trucking it down to England overnight.
Neil Gatt comes from a 400+ year line of Scottish fishermen who risk their lives each day doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.
“My cousin, Paul, goes to the market for me and selects the best freshest cod he can find, then ships it overnight and it is in our business the next day,” said Gatt.
“We really are determined to serve our customers the best possible fish on their table. Most restaurants have no idea where their fish has come from, but I can tell you which boat caught it, where it was caught and what the skipper's name is.”
“We have traced my family in the tiny fishing hamlet of Pennan, back to 1635 so far, but unfortunately the records before that were destroyed by fire. But we know that there were fishing communities there long before that.”
Pennan is nestled beneath sandstone cliffs in the North-East corner of Aberdeenshire and was once a village occupied by just three families, Gatt, West and Watt. Sadly, there are no Gatt’s living in the village anymore, with most of the fisherman’s cottages being used as holiday homes today. But the fishing still goes on, and Neil Gatt has three cousins who still go out in whatever weather nature throws at them to secure a living and to bring fresh fish to the market in Fraserburgh.
The Merluzzo Fritto dish on Pesto’s main menu features selected loin pieces from the Fraserburgh-landed cod deep-fried in Pesto’s own Birra Moretti batter and serve with a tangy mayonnaise.
Neil Gatt with an example of his Fraserburgh cod
Neil Gatt’s Great Great Grandfather, Peter Gatt tending his nets