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Andy Bates is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. As the gaffer of specialist food company ‘Eat My Pies’, Andy brings the best of British food back to the public, including classic tarts, pies, Scotch eggs and, of course, some tasty puddings.

Andy is a contributing chef for Food Network UK and has already had two successful series broadcast on the channel - Andy Bates Street Feasts and Andy Bates American Street Feasts. His latest series, Andy Bates Brazilian Street Feasts, launched in February 2014. All three series follow him as he travels across continents to explore the world of street food and find the stories and people behind the recipes. As a result, he has become a leading expert on street food, with regular appearances on the street food circuit. Andy, who lives by the quote "You should always finish on a little bit of pudding", has also written a cookbook offering modern twists on classic dishes.

Chef TV Blog Recipes 

On a global food adventure meeting inspiring people along the way.

Filtering by Tag: Seafood

Whelks @ Crabhouse Café

Andy Bates


Whelks… hmmmm. From my childhood all I can say is, YUCK!

I love British seaside food and summers spent on the beaches of Kent and Sussex. For me it's all about fish n’ chips and ice cream! Not chewy, slimey 'things' covered in vinegar, although I can vaguely remember my brother daring/telling/forcing me (probably all of them at the same time) to try one, I was only seven and the blood still runs deep...  No wonder I was a bit scarred when I heard what I was soon to do. 

See the thing is when you mention whelks to people that is exactly what they think of, a snail type thing served in a polystyrene cup with vinegar from the 60’s and 70’s.

But there's more to the whelk than meets the eye. In the UK 20,000 tonnes of them are landed each year and we are not eating them, so where are they going? The answer is... they mostly end up in soy sauce or canned as bar snacks in the far east. So are we missing a trick when it comes to the whelk? I was lucky enough to be sent by BBC Food and Drink to Weymouth to investigate that very question.

On arriving in this great thriving fishing port town we popped over to the beach to sample whelks in their classic British seaside serving (forced to eat by my director, George) but I still was not convinced. They were chewy, covered in black spots and nothing to taste apart from vinegar, I thought I was seven years old again (Director George also commented that my behaviour was very much that of a seven year old ;).


But luckily enough our next stop was Crab House Café where I was introduced to chef owner, Nigel Bloxham. He LOVES whelks or ‘sea snails’ as he calls them, (interestingly I later find out if you put ‘Sea Snails’ on a menu instead of ‘Whelks’ they will sell out) and he wants to encourage us to eat more whelks. Nigel even helped launch the ‘Great British Whelk Revival’.

Nigel explains to me that they are full of nutrients, environmentally-friendly and because they grow naturally at sea it gives them a lovely sweet flavour that works great with strong flavours like chilli and garlic. He cooks me a dish very similar to French snails with garlic butter but with our very own, British whelks. He slices them and suddenly they don’t resemble anything whelk-like, fries them in butter, garlic and parsley, with a squeeze of lemon then serves it with a massive hunk of crusty brown bread. They are sweet, succulent and tasty. I LOVE IT! Thirty years later, I am now converted!

Nigel was kind enough to share his recipe featured below, why not give it a go...


Catch it TODAY on BBC Food & Drink, January 23rd at 8:30 or after on catch-up HERE >>      



  • 2kg whelks (sea snails) with shells on or 500g shelled
  • 250g garlic and parsley butter 
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • bread (to mop up all those lovely juices)


Take the whelks out of the shell.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the whelks. Keep them just barely simmering for about 10 minutes. This cooks them right through.

Take them out and drain. Slice them up so they don't look like whelks anymore, which is a good trick!

Fry the sliced whelks in a frying pan with a knob of garlic and parsley butter. As soon as the butter has melted, squeeze the juice of the lemon over and serve with bread.


*For more information on Nigel's cookbook visit HERE

Salt and Pepper Squid

Andy Bates

From Seaside Specials With Lesley Waters and John Whaite on the 'Big Eat' on Food Network UK...

If you read my tweets or follow my Instagram you'll know my feelings towards this dish... It would be served as starter for my final meal. I cannot get enough of it and served with a cold beer, it's one of the greatest food and drink combos ever!

my salt and pepper squid



For the squid:

  • 500g baby squid, cleaned and with the tentacles reserved
  • 100g cornflour
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 10 large garlic cloves
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Pepper

For the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • Fresh coriander and lime wedges to serve


Heat a wok or deep fat fryer to about 160°C.

While the oil is heating up crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar, don’t over pound it as you want to keep it in good bits and not pureed. Once the oil is ready, cook the garlic until caramelised and crispy, they will float to the top of the hot oil once cooked, remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.

Set aside in a warm oven while you fry the squid. Open the body of the squid, take a sharp knife and gently score the inside of the flesh of the squid, be careful not to cut all the way through.

Crush the Szechuan peppercorns and 5 spice in a pestle and mortar, you still want a little texture in the pepper so do not pound to a powder. Add the salt and crush lightly again, put it into a ziplock bag with the two flours and shake well.

Put the prepared squid into the bag of seasoned flour and toss quickly as you don’t want the squid to get over coated in the flour.

The lovely Lesley Waters!

The lovely Lesley Waters!

Increase the temperature of the oil to around 185°C. You can check that the oil is up to temperature by dropping a small piece of bread into the oil; this will go golden brown quickly.

Drop the squid into the hot oil, cooking it in 3 or 4 batches, frying to 4 or 5 minutes. As soon as the squid is cooked the bodies will curl up, they will be crispy and a nicely golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain it on some kitchen paper. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining squid.

Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together, mix well and put into a suitable serving bowl. When all the squid is cooked, toss with the caramelised garlic and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Serve with lime wedges and the dipping sauce.


Halibut with Saffron Beurre Blanc and Samphire, Mussels and Langoustines

Andy Bates

This epic sharing platter is perfect for any dinner party where you wish to make a dish the centrepiece. And halibut is definitely one of my favourites, a meaty fish with mild, sweet tasting white flesh with a firm but tender texture. Because of its leanness halibut can become dried-out if overcooked and the key to not overcooking is all about the timing. Hence, slightly under cooking the halibut and leaving to rest for 10 minutes will yield a perfectly cooked piece of fish. 

Place on the middle of the table for everyone to tuck in and serve with saffron beurre blanc. 

Substitute with haddock, cod, hake or king prawns for a budget alternative. 

My Halibut with Saffron Beurre Blanc and Samphire, Mussels and Langoustines



  • 1.5kg halibut
  • 500g samphire
  • Olive oil
  • 1kg mussels, de-bearded and cleaned
  • 12 langoustines, cooked
  • 3 lemons cut into halves and grilled
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 spring of thyme
  • 100ml double cream
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 250g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lay the samphire on a baking tray and lay fish on top, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, wrap with foil, and roast for 18-20 minutes. Allow to rest for an additional 10 minutes.

In a pan, sweat the onions in a knob of butter, add the white wine, herbs and peppercorns, reduce by half, then add the mussels and cook till open. Reserve cooked mussels in a bowl, strain cooking liquid into a saucepan and discard onion mix.

For the saffron beurre blanc, add saffron and cream to the strained cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce for 2 minutes, remove from heat and whisk in butter cube by cube until smooth and emulsified.

Find my full episode of '12 Chefs of Christmas' HERE