Mitch Tonks seafood recipe

Famous chef, restaurateur and local seafood ambassador Mitch Tonks, is proudly Brixham through-and-through. You will often see Mitch at the daily 6AM fish auction at the world-famous Brixham Fish Market, deliberating over the perfect catch for any number of his local restaurants.

Mitch and his teams at Rockfish in Torquay and Brixham, will be taking part in England’s Seafood FEAST this year. If you cannot wait until then to try some delicious local seafood then why not try out his John Dory recipe here.

In the same league as turbot and bass, John Dory is loved for its firm texture and distinctive flavour. The fish has a big head and heavy bones; the yield is low, but in my opinion well worth it. We have the most beautiful John Dory landed daily at the Brixham fish market.

Salsa verde is fabulous with all fish as it really captures the essence of freshness. It is unsurpassed when eaten with grilled fish with crispy skin. You can be pretty flexible with the herbs you use but the traditional combination used here is particularly good.

The following recipe will serve 2 people.


  • 1 John Dory, weighing about 1kg, head removed
  • For the salsa verde
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • Small handful of basil, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • A small handful of capers
  • Good olive oil
  • Lemon juice


  1. Heat the oven to 220c
  2. Heat a frying pan leave for a few minutes to be sure it is really hot – serious heat is the key to the success of this dish. Rub olive oil and salt into the skin of the John Dory and put the fish in the pan.
  3. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn once the skin is beautifully crisp and then transfer the pan to a hot oven and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes - it is cooked when a milky liquid runs from the fish.
  4. Put the mustard, herbs, anchovies and capers in a bowl and gradually stir in the olive oil with a fork, pouring in a gentle stream until you have a thick sauce.
  5. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove the fish from the oven, put on a plate, squeeze over some lemon juice and dress with the sauce or serve it alongside.


Rockfish Brixham
Rockfish Brixham

Rockfish is a speciality, sustainable seafood restaurant set in beautiful Brixham on the English Riviera. Whether you’d like oysters, Dover sole and a bottle of Chablis for a special occasion or fish and chips for lunch after walking the dog, Rockfish brings seafood to everyone for all occasions.

Rockfish Torquay
Rockfish Torquay

Our restaurant is situated on Victoria Parade overlooking the inner harbour right in the centre of Torquay. We have tables inside and a small outside covered terrace where guests can sit and enjoy our seafood. Reservations can be made for tables inside. Seafood is delivered to us daily from the Brixham fish market just across the bay next door to our Rockfish restaurant there.



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