Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Social enterprise introduces seafood training programme for young chefs

The North of Tyne FLAG has linked up with a local food NGO to deliver a programme aimed at inspiring young trainee chefs to use more seafood. The initiative is focused on raising the awareness and profile of local and lesser-known fisheries products, while also tackling youth unemployment.
UK trainee chefs with Food Nation
“This project offers young aspiring chefs a fantastic opportunity to broaden and expand their skills. At the same time, the ‘street food’ element of the initiative allows consumers to experience seafood they would otherwise not be exposed to. It brings together both ends of the market, increasing demand through consumer exposure and interaction, while at the same, encouraging the chefs of tomorrow to put more seafood on local restaurant menus.”
Joanna Lacey, Head of Social Delivery (Food Nation)

Food Nation is a leading food and nutrition social enterprise with a vision of informing local disadvantaged communities about the benefits of good food. Through practical and innovative food education activities, it works with local schools, businesses and the general public in the North of Tyne and Gateshead areas. 

Food Nation identified a lack of awareness in the North East related to careers in the fish and seafood industry due to a decline in training opportunities and low consumer demand for local fisheries products. Also recognising that youth unemployment in the region was growing and higher than the national average, the social enterprise teamed up with the North of Tyne FLAG on a project specifically focused on the region’s young chefs. The scheme encourages trainee chefs to think creatively about the seafood they use, developing more sustainable and shorter food supply chains across the FLAG area.

The focal point of the project is Food Nation’s very own Newcastle-based restaurant, Harissa, where young trainee chefs are trained on how to identify, buy, prepare, and sustainably use local seafood. They are then given the opportunity to work with industry experts and develop experimental dishes, before working towards a ‘kitchen takeover’ supper club event, where they have full control over the restaurant’s menu. Once the chefs have plied their trade, the initiative places an emphasis on ‘street food’, setting up stalls at festivals and events, where the young trainees use their new skills on a wider market. The street food element offers consumers a low cost (and low risk) taste of lesser-known seafood alternatives.


Budget €79 883
EU contribution €40 042
  • EMFF: €40 042
Other public contribution €0
Private contribution €39 841

Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Mr. Simon Baxter
+44 1670 623919
United Kingdom
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