Michelin-starred chef opens fishmonger's shop in Cleckheaton

An award-winning Michelin-starred chef is now helping others cook up a storm after opening a fishmonger’s shop in Cleckheaton.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:30 am
Tim Slack of The Hook Fisheries in Cleckheaton

Tim Slack, 39, has been a chef all his life and has travelled the world but the Covid-19 pandemic hit his family’s finances hard.

That was until wife Lisa, 40, hit on the idea for Tim to use his knowledge and passion for fish to open a fishmonger’s.

The couple, who have two young children, opened their first one in Drighlington in January, followed by another in Morley Market in February.

Some of the fish available at The Hook Fisheries in Cleckheaton

A traditional style fish and chip shop was opened in East Bowling before Tim was approached about a shop unit in Victoria Court, the former Central Arcade, in Cleckheaton

Within a matter of weeks Tim and Lisa had a thriving group of businesses called The Hook Fisheries.

“It was crazy,” said Tim. “The business all came about because of Covid and not being able to work as a chef.

"We didn’t have any money and could have lost the house.

“We opened in Drighlington and it went really well and then Morley Market rang me and asked me to open a shop.

"Then an agent rang me about Cleckheaton so I said yes.”

During lockdown the shops had people queuing outside for up to 45 minutes for their fresh and sustainable fish.

At the start Tim would go to bed at 8pm and get up at 1am and head for the docks at Fleetwood. He cut out the middle man and bought direct from a fisherman.

At first he would travel there and back every night but now his supplier has a fish courier who delivers in the early hours.

People in Cleckheaton know their fish and live lobster and live crab are big sellers, along with finny haddock and scallops.

“I can’t believe people want to take live crabs home in the car with them but they do,” said Tim.

Tim, who was employed by TV chef James Martin and also worked for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire at the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire, has left Lisa to run the business while he’s spending the summer season as executive head chef at the Land’s End Hotel in Cornwall.

“I’m a surfer,” he said. “It’s an offer I couldn’t refuse!”