A bit about us

Located in the countryside of Colyton, a few miles from the Devon coastline, Meadowland Smokery is a family-owned business first established as Devon Eel Company in 2017 by Neil Fuzzard.

Prior to this, Neil had been working closely with The Dutch Eel company for over 15 years, Willem & Corine Rosendaal established their company in 2001 and passed the torch to Neil with ease after a loyal relationship in the fish trade. For the past four years, with the support of his son Ben, they have continued to distribute eels and carry on the legacy by supplying some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country.

Meadowland Farm was simply a few fields when Neil started his venture in 1996, with two businesses on site and the family home, it would be modest to say he has worked hard. Smoking fish wasn’t the beginning, they originally started with five ponds for growing specimen carp for the angling industry, and in time discovered a market for carp in the Chinese supermarkets in London. This new-found market was why they branched out to eels, with a popular demand for this niche flavour, The Dutch Eel company became their supplier, and they added a new string to their bow. Frontfish is now known for producing some of the best carp in the farming industry, the way they have been bred has produced rare and unique scale patterns. It has taken time and patience to perfect their craft, both Neil and Ben find great pleasure in taking tradition and making it extraordinary.

With a background in the industry to which they supply, Ben has a wealth of understanding of what chefs aspire to, quality of ingredients and what is required to produce a product with the highest standards. When he joined his Father full time at the beginning of 2021, he was eager to use his creative pallet and start experimenting with smoking some new products. Smoked eel has an undeniably distinctive flavour, their delicate method, which unfortunately remains a trade secret, has been celebrated in over 50 Michelin Star restaurants in the UK.

MEET THE TEAM

Meet the team that make Meadowland Smokery.

Neil

Neil is the ideas, the brains and groundwork behind Meadowland Farm. Alongside his college education in Fish Farm Management in 1986, he worked part-time at a Trout farm until he took on a full-time role once he had completed his studies in 1990.

With various experience in Trout farming, he started his business in 1996 and established Frontfish UK. They started producing carp for re-stocking and table markets, around 12 tonnes a year! It soon became recognised as the best carp in the country. Although this seems like a large figure, quality has always come first, there is no cutting corners, Neil believes until something is spot on, it is not going anywhere.

With such a wealth of knowledge about the oceans and fish farming, if you have a question, he will most likely have the answer.

Ben

Ben started his career like many, grafting as a kitchen porter aged 13, within three years he was running the kitchen, and hooked by the pace and comradery of the industry. With an appetite to develop his skills and refine his pallet, he started working at The Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis.

After he’d finished school, he immersed himself in the culinary arts and went to college to study a VRQ Level 3 in Professional Catering, where he worked closely with the Michael Caines Academy. With a few years under his belt, he progressed to Sous Chef post studies and explored the industry in all its colours, supporting the company’s various other sites in London and assisting with exclusive events.

As Head Chef aged 24, he had very much established a wealth of knowledge in seafood. In more recent years he has helped support his father alongside the heat of the kitchen but handed over his apron at the end of 2020 to create a Father & Son Partnership.

The rest of the team

There are of course a few more faces behind the scenes!

Dave is predominantly Frontfish UK, (Home | Frontfish UK (front-fish.co.uk) but at Meadowland Farm everybody gets stuck in where the help is needed. Alongside long trips to Scotland delivering wrasse to the salmon farms for natural cleaning as opposed to chemical, Dave helps with filleting, packing and deliveries to London.

Our newest member of the team is family member Jessica, who on completion of her studies at Lancaster University, joined Devon Eel to cover the nitty gritty administration side of the company. 

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