The Producers… Lambton and Jackson, Chigborough

PUBLISHED: 17:46 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:46 20 April 2015

EXG MAY 15 Producers

EXG MAY 15 Producers

©Mark Chivers

LAMBTON & Jackson began trading last year, but its smokehouse is already making a big impression among lovers of smoked seafood. Raised in the Maldon area, Sean Jackson has been smoking fish professionally since leaving school more than a decade ago. However, the dream of running his own artisan smokehouse only became a reality after joining entrepreneurial forces with Darcy Lambton. Both men have extensive contacts in the restaurant world, so the tie-up makes plenty of commercial sense.

Darcy explains: ‘I got to know Sean while working in the shellfish business and was amazed to hear about the leading chefs who had bought his smoked seafood. With his immense skills and my industry knowledge, I felt it was a superb opportunity to create a really exciting new venture.’

So far that instinct has paid off. Forging the partnership has enabled Sean to focus on the art of smoking seafood, leaving Darcy to concentrate on sales and marketing. They now supply a range of top restaurants, hotels and clubs in Essex and London and when the celebrity chef Marcus Wareing put Lambton & Jackson’s Maldon deep smoked salmon on his autumn menu at The Berkeley last year, it was a particular boost for the fledgling company.

Darcy adds: ‘We were absolutely thrilled when Marcus Wareing went for our smoked salmon. The decision came just weeks after his restaurant retained its two Michelin stars, so it was an incredible achievement for Sean, but no less than he deserved because he works so hard.’

You can now buy directly from Lambton & Jackson via the company’s website and your order will be delivered the very next day. However, you won’t find smoked chicken or smoked olives online, Sean and Darcy are sticking to salmon and eel.

‘There are plenty of smokehouses out there smoking almost anything in sight, but we’ve deliberately steered clear of that. We don’t fancy the idea of being another smoked Jack of all trades,’ Darcy says.

The smokehouse is based at Chigborough on the rural fringes of Maldon, a fitting location given the area’s rich foodie heritage. Sean’s actual smoking process is a closely guarded secret, but Darcy does let slip that woodchips of oak and beech are involved, along with a pinch or two of salt.

‘Sean is a passionate craftsman, utterly dedicated to producing delicious, smoked seafood. Sure there’s an air of mystery about what he does, but you also know that to get to his standard has taken years and years of practice.’

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