3 Feb 2011

A truly great and unique food source

It was a great week of programming by Channel 4 last week discussing the basic abuse, ignorance, consumer greed and misunderstanding of a truly great and unique food source - fish. 
Channel 4 has a brilliant commitment to some top food issues and to get Gordon, Jamie, Heston and Hugh to cover the subject of fish is fantastic, and well done to the producers for an honest and frank insight into the problems we face.
I have always loved cooking and eating all things from the sea - from crabs, langoustines, mussels, lobsters, oysters, scallops and clams to Dover sole, cod, salmon, halibut, ling, haddock, turbot, sea bass…to be honest, the list could go on and on. How lucky are we that the choice of the base product is vast, diverse and amazing? Do any of us realise how lucky we are to have some of the greatest fish and shellfish on our doorstep?
I always think when I’m eating seafood that I should do this more often - the delicate flavours and the taste of the sea coming through from the quality of product.
We should embrace and help this great product - but how? First, simply try more varieties of seafood, this will help the seafood industry, the fisherman and the coastal ports. Buy sustainable fresh fish and shellfish landed on our shores to cook at home or to eat in restaurants. My own chefs are trained to really high standards in the art of fish cookery. Quite simply put yourself out there. If not, the future is all about frozen farmed fish and this cannot be right when we are an island with a huge fish heritage. Offer your support and enjoy the best natural food resource.
Talking of fish, I was fortunate to have some great fish for lunch the other day at the iconic Baldwins Omega on Psalter Lane. The ‘big un’ was there himself, David Baldwin. I had an excellent finnan haddock bake and an exceptional monkfish dish, also on the lunch menu was sea bass with scallops. The cooking is of high standard with brilliant homemade bread - all superb. This was a great lunch, good company, superb service and one of the true great mine hosts outside London.
David is also committed to sourcing great seafood. A good choice of product ‘banged out’ fresh to a full house at lunch time, and his new cookery book contains some great seafood recipes.
Join our own chef Simon Wild for an in-depth fish masterclass and cooking demonstration on Sunday 6th March at Catch. Tips on buying,
preparing, storing and cooking the British Isles’ best quality fish, plus a gourmet seafood extravaganza with a wine tasting. Check out the website for details.
So you really have no excuse guys - come on, let’s get cooking fish!

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