Thursday, 4 August 2011

Catch Of The Day at Billingsgate Fish Market....

....For our 30th birthdays, both Ian's and my parents bought us a voucher for the Billingsgate Seafood Training School. Here, various daily classes are given at the market, from knife skills to educational tours.

Ian and I decided upon, 'Catch Of The Day', which seemed to roll in a bit of everything. On arrival at 6.15am(!), we were given a brief introduction to the market, then taken down on to the market floor.

Here, Barry O'Toole talked our small group through different species of fish, how to judge quality and freshness, whilst giving us the opportunity to purchase some should we want.

Barry O'Toole, Fishmongers' Company Inspector

An hour or so later, we retreated upstairs to our kitchen classroom, where we were to spend the rest of the day. First, we were served a much welcomed breakfast.

Scrambled egg & smoked salmon

We were then introduced to Adam Whittle, who took us through the species of fish we'd be preparing, from Tilapia and Gurnard, to Plaice, Mackerel and shellfish.

Adam Whittle

Adam demonstrated how to prepare each fish, then we'd return to our work stations to try and do the same. By and large, Ian and I were successful. All the while we collated fish to either take home at the end of the day, or to form part of a Merchants Fish Soup, that we would eat for lunch.

It was a really fun, fascinating and educational day - not only learning about fish, but also that the main trick is to have the right tools - like a good fish knife. Then filleting and gutting is a whole lot easier!


The fish soup was great, washed down with a welcomed glass of wine. Ian and I both bought a recipe book, before returning home, with a bag full of fish. We had planned to eat together that night, so on arrival, I prepped all the fish from my haul, and Ian & Susie joined Kel & I for dinner.

Serving up

I managed to pull off the meal like a solid pro. Now I just need to retain the skills! A great day, which I would recommend to all. (Thanks again for the present!)

[Full reel here]:

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