Padstow Seafood School: Cooking on Gas
Cooking is not my forte, as several guests may tell you, but after a day on the Original Fish & Shellfish Cookery Course I may have an ace up my sleeve…
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Fish, Shellfish, Superb piscatorial learning
Padstow Seafood School, Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall
At the superbly kitted out kitchen overlooking Padstow’s harbour, team Seafood School headed up by Mark and crew, I donned my Rick Stein apron and sat on the stool at the front of the class (I needed all the help that I could get). Head honcho Mark knows his stuff; an expert in all that is piscatorial, where to source it, how to gut it and when you get the best of it.
We had five dishes to master… and with a combo of demonstration and practical getting down fishy, scales, filleting knife and all we were in for a salty learning curve.
On the menu
- Grilled Mussels with Pesto
- Deep fried Plaice with Spring Onion & Chilli seasoning
- Salad of Cuttlefish with Noodles, Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger & Truffle Oil
- Warmed Hake with thinned Mayonnaise & Capers
We went straight in at the deep end: preparing cuttlefish – my partner in piscatorial crime and I were none too expert however, we grabbed, wrestled, pulled, and rubbed with gleeful determination until we surveyed our work. Success, we got the beast swimming deliciously in flavoured oil and gently roasting in the oven. With no rest for the wicked we made a start on the grilled mussels with pesto – yum. Very simple but they looked utterly charming and v professional (canapés anyone?)
Next, we watched intently as Mark demonstrated how to fillet plaice. My P in C has some experience with a filleting knife so we sensibly divided to conquer whilst I prepared the spring onion & chilli seasoning. It was good. The tempura batter crisp on the delicate white fish – I could have gorged myself silly! We sat down on the long table watching the sun shine on the harbour, dissecting our combined efforts.
Supping on some refreshing white wine as we sat down to feast on each creation was perfection – and felt truly well-deserved. It allowed us to digest(!) each process and appreciate our efforts suitably. Flicking through the beautifully presented ring-binder was also very pleasing. It has helped hugely when going to recreate my first attempts!
We watched the experts fillet a giant hake and learned the right way to kill and cook a live lobster. Most of all we got to practise and learn how to handle the fish and shellfish correctly. We got to ask questions, as and when they came up. This is a cookery course that you ought not to miss!
Exclusive GCG Offer
The gorgeous Stein’s crew are offering over 20% off courses at Padstow Seafood School.
Quote ‘Good Cornwall Guide’ and save £40 off all cookery courses before 20th March 2013*.
Phone 01841 532700 to book.
- Tap the fresh mussel shells hard to see if they shut. If they snap shut there are good to eat, if not just chuck them away – dodgy mussels aren’t worth it.
- When making tempura batter use new oil and prepare it to use immediately – the sparkling spring water loses fizz surprisingly quickly.
- Always leave the lobster claws bound up when it goes in the pot. They are sharp and very strong claws!
- Cuttlefish ink is thick, stains and there is an absolute well of the stuff hidden. Try not to pop the sack. There is a reason it was used as the original Indian ink…
*Not applicable to current bookings and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.