Billingsgate Market is the largest shellfish market in the UK and has an excellent selection on offer from all around the globe and we work with as many species as we can during this informative course. If you have a passion for shellfish or want to learn just how easy it is to prepare and cook - this is the course for you.
Working with CEO, CJ Jackson and the chef trainers, you will learn how to prepare a range of crustacean and molluscs, learning how easy it is choose, store, prepare and cook a wider selection of shellfish. We always discuss sustainability issues, the challenges fishermen face, nutritional values of seafood - the works - if we can't answer a question - we will find the answer for you!
We aim to cover as many aspects of shellfish preparation as possible (depending on season and availability). Expect mussels, clams (palourde and razors), scallops and oysters along with crab and a lobster tasting.
The day kicks off at 6am with a quick cup of tea or coffee and registration. We talk about the history of the market and how it has developed over the last 100 years whilst we take you on a guided visit around the trading floor.
We cover all as many aspects as we can, looking at species identification and how to assess quality of the many species available on the day (this can be well over 120!)
After a 90 minute look around you will return to the kitchen for a cooked fish breakfast and a chance to reflect on what you have seen.
We then roll up our sleeves and work through the many species we have purchased for the day.
We aim for you to take away your own Dressed Crab, Cuttlefish Marinated Salad and a selection of other shellfish you have prepared during the day. We will also cook some for you to taste including crayfish, Dublin Bay prawns, native AND Canadian lobster. We often serve our dishes with seaweeds and aim to be innovative and show how easy it all is to replicate it at home.
If you have any questions before hand or are unable to handle any type of shellfish - just give us prior warning or give us a call to discuss.
This is a 7½ hour Course - Course Size 12-14 People - Course Times 06:15am - 12:30pm
All shellfish preparation including: dressing crab and lobster. Other crustacean preparation and cooking. All molluscs from gastropods (whelks and winkles) Bi-valves (mussels, oysters, clams and scallops) and cephalopod (squid, cuttlefish and octopus)
What to Expect
After a brief introduction to life at Billingsgate your day begins with a escorted market visit where you will learn how to identify quality and the many species of seafood on sale. The particular focus on this day is on crustacean and molluscs. Breakfast is served in the school kitchen when there is an opportunity to ask further questions. The first part of the course begins with a hands-on preparation session. You will prepare your own cooked crab, lobster and langoustine. During a coffee break the making of shellfish stock is demonstrated along with how to cook whelks and winkles. The second hands-on session covers bivalve preparation including mussels, various clams (including razors, if available), scallops and oyster shucking. Cephalopod preparation is also covered as you work with squid. Cuttlefish and octopus preparation is demonstrated. You return to the kitchen to prepare lunch of Saffron and Seafood Stew or a Mussel and Clam Bourride. We give you lots of ideas on how to cook your shellfish and there are plenty of recipes to taste with a glass of wine during lunch. The rest of the shellfish that you have prepared is then ready to take home in your complimentary Billingsgate Seafood School cool bag. This day is designed to cover as many aspects of shellfish preparation and cooking and to inspire you to cook seafood in a variety of ways. The day is focused more on preparation with recipes discussed and cooked.
Who should attend
This course is ideal for those who want to learn all the basics of shellfish preparation. Beginners and experienced cooks are all welcome on this day as there is much to learn.
What you take home
All the shellfish that you have prepared during the course of the day and a complimentary cool bag. Recipes prepared during the day will be emailed directly to you after the course.
Can I buy fish?
There will be an opportunity to purchase extra seafood (fresh, frozen etc) during the market visit. We have limited freezer space, but plenty of refrigeration space for storage during the day. Cash is usually required to make purchases as most businesses will not take cheques or cards.