Rick Stein’s Padstow Seafood Cooking School
I attended the 4-day long seafood course at Rick Stein’s school in Padstow last year. It was super! I had a pretty sweet room above the Seafood Restaurant, just a few minutes walk away from the school. Padstow isn’t a crazy party place but it is very pretty. The course included hands-on training on cleaning, gutting, filleting and preparing various fish and seafood. The highlight had to be the lobster and the low point was gutting the squid (absolutely grimey – think the combined slitheriness of an army of snakes in a swamp).
My favourite dish was the warm salad of monkfish and tiger prawns with a fennel butter vinaigrette. The chilli, fennel and vinegar combine to give a subtle smokey-spicy flavour to the seafood.
We got to the seabass on the third day. While filetting the fish I had noticed some brown spots all over its gut. I asked the chef what it was and he answered “Oh those are just parasitic worms”. “JUST”?? Of course I wasn’t going to have any of it. He said that cheaper restaurants would still serve it as when it is cooked it takes on the colour of the flesh of the fish. I still wasn’t going to have any of it. “Look at the bright side, at least the fish is so fresh that the worms are still alive”. Nope, still not having any of it.
Neverthless, my parasitic worm-free sea bass with fennell and sauce vierge turned out zesty, zingy and tasty.