Fishy goings on at the Bell and Crown
'Afishionados' ' initiative to get people catching and cooking British fish
Fuller's Brewery and Fishing 4 Food joined forces on Sunday night to provide an entertaining and delicious cookery demonstration at Chiswick's Bell and Crown pub.
The evening was the grande finale of a series of days spent catching and then cooking fish by celebrity fishermen Charles Jardine and Gary Champion.
A sedate Sunday at the Bell and Crown was enlivened by delicious smells and snorts of laughter as Charles and Gary ribbed each other while skillfully preparing fish dishes.
One of the most popular dishes was Trout with Cajun Spices. The trout had been caught earlier that day by Gary and Charles at Ravensthorpe reservoir in Northampton, after which they raced down to Chiswick. Gary detailed how to fillet the trout and made it look incredibly easy. It was only when Ben from the audience was dragged up to the front and made to fillet a fish of his own that we realised it was trickier than first appeared. Charles then rolled the fillets in freshly ground spices and fried them in a ridged pan. The resulting dish was divine. Other recipes were for cold smoked trout and grayling baked in a salt crust.
He recommended buying fish with a sparkling and domed eye. If the eye is dull or sunken, the fish is past its best. In the absence of a fish eye to examine, the flesh should be checked. It should feel bouncy to the touch and a light press with a finger should not result in a permanent indentation. Finally, he said to get right down to the fish and sniff it: there should be no off-putting 'fishy' smell, only a smell of the ocean.
Charles's son Alex, their assistant on the night, proved age is no barrier to enjoying fishing. He began accompanying his father on angling trips at one, held a rod proper at four and had his first fish hook embedded in his finger at five. Eight years later he remains an enthusiast.
If you are interested in a chance to sample the delights of fishing and Fullers, why not take part in their Free Prize Draw? There are more than 30 prizes on offer from a day's fishing with Gary and Charles to a weekend stay at one of Fuller's top hotels. The competition is open to all until March 31st.
For more information about Fuller's award winning ales go to their website WWW.FULLERS.CO.UK.
March 10, 2003