Magpie chef showcases larder at sea

Head Chef at The Magpie Paul Gildroy''w132505
Head Chef at The Magpie Paul Gildroy''w132505

Head Chef at the Magpie Café in Whitby, Paul Gildroy, joined six other award-winning chefs at Europe’s biggest seafood market to showcase a suite of new recipes celebrating UK’s most sustainable home caught seafood.

Dubbed the Magnificent Seven of Sustainable Seafood, recipes for crab, coley, gurnard, hake, megrim, mackerel and plaice were crafted into a variety of exciting, easy to cook dishes, with Gildroy focusing on a recipe for coley with borlotti beans.

The Deck to Dinner initiative is being run by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) following new research, which has revealed that despite two-thirds of us now eating fish once a week and supermarkets reporting increases in wet fish sales, the majority of us (90%) are only comfortable cooking familiar fish that is pre prepared.

All chefs were filmed creating their recipes with both videos and recipes available to view on our website.

Coley, a member of the cod family and a popular alternative to cod itself, has a flaky texture when cooked and offers a fine flavour when eaten fresh. Also known as saithe or coalfish, coley is one of the least expensive fish in the cod family. Coley stocks are healthy and fluctuating around Maximum Sustainable Yield, the gold standard for sustainable fishing.

Gildroy’s recipe combined fresh coley with borlotti beans to create a unique gourmet dish that is sustainable, healthy and cheap and easy to prepare.

Pairing it with ham hock and garnishing with langoustine tails and spring onions, his recipe delighted fishermen and other chefs alike during the event held in the heart of London’s Billingsgate Market.

Gildroy, whose restaurant the Magpie Café regularly wins national awards for the quality of its fish and chips, said: “This event is a perfect way to showcase the enormous variety of fantastic fish caught by our fishermen.

“The whole campaign mirrors our own ethos that there are so many wonderful tasting fish out there it’s a shame to limit ourselves to the same few each time.”

Statistics released last month by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) show there has been a ‘dramatic reduction in fishing pressure’ across North Atlantic commercial fish stocks as a result of strict management plans.

To see the video of Paul Gildroy and the other chiefs following the Deck to Dinner initiative, click here