Hello…long time no see!
Having just returned from a 2 week break in Thailand, i tasted some phenomenal fresh seafood and was hoping to take inspiration from some of the simple but fantastic fresh produce I hoped would be available and affordable in our country…a country surrounded by wild seafood in fresh salt waters!
Large king prawns with lime chilli and lemongrass…roasted in the shells, and served simple with heads on…squeeze the head to release natural juices…boom…what a dish. Great for starters! I have been costing menus since my first head chefs job in 2008, so I was aware of the general prices of these items…not much can shock me these days.. unfortunately the origins of the produce shocked me more than the product itself.
It seems nowadays that we struggle to get our hands on products fished on our own shores. How can I buy king prawns from Asia for less than I can from Cornwall, tenby, Lancashire etc????
Fishmonger are tied up by their balls and forced to send our goods abroad. When we ask for local items, we ate pushed onto shite frozen product sat in chest freezers for 6 months…grey old miserable prawns in a block of ice…makes me sad!
When I had my restaurant in Austria, we would drive once per week to the be nice fish market at Rialto, spend a small fortune, and bring back some Sicilian red prawns…wow…those were the days!
Sorry, I can’t serve the current shite that I am being offered by suppliers. I could no doubt shift them and make money, but as a chef I couldn’t stand over these bloodsucked grey bastards and feel any % of pride in what I would be serving.
Back to the drawing board. It’s not all dark though…I have just found some fantastic smoked haddock, regularly available…so i need to have a think of a nice starter for our next menu!