********** Yoshinori Ishii Executive chef of Japanese restaurant UMU in London ******************

------------------ 英国の日本料理店 UMU 総料理長 石井義典 のつれづれなる話 ------------

Friday, 8 June 2012

Chef`s Journey through British fishery in Cornwall Vol.1 活けジメを伝えにCornwallへ小旅行その1

It was last year, under the slogan of "Revolution of Fish & Chips", that I began my challenge to improve the quality of  the fish which is used in London’s restaurants, not only for the benefit of Umu, but also to raise the standard of British markets. Since then, I have come across many prospective participants, mainly from the fishing industry, and after many discussions and negotiations I started to get a clearer idea of who I will be working closely with on this project. In order to have more detailed discussions in person with local fishermen in  St. Ives and to experience very privileged arrangements on the fishing boats, I have decided to once again return to the primary location of this challenge, Cornwall.

(Day 1)
Even though I had arrived in Helston exhausted, after a five hour drive in a rented car, I was so excited just to be near the ocean that I could not help myself but to immediately head to the Southernmost point of the peninsula, Lizard. I strolled through the tip of the cape then tried fishing sea bass with my hand-carried rod, unfortunately what I caught in the end were only small pollack. Nevertheless, accompanied by beautiful weather, I enjoyed myself surrounded by the amazing view of the seafront and summer flowers in bloom.

Just past 8 o'clock, I had arrived at my appointment with local fishmongers Dylan & Mutsuko and we made our way to a nearby pub where we discussed about the local fishery situation over dinner. During dinner they told me that only two sea bass had been caught over last few days by canoe fishing and in fact, they were the only sea bass I came across during this entire trip. This has made me rethink the significance of each season and the importance of taking it into consideration when I create seasonal menus.

“Revolution of Fish and Chip”と銘打って、当店で使う魚、布いては英国の市場に出る魚をより良いものにするためにライフワークとして動き出したのは昨年からですが、昨年訪ねたときから多くの漁業関係者と交渉を重ねた上で幾つかの候補が見つかり、改めてCornwall への旅に行ってきました。昨年冬に尋ねたSt Ivesの魚屋さんも幾人かの釣り人をアレンジしてくださり、また、新たにコンタクトを取ることができたHelstonの魚屋さんに卸す手釣り漁師の船にも乗ることが出来、活けじめの方法を教えることが出来ました。

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