********** 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 ------------

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Cuttlefish fishing in Cornwall紋甲烏賊漁、早春のCornwall

For a brief period of 2-3 weeks, cuttlefish comes to the coast of Cornwall during its spawning season. Cuttlefish, in comparison to other members of class Cephalopod such as squid, has never been favoured in Great Britain, thus has neither been particularly cherished at markets. The fact that cuttlefish, if in its freshest condition, carries extreme sweetness and great texture, very pleasant on tongues, is often overlooked.
At Umu, we began receiving cuttlefish caught by fishermen of Cornwall, with which also an invitation to come and experience the fishing first-handedly. As updating and reassuring continuous practise of special fish preserving skill was too on my to-do list, I decided to visit Cornwall once again, only this time was in early spring.
Bright yellow colour of fields of tender-stem broccoli and deep green of fresh verdure, Cornwall in this gorgeous season of prosper was surrounded by colourful wild flowers and botanicals blooming in profusion. Only weather was being its usual imperfect self.
A technique used for cuttlefish fishing involves sets of trap – a cage one female cuttlefish is pre-captivated in before being laid down – into which attracted group of cuttlefish is lured towards. Unfortunately the trap on this particular day failed to capture any cuttlefish, leading us to practice gill net fishing instead. The final number of cuttlefish captured at the end of the day was, however, more than enough to completely cover us in its ink during performing removal of guts right there on the boat.
Additional entertainment I was privileged to come across was insightful tales told by the captain of the boat called Mario, a born and raised fisherman from Galapagos.
The next day, I took up the duty of preparing dinner to help Dylan and his wife Mutsuko who busied themselves for their pop up store at the farmers market. Using fish that had been freshly landed off the boat and vegetables I’d gotten from the market, I cooked a selection of 5 dishes. 15 cups worth of rice, mixed with sumptuous amount of crabs, were emptied in such a blink that I was stunned by the speed.

If I were able to deliver a sense of joy by my cooking to the family who by supplying the top quality fish makes us happy on daily basis, even if it was only the slightest, would have been my great pleasure.   


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