Fishy Fun

Chef Stephen Billingham (President of South African Chefs Association and Director at CHS) is presenting a “fishy” lecture today at The Capital Hotel School and Training Academy.

First year Professional Cookery students are elated to be in the presence of such an esteemed chef sharing his knowledge on the topic.

Chef Billingham will demonstrate the skill of deboning, filleting and preparing fish for a range of dishes.

Some expert tips from Chef Billingham:

1. Know your fish monger.

It’s imperative to know where the fish is from and how fresh it is.

2. Check your SASSI guide to ensure you only use sustainable fish supplies.

SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) publishes a guide on their website indicating seafood and fish supplies which are under threat of extinction.

3. Look for firm, shiny flesh.

Firm flesh is an indication of freshness and should bounce back slightly when touched.

4. Smell of the ocean

Fresh fish should not smell “fishy”, in fact, fresh fish should have the odor of the ocean (such as a fresh ocean breeze).

5. Stare into its eyes

If the head is on, fresh fish should have clear eyes and should bulge a little.  Stay away from fish with a “glazed over” look.

6. Check the gills.

Gills should be bright pink/red and wet, not slimy or dry.

7. Portions of fish

Fish fillets and portions should be moist (but not slimy) and without any discoloration.

8. Patchy fish?

Look for discoloration, brown of yellow edges and a spongy consistency are all signs of aging fish.

9. Sushi

Never purchase frozen fish for sushi, ensure you use fresh fish for the best quality sushi.  Fresh fish will not disintegrate between your fingers when rolling into beautiful rolls or cones for sushi.

10. Attend a fish lecture hosted by an expert chef.

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