This last weekend the Kilted Lobster collaborated with film maker Zev Robinson, a producer of documentaries around food and sustainability, to create an Interactive Lunch showcasing two of Zev’s documentaries and Chef Colin Hinds hosting a seafood masterclass whilst tucking into the most delicious seafood feast.
The Kilted Lobster are renowned for their ethical and sustainable practices gaining awards that recognise this important work; so it was a great fit with Zev’s documentaries which were predominantly about crofting and fishing; both small scale sustainable livelihoods – The Black Isle and The Fish in the Sea.
Zev is a Canadian film maker now based in Liverpool but during his time as the Artist in Residence in Cromarty, he produced these two videos about life, fishing, sustainability, food and the people. You can watch the both documentary trailers :
Fish in the Sea https://vimeo.com/238357742
The Black Isle https://vimeo.com/255969078
To start us off and to get us into seafood mode, we snacked on canapes of pickled mussels, rocket pancake with freshly wood smoked hot smoked salmon, horseradish and crab belini and a scallop beignet. All delicious and all disappeared within seconds.
During the Black Isle documentary the restaurant was silent as we were all engrossed in the film.
Time for the interactive masterclass in shucking and seafood preparation led by Chef Patron Colin Hinds. Each of us where given a plate consisting of two Cumbrian oysters, two Orcadian scallops and 5 Shetland mussels.
The aim – to learn how to shuck the oysters, open and unhinge the scallops and de-beard the mussels.
The scallops were beautiful; hand dived large white fan like shells protecting one of the most delicate sea foods.
The method of removing the scallops from their shells is called shucking. You need a flat thin fairly flexible knife that you insert between the two shell halves.
Hold the flat side up with the hinge facing into your palm.
Then run the knife along the top of the shell. You’ll feel it hit the meat of the scallop, press a little and you’ll cut through the muscle.
Lift the lid of the scallop shell and you’ll see the white meat and the orange and white roe.
Then slip your knife underneath and cut the muscle and the roe free.
There you have scallops ready to be cooked!
Oyster shucking was next and is not the easiest thing to do. I have a new found respect for chefs that can do this quickly and without injury.
Again it’s about finding a gap between the two shell halves and slipping the small oyster knife inbetween. Keep the flat side of the shell up as the cupped side will hold the oyster and the juice.
Apply pressure, push the knife between the shells and twist it up prising the hinge open.
Then remove the mussel meat from the shell. Sounds simple!
We also learnt how to clean mussels and remove the beards. Any mussels that are open, tap them lightly and they should close, if not discard them.
The plates of sea food were whipped away to the kitchen to be professionally prepared whilst we watched the second documentary, Fish in the Sea.
Then magically out of the kitchen came this wonderful steaming bowl of seafood chowder with a large plump scallop taking pride of place in the centre of the sea of soup. Homemade fresh bread accompanied it and was definitely required in order to lap up every inch of this soup complete with large chunks of haddock, scallops and mussels.
Our main course was massive juicy and sweet Isle of Skye langoustines, lightly battered and sublime calamari, monkfish and a mackerel pate. Wow! A seafood feast indeed.
The afternoon was finished with a Q&A session with Chef Colin and Zev – discussing the future of seafood, sustainable fishing methods, seafish in general and film making.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon spent in good company, eating the best of Scottish seafood, learning how to prep seafood with a good amount of debate, chatter and laughter thrown in.
If you ever see the Kilted Lobster advertising another event, I highly recommend that you book.
Kilted Lobster, 112 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AD.
Tel : 0131 2206677 ww.kiltedlobster.com