The joy of eating freshly caught fish or shellfish straight from the sea is an experience like no other. A big plate of fresh langoustines, oysters, crab and mussels is the kind of dish I love to share. One of my favourite ways to entertain is to gather friends and family together and place a dish like this in the middle of the table as everyone helps themselves and gets stuck in, and I find there’s always lots of laughter to go with the meal.
Some of my favourite food memories also come from fishing as a young boy. I spent summer holidays discovering the Scottish coast with my family. I have many fond memories from this time and I especially remember the excitement of going mackerel fishing. I still get that buzz today when I go out fishing with my own children. To come across a school of mackerel and pull them up by the dozen is a truly rewarding feeling. My wife, Michaela, and I love creating food memories for our four young boys, and we especially treasure the journey of fishing, gutting and barbecuing our catch, before eating it as fresh as it can possibly be.
People who follow my cooking know that as much as simple pleasures give me a lot of joy, I’m not scared to push the boundaries and I’m always seeking out lesser-known produce or flavour combinations. I want to help people break the shackles of ‘I only like salmon’ or ‘I don’t like fish with bones in it’, and experiment with their own cooking, to discover new species, new dishes and new flavour.
For me, fish or shellfish makes the perfect quick-and-easy mid-week meal but I also nowadays find myself enjoying fish when my wife and I are entertaining, as it is so straightforward to bring together a meal that looks impressive, tastes delicious and is ideal for sharing.