Buying whole fish and filleting it yourself ensures a fresher product at a cheaper price. With the skills learned in the hands-on UKSF class, Neil Davidson, chef of Mission Gastroclub and WhipOut! Food Truck, participants took to the knife and learned to break down a fish like a pro! Neil demonstrated different ways fish can be fabricated, using both salmon and black cod. He also showed us how to preserve the fish (in true UKSF style) by smoking fillets as well as poaching some fillets in olive oil.
Fish fabrication, for us new to the term, is the process of taking a fish fresh from the water and breaking it down into easily usable fillets. Neil took us through the process of gutting, cleaning, scaling, trimming, and skinning the fish so that it can be preserved in the most efficient way possible. After the demonstration, each student put this new knowledge to work by butchering a whole black cod themselves.
Maria Finn, author of The Whole Fish: How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Can Make You Healthier, Sexier and Help Save the Ocean, also joined us to speak about about sustainable fishing. Maria has been a commercial fisherwoman and is now a writer living on a houseboat in Sausalito.
Participants left with their fillets and recipes to cook or preserve them at home.