Michel Roux Jnr and Simon Hulstone kick off the Skrei season

16 January 2015 by
Michel Roux Jnr and Simon Hulstone kick off the Skrei season

The start of the Skrei season was celebrated at the Norwegian ambassador's residence in Kensington, London last night at a dinner hosted by Michel Roux Jnr.

The menu - devised by Roux Jnr and chef-proprietor of the Elephant restaurant, Simon Hulstone - paid homage to the Norwegian delicacy. The migratory cod completes an annual journey of thousands of miles, from the Barents Sea arriving at Norway's Lofoten Islands; where it is caught in its prime and in perfect condition.

"We have served Skrei on the menu at Le Gavroche for two years now," said Roux Jnr.

"Skrei is a seasonal fish and we are reliant on the seasons as chefs for our inspiration. But Skrei is not just an ordinary cod; it's something special, the flesh is so white and firm and lean, and it flakes beautifully."

Hundreds of millions of Norwegian cod migrate each year, yet only a small percentage of all landed cod will be branded with the special Skrei tag, which acts as a seal of approval and quality assurance, on its dorsal fin.

Roux Jnr, who introduced the dinner and the dishes cooked by Hulstone, added: "As a chef I always insist on the finest ingredients and Skrei never disappoints. I am proud and honoured to be an ambassador for what I consider to be one of the finest products of the sea."

The menu included a starter (pictured above) of poached Skrei tongues and a croquette of salted Skrei served on braised celeriac and parsley with horseradish buttermilk; and a main (pictured below) of fillet of Skrei with roasted wild mushrooms, smoked eel, braised pig's cheek and roasted Jerusalem artichoke in a red wine bourguignon sauce.

"The tongue of the Skrei cod is a bonus piece of meat," added Hulstone. "And the main is my play on a traditional bourguignon, with the pig cheeks from my farm at the Elephant."

Dessert was a vanilla rice pudding with poached Yorkshire rhubarb, lemon verbena crème and warm madeleines.

Jack-Robert Moller, UK director for the Norwegian Seafood Council, explained: "Skrei season is always a very exciting time of year for everyone in Norway and the fishing tradition goes back thousands of years.

"Skrei has a beautiful story and we are seeing a huge growth in its popularity across Europe year-on-year and we are delighted to share this much-loved delicacy with the UK's best restaurants."

Fishing is a way of life for many Norwegians and each year the annual migration is met with great excitement and celebration. No fish that are caught are wasted; as Norway banned discards over 27 years ago. Norway has the largest cod fishery in the world.

Skrei is only available between January and April. For details visit www.seafoodfromnorway.co.uk

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