Students travel to London to visit the UK’s biggest Fish Market

Hospitality and Catering students from Hugh Baird College’s L20 Hotel School this week travelled to the famous Billingsgate Fish Market in London to feedback to staff there on a hugely successful seafood project they have recently taken part in.

The Fish and Shellfish project was delivered by Billingsgate Seafood School at Billingsgate Market and supported by the authority on seafood, Seafish. The main aim of the project was to enthuse and educate young people about preparing and cooking seafood.

After researching the seafood industry in tutorials and learning how to prepare and cook different kinds of fish, the students decided to put on seafood evening called ‘Into the Blue’ at the College’s L20 Restaurant to showcase what they had learnt to paying customers.

The Billingsgate Fish Market is the biggest Fish Market in the UK. The market sells over 100 different fish from across the globe and has daily fresh arrivals ensuring that competition between traders for the best catch is fierce.

The students were given a guided market visit- looking at the variety and fine tuning their skills to be able to identify top quality fish. With everything from mussels and crab to live eels and humble sardine there was plenty of opportunity to find a fish they had not come across before. After a fish breakfast of Manx kippers, it was time for a pause and a short discussion on sustainability and the different fishing methods.

The trip was rounded off with a visit to the market’s kitchen where the students got to work with more unusual fish and also got to try a wide variety of different fish recipes prepared by the Market’s in house development chef.

Speaking after returning to College, L20 Hotel School student Jess Finneran from Walton said:

“We had all really enjoyed taking part in the Fish and Seafood project and the Into the Blue evening was a massive hit with our customers. The trip to Billingsgate was really interesting. We’d learnt about the industry and the importance of sourcing responsibly so it was good to hear more about these topics from traders in the market hall. The noises, smells and general hustle and bustle of the market was really exciting too. The whole experience definitely gave me more of an insight in to how the journey the seafood we worked with got to us.”

Stephen Otty, Hospitality and Catering Curriculum Coordinator at the L20 Hotel School added:

“The project captured the imagination of the students and the Into the Blue evening at the restaurant was amazing. The trip to the market tied the whole project together perfectly and I’d like to thank the staff at the Billingsgate Fish Market for accommodating us and making the visit so interesting and exciting for the students.”

Billingsgate Market Seafood School Coordinator, Paula Williams said:

“The enthusiasm from students and staff for their project and to see the quality of the dishes they produced for their special menu was fantastic. We hope taking part in the workshop at Billingsgate has encouraged them to continue to develop their knowledge of fish and shellfish and offer regular fish and shellfish options as well as more seafood themed menus.”