A Wonderful Evening
One of my passions in life is food, having been born into the restaurant industry it's in my blood. I love food markets, cooking with good quality fresh produce that I can feed my family and friends, after all it's all part of my Greek-Cypriot roots to feed and entertain en-mass.
Even more, I like to take the opportunity to combine two of my passions in life, photography and food! When I'm not photographing people or classic car collections I like to indulge in some fine dining and to capture those moments forever (give me a commission to photograph food from field to plate and I'd be one happy lady).
On Wednesday 21st May I went to Rocco Forte’s Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, London's oldest luxury hotel for an entertaining evening with Mark Hix for his Fish n Hix master class. My photographs show an account of what happened next, this may inspire you to try it too.
Our host Mark Hix owner of Hix Oyster & Chop House and Tramshed entertained a group of nine of us, on how to prepare and cook some of his signature dishes. Located in the plush surroundings of the Niagra room he took centre stage at the head of the table with one cooking ring armed with the appropriate knives, scissors and tweezers.
What’s For Dinner
We were wowed with the quality of produce and the attention to detail that Mark is known for. He explained where he likes to source his produce from and uses sea vegetables where possible, in particular samphire, stonecrop, sea purslane, sea beet and sea aster, which really complemented the flavours of the fish.
We were served by a group of discreet and efficient waiters who made sure our wine and water glasses were always full, and service swift and attentive.
Mark started with a demonstration on how to prepare ceviche using fresh whiting fillets, a fish often under used but very tasty and lends itself to this recipe using the acidity of the lime to ‘cook’ the fish.
Followed by smoked salmon, we had a go at slicing under Mark's guidance and watchful eye, super sharp knives guaranteed you could glide the knife diagonally through this slab of heaven. The fillet of salmon once pin boned is smoked on site at Brown's. For his restaurant in Selfridges he told us he has a shed that sits on the roof where he can smoke his salmon to perfection. The salmon was moist, not oily, very lightly smoked and served with soda bread.
The red and white wines accompanying the courses were sourced in Portugal by Mark and his friend, restaurateur, chef and food writer Mitch Tonks. They have named their wine 'Tonnix' a combination of their surnames, the labels on the bottles designed by friend Tracey Emin.
We were also shown how to fillet and bone fish with a few tricks to make this less time consuming. Take a look at the menu below to see what followed, each dish was light and flavoursome and relatively easy to prepare at home. Mark is a lover of rapeseed oil, we were encouraged to drizzle this on our fish, in particular the salt baked sea bass and chargrilled brill.
The gurnard was prepared and cooked in paper pouches and was a tasty conclusion to this gastronomic event.
The photographs I've taken are a snapshot of the evenings events over the two hours showing Mark at his best, he was entertaining and happy to answer all our questions and share his culinary experiences. I used my Nikon body with a 24-135mm lens and a mixture of daylight and bounced flash with a high ISO.
Thanks Mark for a great evening, next on the agenda is to try your meat master class.
- Marinated Newlyn whiting with chilli and plantain crisps
- Albemarle smoked salmon 'Hix cure' with Corrigan's soda bread
- Isle of Barra cockles with Burrow Hill cider and smoked Orkney bacon
- Salt-baked St Margaret's Bay sea bass with buttered seakale
- Chargrilled whole Start Point brill with aura potatoes and béarnaise sauce
- Paper-baked Lyme Bay gurnard with steamed coastal greens
- Strawberry jelly and fool
We left the evening feeling comfortably full with a generous goodie bag containing a signed cookery book, an apron and a bottle of rapeseed oil. Not forgetting lots of inspiration for future cooking .
I can highly recommend a Fish Master class Browns Mayfair.
Anyone for fish?
Bye for now.