Herring season kicks off

Hi Everybody

The holidays are now well and truly behind us, the food festivals are becoming a distant memory and it’s now party time with the run up to the Christmas festivities.

November marks the start of the British herring season. Our filleters will be performing major abdominal surgery once the season gets going, when they will be separating the herrings from their roe. Herring roes have become a very fashionable London restaurant dish and anyone interested in supply should give me a call.

It was with great interest last week that I read that Sainsbury’s are to start selling smoked sardines as an alternative to the traditional kipper. An attempt they say to win over those put off by all those fiddly bones. Well as some of you may already be aware we have been producing “skippies” or smoked sardines for some time now. These tasty mini kippers are ideal for canapés or 3 on a slice of toast with a poached egg make an ideal start to the day. Anyone interested in more info give me call.

Last week the Environment Agency, as part of an on-going project to re-establish a sustainable Atlantic Salmon population in the river Severn, released 60,000 young salmon into the tributary rivers Teme and Leadon. This was on top of the 75,000 released into the river Severn some weeks earlier. During the fishing season this year we supplied the environment agency with the weights and scale samples from all the fish we bought caught on the Severn. The scales are like a fingerprint and the agency is able to determine how old the fish are, how long they spent in fresh water before migrating out to sea, how quickly they grew and how long they spent at sea before returning to the river. We hope that in the not too distant future the Severn will be one of the first sustainable salmon fisheries in the UK.

I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is watching “Master Chef.” I’m fascinated by the seemingly endless supply of talented youngsters who want to become Michelin starred chefs.
When asked what’s your ambition they invariably reply, “to open my own Michelin starred restaurant one day.” The camera pans to Michele Roux who smiles approvingly. A shiver goes down my spine, don’t they know the path to the holy grail of Michelin stars is littered with infinitely more failures than success. I applaud their skills but being a good cook is only part of the equation. They must learn the skills of delegation, man management and understanding the difference between profit and loss. Taking a partner who understands the business side of things can be a costly mistake, ask Gordon Ramsey, his partner and father-in-law is reputably responsible for a 1.5 million black hole in their accounts. One wonders how recently Gordon learnt how to read a balance sheet.

Anyone who fancies a tour of the smokery before the Christmas season gets under way do not hesitate to give me a call, visitors always welcome.

More news soon.

Dai Francis