At the weekend we headed to Hastings to spend a bit of time with my mum before her treatment kicks off. It happened to fall over the weekend of the Hastings Seafood and Wine festival. The weather was a bit grotty on the Saturday, but that didn’t stop us all enjoying ourselves.
The event showcases local produce – fish, wine, vodka, potatoes – lots to choose from! There were plenty of stalls to check out and lots of food and wine to sample.
For me, the event highlight was the course provided by Billingsgate Seafood Training School – Classroom on the Coast. The class was lead by CJ Jackson and she was clearly very passionate about her seafood school and hugely knowledgeable on fish.
We had the opportunity to learn how to prepare fresh fish. The fish was very fresh – caught that morning by the local Hastings fishermen. We learnt how to use the knife, how to prepare the fish, how to identify a healthy, fresh looking fish and how to keep the kitchen from smelling fishy! For £2, this was an awesome hour.
It is important to understand the process that happens to get food on your plate, this was a great eye opener.
Once we had learnt the basics, we had a chance to prepare our own fish, fill it with butter and take it home for dinner. We didn’t have to gut the fish, but we were given advice about the fish we had (Plaice) and similar fish and what to look for. CJ explained to us what to look for in a fish, to see if it is fresh. This was hugely helpful and recently made me walk away from a Tesco fish counter purchase!
Now that I live in Hampshire, I miss the sea and I think Hastings has an amazing wealth of tasty seafood on offer that shouldn’t be missed. These types of festivals and classes really help to highlight to locals and visitors just what is on offer.
If you get a chance – go visit next year.