Knife Skills for Gentlemen

I was introduced to Leiths School Of Food And Wine through a work colleague and I was suitably impressed to book one of their courses for myself.

They offer a range of enthusiast courses of which I chose ‘Knife Skills Chicken and Fish’, mostly because I love gadgets and have recently invested in a decent set of knives after being lured in by the stunning Blok Knives, partly by finding it uninspiring buying packaged fish in supermarkets, also as I often go salmon fishing and would love to put my skills to use when I catch the occasional sea trout.

I really enjoy learning new skills and the opportunity to use my new knives to correctly joint chicken, game and fillet and skin both flat and round fish seemed like a good way to spend a spare Saturday in April so I decided to take part and share my experience on GT.

The course was much easier to follow than I had anticipated and I was pleasantly surprised to see I was far better with a knife than I had imagined. With my original fears of showing myself up out of the way I started to really enjoy the course and was very impressed with our tutor Corrine an experienced chef who has worked at Scott’s Restaurant in Mayfair and a charming host.

The course started with some basic knife holding skills and tips to avoid losing your grip, we then learned how to perfectly joint a whole corn fed chicken which we were able to take home with us. Following this was my favourite part of the course as we were shown two fish techniques, how to fillet a flat fish which was lemon sole and a round fish which was sea bass. We were advised how to check if the fish was fresh but most importantly how to fillet the fish without wasting any flesh or leaving any bones and skin behind. We were also shown how to butterfly a fish which is a technique I will be practising on my forthcoming sailing trip from Athens to Kefalonia.

Butterflying Fish

A Live Demonstration On Butterflying A Fish

At the end of the course our small group ate a light lunch together of our freshly filleted sea bass with a salad and glass of wine, it was a pleasant way to finish off a successful course in which everybody seemed happy and conversation was flowing.

I would definitely recommend a quick course like this to anyone who wants to gain some much needed kitchen confidence and skills. It will certainly provoke more frequent trips to butchers and fishmongers for me where the provenance and quality of produce is undoubtedly far better than supermarkets. The course cost just £150 and can be booked online here.

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