This post had to be about fish really, it’s been quite a fishy week.

As previously documented we, in Waltshaw Manor, reserve a certain respect for all things Fearnley-Whittingstall. This week, as I know a lot of you have been watching, he has turned his attention to the seas as part of the Fish Fight series on Channel 4. I’m not going to repeat it all, but the man gives a shit and he talks sense, so not only would I urge you to sign the petition but also think twice when buying/ordering certain fish. Me and TOMW stopped buying tuna in any form quite a while ago because it is such a minefield. So little of it can really be regarded as ethical due to by-catch, overfishing, scarcity, or the working conditions for the people in third-world canneries (or sadly, all of the above).

So tuna will not feature on the menu of Cafe Waltshaw I’m afraid. What will almost certainly feature on the menu however, is mackerel because it’s tasty and it’s sustainable. It’s also really cheap – today I bought two whole ones from Sainsbury’s for £1.88 (which almost seems too cheap). Anyway, I have enjoyed putting some of my college knowledge into practice and have filleted them in preparation for tonight’s tea of pan fried mackerel fillets with a potato and vermouth gratin. Of course I took photos of them. I’m such a ponce.

This will not be the only fishy meal of the week. On Thursday we went to Loch Fyne in Covent Garden for a fish supper – partly because I had a voucher (which are still available online if you’re interested), and partly to celebrate booking a holiday to the actual Loch Fyne in April. Hurrah. It’s quite good there, I can recommend it. The menu isn’t particularly imaginative, but the food is good, and the fish is ethically sourced. TOMW said the oysters were particularly good, and she is an expert in these matters. I struggle to get over Jack Dee’s remark that it’s like licking snot off a tortoise.


Last week I went in to college to get some theory done on the computers. The theory isn’t hard, as such, just a combination of common sense and remembering stuff. The hygiene and health and safety stuff is particularly dull and repetitive, but I now know about the bacteria in poo, and the correct way to rinse a J-cloth. I got that stuff done first, so it will feel like a treat to do the tests about actual cooking.

This week we were back in the kitchen for the first time this year. No fish for me but I did, and excuse my immodesty, make the “perfect parfait”. Oh yes. Who’d have thought that pushing a load of chicken livers through a sieve could put such smiles on people’s faces, but everyone seemed to love it. I think Cafe Waltshaw will definitely have some sort of pate/terrine/parfait on the menu, you can prepare them in advance and then slice and serve, maybe with a bit of sourdough toast. Just never ask how much butter goes into it.