Located 50 miles north of Dublin, the medieval village of Carlingford is reputed to be the most picturesque village in Ireland. The Carlingford Oyster Company is a cornerstone of the village, supplying the main ingredient for its annual oyster festival.
It takes around three years for the company to nurture a fully-grown oyster, first introduced to Carlingford Lough at fingernail size and placed in fine mesh bags. Hand-turned at regular intervals, the oysters are handpicked then placed through a purification process for 42 hours to kill any bacteria or viruses that may have been present.
James Knight chose Carlingford as its main rock oyster supplier because of the full flavour of the Company’s oysters. Like wine, oysters gain much of their flavour from their terroir, reflecting the minerals, salinity and the type of algae they eat in the water. A Carlingford oyster is full, creamy and rich with a distinct metallic zing.
Kian Louet from Carlingford Oysters says, “We take pride in producing the best quality oysters we can, currently around 2 million per year. Because of the potential health risks associated with oysters, we have meticulous processes in place to ensure that our products are purified, sampled, tested and tested again to eliminate any risk. It means that James Knight’s customers have peace of mind that they have nature’s finest natural ingredients in their kitchens.”
“My tips on how get the best out of your oyster? First chew it a little! It allows the flavours to fully develop and will help you become a connoisseur. And why not experiment by cooking your oyster, rather than eating them raw – oyster Rockefeller is a classic dish that we never tire of”, concludes Kian.
At the heart of the cold wet Scottish fishing industry lies the traditional fishing port of Fraserburgh. And at the heart of Fraserburgh lies Whitelink Seafood’s, one of the UK’s most advanced and quality-conscious fish processors of monktails and primefish.
80% of the UK fish catch is landed in Scotland, Fish caught overnight and first thing in the morning, are transported quickly too James Knight Of Mayfair for maximum freshness; and graded,prepared for our chefs, before delivery.
In Norway, something extraordinary happens every year. Between January and April, millions of migrating cod undertake their annual journey from the Barents Sea, travelling thousands of miles back to their spawning grounds along the northern part of the Norwegian coast.
As these fish migrate over vast distances, the flesh of these powerful fish becomes exceptionally firm, white and supple. Only the very best of these migrating species become graded as Skrei cod, satisfying very strict criteria:
It is packaged within 12 hours of being caught, making it a premium – yet competitively priced – fish, which has been certified by the MSC.
James Knight supplies Skrei cod when it’s in season, with all fish line-tagged for complete peace of mind.
25 years ago, landing records showed that 5,000 tonnes of Atlantic Halibut were being landed and imported to the UK. Since this time, stocks have been decimated and the wild catch reduced to 500 tonnes per annum.
Recognising the demise of the wild stock, Alastair Barge created a small artisanal farm on Gigha, a tiny Hebridean island. Supported by public and private investment, it has impeccable standards in fish husbandry. It is small in scale, the tanks are roomy and the fish meal is organic, resulting in premium-grade, delicious fish.
“At Gigha, we have adopted a land-based aquaculture system recommended by the Marine Conservation Society. Water is pumped into land-based tanks which have no adverse effects on the surrounding marine environment”, says Alastair Barge.
Alastair says, “For the last 20 years, we have raised what I know to be ‘happy halibut’, where great care has been placed on the welfare of each individual fish. The fish are fed with a certified organic diet using 100% fish trimmings as a source of protein and organic vegetable products as a source of carbohydrate. This also means that no pressure is placed on the global fisheries used for sourcing fish meal.”
“We are blessed to live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, making the most of the resources nature makes available to us. I am very proud that there are many customers of James Knight – both professionals and foodie enthusiasts – cooking our Gigha halibut”.
“My recipe suggestion would be like Nick Nairns’ wild harvest recipe – seared halibut served with a shallot and mushroom white cream sauce’, says Alistair.
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