Sunday, 24 May 2009

Fruits de mer

I remember going on holiday to Brittany as a student – the seafood was to die for (in fact one of my colleagues had some bad mussels and almost did) ... I lived on crab and langoustines for a couple of weeks, though it was a shame about the weather and the accommodation, as I was sleeping on a bathroom floor to avoid paying for a room. Since then, I’ve enjoyed fruits de mer the world over and I’m happy to say that now you can even find spectacular shellfish platters in the UK – especially in our great culinary capital, London.

I love razor clams – the best I've ever had were probably at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall...Very garlicky with breadcrumbs on top, presented in a stylish heap that oozed the understated charm of traditional English seaside holidays. Ummm… I can smell them now.

I like seafood that’s quite simple – some nice chargrilled squid with chilli oil – they do this really well at Le Caprice (served with perfect pommes allumettes, ahhhhh…), though my favourite version of this dish was in Ischia at an authentic little restaurant overlooking the sea called Alberto’s – not sure if it’s still there?

Having worked for a Japanese company many moons ago, I’m still curious about the Japanese fondness of sea urchin...

a taste I have never acquired and I wonder if this curious sea creature could have been the cause of the mysterious collapse of George Bush senior at a state dinner in Japan in 1992?

Curiously though, I adore whelks with lashings of fresh mayonnaise - something of a rarity at restaurants in London. I’ve had many a punnet on promenades and piers at seaside resorts – and would definitely recommend Southwold as a destination for all serious whelk lovers. Anyone know where I can find these in my home town?

If you’re a fan of abalone, or any other of these seafood delicacies, I have a feeling you might also appreciate the stunning creations by talented jewellery designer, Ornella Iannuzzi, that are currently available at ShopCurious.

Her beautiful pieces include precious sea drop earrings, precious coral earrings and pendants, a ‘merveille oceanique’ sea-urchin inspired ring and unusual Tahitian pearl and red coral ‘Sarnus Metamorphosis’ earrings.

These unique accessories are very special and timeless in their appeal, as well as being collectable as pieces of fine jewellery - and they could also prove to be a very good investment for you and your children.

All this talk of food has left me feeling really hungry and I’ve a rather overwhelming urge to go out to eat. Before I go, I’ll leave you with this image - more Jacques Cousteau than Rick Stein, but this illustrates how much I'm inspired by the natural beauty of marine life... when I’m not eating it.

Are you?

No comments: