Advertorial: Time to embrace fish by iASC Atlantic Seafood Company

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th September 2014
In 2012, fish was more popular than beef worldwide and its increasing popularity was recently highlighted in a report which revealed that fish now accounts for around 17 percent of the world population’s intake of protein. Now is the time to embrace fish and seafood; chefs need to be maximising every opportunity they can to get seafood dishes on their menus to give diners what they are looking for.logo Fish and seafood’s renewed popularity comes as no surprise as people are waking up to the health benefits of eating more fish. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and hailed as a ‘superfood’, eating more fish is said to help protect against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, improve cognitive and memory function, reduce age-related vision loss and ease the signs of depression. Chefs can easily appeal to health conscious customers and tap into the ‘superfood’ trend by upping their fish and seafood offering. This will not only excite keen fish eaters but attract interest from people who may not normally eat fish. iASC Two-ways codIntroducing fish dishes to menus doesn’t mean you need to invest in a whole new larder bursting with stocks, fonds and over-salted bouillons to flavour dishes. iASC Atlantic Seafood Company has created an award-winning 100% sustainable Irish culinary butter, made from mussels, crabmeat and pure Irish butter, using natural ingredients, including foraged, wild Dulse seaweed. Its versatility means that it can be used in a plethora of dishes such as seafood sauces, shellfish veloutés, risottos, kievs, pies, pasta dishes, hollandaise, rich flavoured glazes, canapés and even in creamy purée potato – proving it is cost effective too. According to food service analyst Horizons, consumers’ tastes are becoming more sophisticated and with an awareness of ethical and health issues relating to food provenance, they have an increasing desire to know the origins of their food.   This has sparked a key trend amongst the hospitality industry to highlight the food source information on menus – which has almost become a selling tool for many establishments.  Consumers feel they can trust the restaurant more knowing where the food came from, hence they are more likely to return. Therefore it is more important than ever before for chefs to know where the products they are using have come from.iASC Surf 'n Turf The increased demand for fish has greatly impacted on our oceans. According to the WWF two-thirds of the world's fish stocks are either fished to their limit or over fished so it’s vital that chefs choose sustainable species from trusted sources for their menus to satisfy customer demand. Species such as Atlantic cod, haddock, wild tiger and king prawns, bluefin tuna and Atlantic wild salmon are some of the most endangered varieties of fish and should be avoided. The good news is that buying certified seafood ensures that chefs are supporting sustainable practices. There are also lots of delicious fish varieties which are sustainable such as pilchards, anchovies, mussels, skipjack tuna and oysters.  Chefs and caterers can keep customers interested by experimenting with these breeds to create new and exciting dishes. As well as buying certified fish, chefs can seek out unusual species to get playful with in the kitchen, such as coley, pouting and pollock, which are all white fish and can be used in place of cod. Cooking with bycatch, which is often discarded, is another great way to up sustainability credentials. Species such as dab, a small member of the plaice family that can be used in similar ways, and gurnard, a firm, meaty fish that's similar to monkfish, are regularly caught unintentionally and chefs can keep customers interested by experimenting with these fish to create new and exciting dishes. iASC PaellaThe range of fish and seafood dishes that chefs can incorporate onto their menus is huge; Vincent Menager, Executive Chef at The Balcon, Sofitel London St James uses iASC Irish Shellfish Butter in his signature dish of native lobster, coquillettes pasta with clams and asparagus, emmenthal au gratin, which is one of the most popular choices on the menu at the prestigious restaurant in the heart of London.  Multiple award-winning chef and restaurant proprietor Pascal Aussignac, uses iASC Irish Shellfish Butter in his ‘snails on the beach’ dish on the Al La Carte menu in his London bistro, Comptoir Gascon. The butter is also being used as a flavour to seafood pasta; one of the chefs using the ingredient is simply tossing some of the butter into a pasta boiler while it’s simmering.  What these, and many other chefs are finding, is that this butter is accentuating the natural seafood flavours: iASC is Umami. Using ingredients which add an aesthetic dimension to help make a dish more visually appealing is also something chefs should be considering, particularly with fish dishes. Fish can be quite tricky to manage on the plate. This again comes back to versatility: chefs that have ingredients they can work with to ensure their house style is achieved means the plating up of each dish is much easier. Finding an ingredient which can be grated from frozen on top, placed on the side as a garnish or simply placed on top of the dish gives chefs licence to create their own signature meal in terms of look and feel, setting them apart from competitors. For more information about iASC Irish Shellfish Butter, please visit http://www.iascseafood.com/

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th September 2014

Advertorial: Time to embrace fish by iASC Atlantic Seafood Company