Flying Fish Market Report from Day Boat Specialists #1

The  Staff Canteen

Hello and welcome to our ongoing articles......Using our wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion, we will give you an insider's perspective of the fish and seafood world over our forthcoming months, telling what's exceptional and what is best to avoid.  

Flying Fish is absolutely committed to quality. We are dedicated to provide the very best for our distinctive hotels and restaurants with the finest fish and shellfish Cornwall has to offer, which is sustainably sourced, expertly selected and sold over the phone with a smile.

 Here in Cornwall, we are lucky enough to have some of the UK's richest and most varied fish and shellfish supplies. We source our fish daily from local markets in Looe, Newlyn, Plymouth, Brixham as well as speciality products from Scotland and Rungis market in Paris. Our overnight delivery service means we can offer some of the freshest produce available in today's market.


The warmer weather and rising sea temperatures means that we get a surge of sea-life here in Cornwall. These fish live on the soft sand bottom of the seabed their diet consists of crustaceans, squid, and a variety of fish species.  Local Cornish gill netted turbots (often called Butt's in the trade) are just around the corner, which is an exciting prospect. These beautiful fish are probable one of the most prestigious ingredients available from our waters, prized for its firm white flesh and subtle refined flavour. Not a cheap option, but when cooked with a few carefully selected ingredients it makes a very fine meal indeed. What to look for: Small turbot will yield unsatisfying thin fillets (and are to be avoided from a marine conservation standpoint) whilst very large turbot often have slightly tough, thready flesh. Middling-sized turbot, roughly 2½ to 3½ kg, are the most desirable. As with all fish; Look for bright, un-sunk eyes, lovely red gills, and smell of the sea, shiny skin with bright natural colouring.


Native lobsters are just starting to move closer in- shore and are more readily available, this is reflected in the price. Our beautiful lobsters are pot caught from the Atlantic coast of Newquay (a traditional method dating make many years). If you love seafood, you will almost definitely find lobster to be one of the tastiest and most special types. The lobster looks almost regal, and you know with a glance it is going to be succulent and bursting with flavour. Lobster is best served simply and sympathetically with subtle complimentary flavours. What to look for: First and foremost ensure that the lobster is full of life and is not limp.  Ensure that the lobster is of the legal minimum size (European lobsters take around five to seven years in the British Isles to reach the minimum landing size of 87 mm carapace length). Lobsters with any eggs in the tail should be avoided as these should be returned to sea when caught to preserve future stocks.

John Dory

John Dory or St Peter is found in European waters, this incredibly odd-looking fish has an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. It is an expert hunter, stealthily approaching its prey head-on. In this attitude, its thin body is almost invisible and it can approach other fish closely. When it comes within striking range, it shoots out its protrusible jaws and engulfs its victim.  The John Dory's flesh is delicate and mild and can be cooked in a variety of ways. It often lends itself well to pan frying as the flesh is beautifully firm, yet refined. The fish vary in size from 2/300g to 3kg, and often don't grow larger than this.   What to look for: The fish should be firm to touch not soft.  As with all fish; Look for bright un-sunk eyes, lovely red gills, and smell of the sea, shiny skin with bright natural colouring and slightly slippery to touch. Discoloured skin an, offish smell and/or pitted eyes and soft flesh are tell-tale signs of an older fish.
In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th May 2011

Flying Fish Market Report from Day Boat Specialists #1