Alaska Under the Lens by Adam Reid
As brand ambassador of Alaska Seafood in UK, I’ve been experimenting with different species including halibut, black cod, roe, and king crab. Since coming back from my trip to out there last year, the kitchen at The French has become somewhat of a seafood laboratory!
We are hosting an immersive lunch – in partnership with The Staff Canteen – at The French to taste and experience the flavours of some of Alaska’s most premium seafood served with a side of virtual reality. The finer details of which I’ll keep under wraps for now.
But for the pre-event filming and teaser clips it dawned on me, what do I cook? Which fish is my favourite? Which is WOW? What is WOWER than WOW?
So I started playing around with a few ideas but I found myself looking at the indoor BBQ (my standard failsafe…) and a pot of the beef and onion butter we serve with our bread basket at The French. I find myself questioning whether or not a gorgeously light piece of lean whitefish will barbeque in beef and onion butter. Yum or glum?! Only one way to find out I guess.
As it turns out, the combo doesn’t just pass for a quirky dish with eclectic flavours, but actually ends up being so damn tasty! We have the basis of a dish and not just one which shows off the quality of Alaskan halibut, but one which also imparts the flavour and personality of my cooking. Is this the winning dish for film?
I can’t stop there so I start playing around with crab legs and black cod as well. The black cod is so beautifully rich and oily without being greasy. I really like the taste and textures of it when I hot smoke the black cod, flake over a confit egg yolk with burnt onions and a beef broth (yes, beef again, I can’t seem to escape it).
So the crab legs. That experience didn’t go so well. They burnt on the barbeque. But I have a cunning plan for the future…
I went for the wild Alaska halibut and the filming with The Staff Canteen’s production crew goes to plan. It looks delicious, smells delicious and tastes, well… I finished the dish with a pesto made from pickled ramson capers, Westcombe cheddar, hazelnuts and parsley and then garnished with some tempura fried cavolo nero. Excellent.
I’ve got the flavour. I’ve caught the Alaskan bug and I can’t wait for The French to open its doors for what will be, I’m sure, a great event.