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If you were tucked up keeping warm at home on Friday last week you may have seen Jamie & Jimmie's Friday Night Feast on Channel 4 that featured me and Hong, (whom I've been fortunate enough to work with since the beginning in 1994), cooking up dishes made with generally under-used parts of fish (well…Hong was doing the cooking to be precise!) Jamie was keen to highlight the waste we inflict on nature in our desire to eat only selective parts of a beast – the fillet for example. The UK wastes perfectly edible parts of a fish such as its liver or its head, and on top of that, we waste entire species like horse mackerel or dogfish. In Japan of course none of this would go to the bin; it would be positively relished. We hope you've noticed our acknowledgment to the traditions of Japanese cooking and have tried some of the more esoteric dishes on our menu such as the prawn heads and monkfish liver, as well as dog fish masquerading as eel.

Jimmy emphasised the nutritional value we abandon in discarding these less popular parts, from the omega 3 oils in the salmon skin to the minerals and vitamins in the prawn heads and monkfish liver.

Aside from having great fun working with Jamie and Jimmy for the day (thanks guys), it is fantastic to see these issues being brought into the public's conscious. What we chose to eat, does after all, shape the world we live in.

To catch us on Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast click here.

Menu Spotlight - Prawn Head Crispies

We stopped using standard farmed prawns for our ebi nigiri sushi where traceability on the product was virtually zero – implying to me that they could be some of the worst farmed prawns from Vietnam and Thailand, low in nutrition, full of antibiotics and damaging to mangrove habitats. We found a prawn that is farmed in New Caledonia that harvests only once a year, are farmed in natural lagoons, don't use antibiotics, are fed on natural feed and are not intensively stocked. Though heaps better than our previous prawns, they are still farmed. My hope this year is to find a sustainable wild-caught prawn. Not an easy task given that prawn fisheries are often the most wasteful fisheries in terms of discards. Because prawns are small, the mesh on the nets has necessarily to be small, too, so lots of larger fish get inadvertently caught. And because prawns are expensive, the fish aren't worth bringing to shore so get thrown away dead, back in to the sea. So the challenge is to find a wild prawn that does less damage to the seas than a well-managed farmed prawn. And the added complication is that the wild prawns often don't sit neatly on top of a small piece of rice!

The outcome of switching to the better farmed prawns is that rather than arriving in pre-prepared plastic trays of prawn tails, they came whole, so after we'd made the nigiri sushi, we had lots of prawn heads going into the bin. And hence, the prawn head crispies were born! Being able to charge a little (£1.90) for the prawn heads has made it easier to bare the significantly higher cost of the better farmed prawns. A big thank you to our customers who enjoy eating them! You are in turn helping us to be able to afford serving the more ethical prawns.

That's all from me, but I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments on the menu or a recent experience.

Caroline Bennett
Founder & owner

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