You shall have a fishy, on a little dishy …
I've recently returned home from three weeks away, visiting Prague, Nice and finally Marseille. I am guessing that it will come as no surprise to hear that, as a greedy Food photographer, food played a major part of my travels…
Prague highlights included the fabulous Cafe Imperial with it's Art Nouveau mosaic walls and Modern Czech fine dining, the Bakehouse was the best place for coffee and pastries, and we had a brilliant brunch in the Cafe Savoy, with its vast glass window into the bakery so you could watch the intricate cakes and pastries being made. "Just like in Ratatouille" my 4 year old declared.
The Nice week of the holiday was in a hired Gite, so most of the food was cooked by the big group of friends we shared it with, and turned into quite a fierce cooking contest. Scallop and Chorizo kebabs, Lamb Ragu on fresh Linguine, baked Camembert & roasted Garlic cloves. Masterchef eat your heart out.
But the highlight for me came in Marseille, when we stumbled across the daily Fish Market in the Old Port. Every day the local boats head out to sea around 5am, and come in to crowds of expectant locals all waving their money in the air in the hope of bagging the best of the catch before the restauranteurs swoop in.
As each boat pulled up along the harbour wall, the contents of their crates were poured into blue fish boxes marked with the name of the boat, and a fierce bidding war would ensue, overseen by the sharp eyes of the fishermans wives.
Lobsters, Red Mullet, huge Tuna fish, Bream and Grouper were bargained for and then weighed and cleaned, the blue crates emptying out as fast as the fishermen could fill them. Buckets of prawns, mussels and oysters were poured into plastic bags and carried off, still dripping with ice, to a Provence kitchen to be turned into dinner.
We were staying in a small apartment, without the wherewithal to store or cook such treasures, so I had to make do with photographs rather than actual fish until later in the day when we found a gem of a restaurant which let you build your meal by pointing to the fish you wanted from the crates they had bought that day, then cooking it to order for you. Fishy heaven on a plate.
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- August 26th, 2014