A GROUP of top chefs from the UK with a total of 10 Michelin stars between them have just returned from a fact finding trip to northern Norway to look at skrei, the country’s specialist variety of high quality cod.
They all include skrei on their menus when the fish is in season, but went to Tromso to learn more about how the fish is processed and packed before being sent overseas.
Michel Roux Jr from La Gavroche in London, which has two Michelin stars, said: ‘It’s amazing that a whole industry and so many skilled chefs can gather around a single product.’
Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, head of the Norwegian Seafood Council mission in Britain, who organised the trip, said he believed such visits were important ‘to give influential cooks a good understanding of the history and crafts of one of our finest raw materials’.
‘We believe in telling where our products such as skrei come from as well as showing their unique quality. In this way, the chefs are able to pass on the story to their restaurant guests.
‘We also hope they will inspire young talent to look at the quality Norwegian seafood has to offer.’
During the visit, local chefs showed off their culinary skills to their British guests by preparing a special dinner.
The skrei variety of cod arrives off the Norwegian coast after a long journey from the Barents Sea between January and April each year.
The Seafood Council said it is increasingly been sought after by leading restaurants around the world, which is why exports to France, Italy, Spain and the UK are on the rise.
White fish was also in focus when the Seafood Council was invited to a masterclass at the prestigious cookery school of Alain Ducasse in Paris.
Top chef Alan Geaam, who was celebrating receiving a Michelin star for his newly opened restaurant, was able to tempt specially invited French fishermen with inspirational dishes made of Norwegian white fish.