Earlier in the summer, Outlaw’s Grub Club ran a number of small, friendly and informal fish filleting workshops (plus lunch at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen) with local fisherman and supplier to Nathan’s restaurants, George Cleave.

Meeting outside Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, there were six of us, a few who had done cookery courses before and therefore had some knowledge on how to fillet a fish, plus one who had never done anything like this before, a complete novice. So a good mix of knowledge, skill, excitement and nerves.

As soon as we walked into the fish cellars and George’s workshop, all nerves were put aside. With George’s easy and relaxed manner, it suddenly felt like anything was possible under his direction.

A variety of fish caught that morning was on display and George explained the different types of fish and the techniques used locally to catch the fish.  From Gurnard and Monkfish to Mackerel and Sole, we were also shown what to look for in terms of quality and freshness.

We were then shown to our work stations, given an apron and a very sharp filleting knife, courtesy of Robert Welch and presented with our first fish.

Over the course of the next hour, George expertly showed us how to fillet a Monkfish and a Sole, two very different types of fish that require totally different methods of filleting. We then all had a go at filleting these fish ourselves with varying degrees of success!

At the end of the workshop, we were allowed to parcel up our fish and keep them to take home to cook. George even gave us some very simple, quick ideas on how to cook the Monkfish and the Sole.

By this time we had all worked up a good appetite and we were shown back to Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and to our reserved tables. Enjoying the Fish Kitchen to share menu, it was accompanied by a delicious and well-deserved glass of wine. Experiences were shared and friends made, a wonderful way to spend a Saturday in Port Isaac.