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Langoustines may be a staple in Mediterranean restaurants, but the biggest and best make the long trip south from Scotland’s less temperate climes BY PATRICK MCGUIGAN / PHOTOGRAPHER ANDERS SCHØNNEMANN FOOD STYLING & RECIPES SEIKO HATFIELD





o holiday on the Mediterranean is complete without sun, sea and shellfish. From Valencia to Naples, southern Europe’s coastline is dotted with family-owned seafood restaurants where crabs, lobsters, clams and oysters are all cracked open and eaten with gusto as diners soak up the sea views. But there’s one lobster-esque shellfish that has a special place in the hearts of many seafood lovers. In Spain it’s called cigala and in Italy, scampo; we probably know it best by its French name, langoustine. And these highly prized crustaceans are, surprisingly, perhaps, caught mainly in the icy waters of Scotland by fishermen like Ian McWhinney. His family has hunted fish in the west coast’s starkly beautiful Gairloch for generations, but today it’s these shellfish that are the backbone of his business, with the majority (after a tiny percentage goes to UK restaurants and retailers) taken by lorry to the markets of Paris, Barcelona and Rome. McWhinney admits it’s a strange situation. “It’s ironic that Brits go on holiday to the Mediterranean and order shellfish from Scotland, as they probably wouldn’t ever eat it back home,” he says. “Everybody has olive oil in their kitchen, but we still haven’t caught on when it comes to langoustines. We need to start a campaign to get Brits to eat their own seafood.” Part of the problem is that langoustines suffer from an identity crisis in the UK. The array of names can be confusing to start with: langoustines, scampi, Dublin Bay prawns and Norwegian lobsters are all one and the same – namely a member of the prawn family called Nephrops norvegicus. Then there’s the fact that the tails of cheap, industrially caught shellfish are often used to make breaded scampi, a dish more associated with pub blackboards than Michelin-starred menus. McWhinney, who lives with his wife and two daughters on a tiny island in the loch, hopes to spread the love for langoustines by taking tourists out on his boat, the Zephyr, to show them traditional fishing methods. The passengers get passports and become honorary citizens of McWhinney’s own spoof country, Islonia (named after children Isla and Iona). “It’s just a bit of fun, but people seem to really like it. We’ve already got a larger population than the Vatican,” he jokes. Langoustines are fiercely territorial creatures (hence the claws), living in burrows on mud flats under the sea. Large trawlers harvest the majority of the British catch; the boats head for the deep waters and drag their nets along the sea bed. “You wouldn’t drag a cow around a field for fours hours, but that’s basically what trawlers do with langoustines,” says McWhinney. “They get stressed and damaged in the nets before they die, and are then often kept for hours on deck and days in the hold.” Passengers on the Zephyr see a much gentler form of fishing. Traps called creels, similar to lobster pots, are baited with mackerel, laid down on long lines on the loch bed, and capture the langoustines alive. McWhinney hauls the creels aboard at regular intervals, then transfers the feisty captives to their own “suites” – compartments



in special tubes that are sprayed with water to keep them alive on their journey to the Mediterranean. “The west coast of Scotland is one of only a few places where this still goes on,” McWhinney says. “There are so many sea lochs, which are shallow and sheltered, that it’s ideal for small boats with creels. It’s very labour-intensive, but people pay more for live langoustines because the quality is so good.” Creel fishing is also far less punishing to the environment. While trawlers tear up the sea bed, indiscriminately hauling up anything trapped by their nets, creels do little damage with little or no by-catch. Immature and pregnant langoustines are thrown back alive to maintain stocks, and the number of creels and days spent fishing are kept at sensible levels. These measures helped the loch gain accreditation under the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) sustainable fishing scheme, but that was revoked in 2011 after boats from outside the area moved in. “We were victims of our own success,” McWhinney reflects. “Because we were fishing in a sustainable way, our stocks improved, but that attracted other boats into the loch. They weren’t signed up to the agreement, so eventually the MSC withdrew our approved status. It drove us crazy. But I’ve continued to fish in the same way regardless – it’s the right thing to do.” HMN ABOVE Fisherman Ian McWhinney with his wife and daughters, Isla and Iona, by Gairloch on the west coast of Scotland

Available from Food Halls, Ground Floor. For more information, download the Harrods Magazine app Patrick McGuigan writes for Square Meal, ShortList and Restaurant


LANGOUSTINE CEVICHE Serves 4 Juice of half an orange (80ml) Juice of two limes (100ml) 12 langoustine tails, cooked, shelled, deveined and halved lengthways ¼ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes 2 medium tomatoes, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes ½ avocado, chopped into 1cm cubes ¼ celery stick, chopped into 1cm cubes ¼ sweet red pepper, chopped into 1cm cubes ½ mango, chopped into 1cm cubes ½ green chilli, finely chopped 2 tsp agave syrup or honey Pinch of cumin Pinch of turmeric Small handful of coriander leaves to garnish

1 Combine the orange juice and 50ml of the lime juice in a bowl. Add the langoustine tails and leave to marinate for an hour in the fridge. 2 Meanwhile, sprinkle the cucumber with a large pinch of sea salt and leave in a colander for 10–15 minutes. Wipe with kitchen paper to remove excess water. 3 Put the cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, celery, red pepper and mango into a large bowl, and mix lightly to make a salsa. 4 In a small bowl or jar, combine the remaining lime juice, chilli, agave syrup or honey, cumin and turmeric to make a dressing. Pour the dressing into the salsa and mix thoroughly. Add the langoustines and 60ml of the marinade. 5 Divide the salsa mix between four glasses, top with langoustines and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately.

Serve with... Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2012, £29.95

Villeroy & Boch Purismo Specials water tumblers £7.95 each



PARSLEY AND BASIL LANGOUSTINES WITH SAFFRON AIOLI Serves 4 For the aioli A pinch of saffron threads 1 egg yolk ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1½ tsp white wine vinegar 200ml rapeseed oil or vegetable oil 1½ tsp lemon juice 1 garlic clove, finely grated Salt and pepper to season For the marinade 3 tbsp virgin olive oil 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped 1 tsp honey ½ red chilli, finely chopped Handful of parsley, finely chopped 20–24 langoustines, halved lengthways Handful of basil, shredded Lime wedges to garnish

1 Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of warm water for 5–10 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the egg yolk, mustard and half a teaspoon of the vinegar. Add the rapeseed/vegetable oil a drop at a time, then gradually increase the flow. Whisk thoroughly with a hand whisk or food processor until all the oil is incorporated. Add half a teaspoon of lemon juice, the garlic and the saffron-infused water. Season to taste, then refrigerate. 3 For the marinade, pour the olive oil into a small bowl along with the anchovies, remaining lemon juice and vinegar, honey, chilli and parsley. Mix well and set aside. 4 Place the halved langoustines on a baking tray and brush the marinade on top. Leave for 30–60 minutes. 5 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Bake the langoustines for around 15 minutes until just done. Top with shredded basil and serve with the aioli.

Serve with... The Lane Beginning Chardonnay 2009, £25.95

Villeroy & Boch Modern Grace serving plate £36.95; Lorca Coquine fabric £62 per metre

LANGOUSTINE, FENNEL, LEMON AND SEA ASTER FETTUCCINE Serves 4 165g Italian 00 flour ½ tsp salt 2 eggs 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced 4 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp lemon juice 10g unsalted butter 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 100ml white wine 20 langoustine tails, shelled and deveined Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 20g sea aster leaves, shredded Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon Knob of butter *Note: you may want to use a pasta machine for this recipe

1 For the pasta dough, mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre, crack in the eggs and gradually mix them in with a fork. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until elastic. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes. 2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. In a separate bowl, sprinkle the oil and lemon juice over the fennel, and season. Put on a baking tray in the oven for about 30 minutes, until slightly charred around the edges. 3 Roll out the pasta dough and make the fettuccine according to the instructions of your pasta machine. Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll the dough as thin as possible, then cut into 6.5mm strips. 4 Heat the butter in a frying pan over a gentle heat and sauté the shallots and garlic for around 5 minutes. Add the white wine, cook off the alcohol for a minute, then add the langoustine tails and parsley. Cook for a further 3 minutes then set aside to keep warm. 5 Boil some water in a large pan, drop in the fettuccine and cook for around 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the sautéed langoustine mixture. Mix in the sea aster, lemon zest, roasted fennel and butter, and toss thoroughly. Season to taste, then serve.

Serve with... Tyrrell’s VAT 1 Semillon 1999, £43 Villeroy & Boch Modern Anmut pasta dish £20.95; Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen napkin £22.95

LANGOUSTINE GYOZA Serves 4 –5 60g organic strong white bread flour 60g plain flour 260g langoustine meat, shelled, deveined and roughly chopped 100g pork mince 10g grated ginger ½ lemongrass stalk, finely chopped 1 egg white 1 tsp sesame oil 2 spring onions, finely chopped 1½ tsp soy sauce 2 tbsp vegetable oil 10g microherbs, such as red amaranth, coriander or shiso Soy sauce to serve Chilli oil to serve 1 red chilli, finely chopped, to serve Note: 700g of langoustine with shells will give you approx. 260g of meat

1 Combine the two flours in a large bowl and add 60ml of just-boiled water. Mix well with a fork to make a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and rest the dough for 30–60 minutes. 2 To make the filling, put the langoustine meat in a large bowl and add the pork, ginger, lemongrass, egg white, sesame oil, spring onions and soy sauce. Mix well by hand until it forms a smooth paste. 3 Divide the dough into 20 small balls and, using a rolling pin, roll into circles about 7cm in diameter. Put a teaspoon of the langoustine filling in the centre and fold the dough in half. Seal the edges of the gyoza with the tines of a fork. 4 Place a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add the vegetable oil. When hot, add the gyoza and fry until the bottom of each is lightly browned. Add 70ml of just-boiled water and place a lid on top of the pan and steam the gyoza for a few minutes. 5 Garnish with microherbs, and serve with a side bowl of soy sauce, chilli oil and fresh chilli.

Serve with... Vouvray Cuvée de Silex, Domaine des Aubuisières 2011, £14.50

Haviland Rambles dinner plate £67; Villeroy & Boch Modern Grace dip bowl £9.50; Christofle chopsticks £67; Lorca Coquine fabric £62 per metre Wine available from The Wine Rooms, Lower Ground Floor. Homewares available from Entertaining at Home and Luxury Home, Second Floor. For more information, download the Harrods Magazine app HAR RODS M AGAZINE


Dynamic duo Italians’ reverence for quality and provenance has helped preserve the heritage of two of its culinary treasures: Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele, both rich and distinctive in flavour, enjoyed on their own or with a glass of wine. Cistercian monks from the Po Valley are thought to have dreamt up the recipe for Grana Padano cheese around 1000AD as a clever way to use excess milk. The cheese’s rich, savoury flavour and hints of nuttiness quickly became sought after and prized among royalty. More than 10 centuries later, the production and farming methods remain virtually unchanged to preserve Grana Padano’s unique qualities. The wheels of cheese must be aged to perfection for at least nine months to receive the fire-branded Grana Padano mark; they may be aged even longer, eventually receiving the highly prized fire-branded Riserva mark when they have been aged for a minimum of 20 months.

Prosciutto di San Daniele is made only from pigs reared in 10 designated regions in northern Italy. The meat is cured for a minimum of 13 months in the San Daniele del Friuli area in the province of Udine. And, much like Grana Padano cheese, only when the prosciutto has satisfied the PDO’s strict production criteria and met the standards of aroma and taste is it branded with the Consortium mark: tiny dots and stamps on the rind. A PDO-certified product guarantees quality, authenticity and traceability. So, while it has become second nature to reach for a shaving of Grana Padano cheese or a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele, it is those tiny dots and stamps on the rind that ensure that what’s inside is the real deal. Available from Food Halls, Ground Floor


10 minutes with Michael Caines

His innovative French cuisine has been a hit all over the world. Now chef Michael Caines’ five-star cooking can be enjoyed at home BY AMY BROOMFIELD / PHOTOGRAPHER ANDY BATE

You’d think that two Michelin stars, an MBE and regular appearances on prime-time television would give a chef a bit of an ego. But Michael Caines is unfazed; down-to-earth and thoughtful, he runs his kitchen with cool control. Having started his career in food at Exeter Catering College in 1985, he spent a year at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, refining his skills under Raymond Blanc and the late Bernard Loiseau – his culinary heroes. In 2006, he participated in BBC Two’s Great British Menu and cooked for the Queen’s 80th birthday, and in 2007 he was voted the AA’s Chefs’ Chef of the Year. Today he is Head Chef ABOVE LEFT Caines at Gidleigh Park restaurant at the five-star Gidleigh Park restaurant, serving what in Devon; ABOVE RIGHT dozens of awarding bodies, from Michelin to Condé Salmon fish cakes; Nast, agree is some of the best food in the UK. He’s BELOW Gidleigh Park also created a range of prepared dishes for Harrods.

When did you decide you wanted to be a chef? My love of food started when I was young. I would always help bake cakes and make Sunday lunch. I didn’t realise food could be a profession until I was 16, and I haven’t looked back. I’m driven, and I’ve been lucky to work with great chefs. What do you love about the job? I enjoy the excitement of cooking, and the fact that you are your own creative force. I also like the variety of skills: managing a business; directing a company; TV and writing work. I’m never bored. Tell us about the food you specialise in. Our food at Gidleigh Park is pretty seasonal; we specialise in all things local and we try to do that in a creative way. My food is a contemporary take on classic French cuisine, but with flavours and cooking styles from all over the world. What can people expect from your dishes at Harrods? Some of them – the fish cake, the terrine of chicken marinated in truffle, shepherd’s pie, a fish pie and lobster salad – are from my upcoming book Michael Caines at Home. We’ve worked with the Harrods team so people can recreate something special at home. What do you think is the biggest misconception about Michelin-starred chefs? That they are egotistically driven, just for Michelin. A lot of chefs work hard to do their best, and Michelin credits them for their efforts. We don’t set out to court Michelin. I think it’s more important to create a restaurant that people like and enjoy. What would your desert island dish be? Maybe a roast chicken, or a lovely lobster salad with garlic mayonnaise. What do you do to relax? I don’t cook if I can help it, but I don’t mind cooking with the children and helping when we entertain. My guilty pleasure is to order in a takeaway. Available from Food Halls, Ground Floor. For more information, download the Harrods Magazine app




Traditional British quality has lost none of its integrity over the centuries. Even new(ish) players meet the highest standards to retain the reputation for excellence BY MIKE PEAKE / ILLUSTRATION RACHEL ESCUDIER


globe-maker, a furniture designer and a silversmith: representative of the best of British craftsmanship, and yet this is a trio with barely 75 years of history between them. If you thought that centuries-old family firms had the monopoly on the country’s most prized creations, prepare yourself for a surprise. Among the best of the UK’s artistic talent are three individuals who, while undeniably inspired by the finest traditions of British craftsmanship, have created their businesses from scratch. Furniture maker David Linley, globe-making newcomer Peter Bellerby, and silversmith Grant Macdonald are living proof that the promise of British-made luxury goods remains a powerful magnet for the discerning buyer. “Britain leads the world,” says Macdonald, who has been turning precious metals into beautiful creations for more than 40 years. “In London, in particular, there seem to be wall-to-wall crafts wherever you look. People come here and search out the best.” X HAR RODS M AGAZINE


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