SPOTLIGHT: Luke Thomas on Cooking Fish
Luke Thomas is an award-winning celebrity chef and author, who at 15 won Future Chef before becoming the UK’s Youngest Head Chef at just 18. He’s about to launch his flagship venue in London, is the founder of Retro Feasts in Dubai and is regularly seen on TV shows in the UK & USA.
For Luke, it all started with his Grandmother. From the age of three, he took a keen interest in food and spent many evenings after school at a plastic red table preparing vegetables that they’d grown together in the garden. Luke recounts that “Back then, food hadn’t revolutionised in the way it has today, there was no ‘quick bowl of pasta’, ‘sexy salads’, ready-meals or Deliveroo so, every day we cooked really hearty British family comfort food…. slow and low casseroles, braised meats, simple fish pies and lots of comforting puddings with super thick custard. So food has always been a big part of my life.”
Later, Luke took his inspiration from Jamie Oliver, who he told us “…really resonated with me. He made food accessible, fun and, in my view, has changed the way people eat, cook and live around the world, so Jamie is someone I admire beyond belief.” Luke has also been lucky enough to work with many others who have inspired him, including Adam Perry Lang, a chef from the USA who taught him a lot about meat, the art of cooking it brilliantly and how to get killer flavour into it.
If you’ve been apprehensive in the past when cooking fish, or love fish but are never brave enough to cook it at home, then Luke’s workshop is for you. Here are some of his top tips for cooking fish:
“It all starts with quality, always get great quality fish first and foremost. Then don’t be too ‘flashy’ with the recipes. When cooking fish think about Strawberries and Cream – when you get the best English strawberries and the best cream, it’s generally as good as it gets. With fish, buy great quality fish, use good oil, Malden sea salt, lemon and butter – cook the fish well (but don’t overcook it) and you’ll have happy eaters queuing up every time!”
Once you have the basics, Luke encourages cooks to be creative; “Once you start to perfect the cooking techniques, be creative and try with other fish, mix up the ingredients and have fun!”
Luke is particularly excited about launching his workshop because of the way that the platform allows users to engage with the mentor in a personal way through simple, short clips rather than long boring cookery lessons.
When it comes to what Luke is looking forward to on Workshop, he is hoping to be able to learn how to recreate some super authentic, globally inspired street food; quick and simple dishes, humble ingredients and the story of where they’re from and how they were first created. Luke told us “The history of how street food and culture began always fascinates me and I think it’s a trend in food that will never die.”
Find out more about Luke’s Beginners Fish Workshop here.