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Hands on with Fish and Shellfish

from £183.75

Embrace the skills needed to tackle fish and shellfish with confidence and put your new-found knowledge in to practice with some sensational recipes.

In this practical, hands-on course, you will learn all the techniques necessary to prepare and cook a variety of different fish and shellfish with confidence. The River Cottage chefs will share some of their favourite recipes which you'll prepare under their expert guidance.

The course kicks off with the essentials - fish preparation including scaling and filleting different types of fish , flat and round, with a particular focus on knife skills.

Next you will move on to shellfish. Being so close to the sea, we are lucky to be able to source the most amazing local shellfish, seasons and weather allowing. After being shown how, you will practice preparing and cooking bivalves such as mussels and clams and your chef tutor will demonstrate how to pick and cook either a crab or lobster which you’ll enjoy as a little taster.

You will also learn more about the different techniques of fish cookery and your chef will show you how to cold smoke your round fish. Seasonality and sustainability are cornerstones of the River Cottage ethos and our chefs will introduce you to the varieties of fish seasonally available and update you on current sustainability guidelines, advising on how to shop for the freshest fish.

Your day will include a fantastic fishy lunch, with the centrepiece being the flat fish you prepared yourself. As with all of courses, there will time during the day to explore the farm, stroll through the gardens and see where some of your ingredients will have been produced.


- Scaling and filleting two different types of fish

- Cooking two tasty fish recipes

- Preparing and cooking bivalves such as mussels and clams

- An introduction to cold smoking

- A demonstration of how to pick and cook lobster or crab

- A fantastic fishy lunch featuring food dishes cooked by you and the River Cottage chefs

- Teas, coffee and nibbles on arrival

  • Hands on with Fish and Shellfish

    A fantastic experience for all, not to be missed, go on treat yourselves. The skills we learnt were for life, this course has allowed us the confidence to push our selves further, and to experiment with different fish, crab, lobster, along with the added infusion of spices which...

    Paul Attended 16 June 2023

    5.0 out of 5
  • Hands on with Fish and Shellfish

    The Hands on fish and shellfish course was excellent! Chef Steven kept us on our toes and challenged our filleting and cooking skills but very hands on and helpful. So many hints and tips were taught to us, all laid out in a comprehensive pack sent to us later. All the RC staff...

    Miki Attended 23 October 2021

    4.9 out of 5

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your host and settle in with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session One

    Learn to scale and fillet a round fish. This will be cold smoked ready for your to home with you later.

  • Session Two

    Practice makes perfect. You'll next move onto your flat fish and learn how to prep and fillet this different fish type.

  • Session Three

    Under the expert guidance of our chefs, you'll pair your flat fish with season ingredients to create your lunch.

  • Lunch

    Take a break, have a seat and tuck into your seasonal flatfish lunch.

  • Session Four

    To ease you into your afternoon, your chef tutor will demonstrate how to cook and pick the crustacean catch of the day.

  • Session Five

    Next you'll learn how to prep and cook mussels or clams (depending on the fisherman's catch!)

  • Session Six

    To bring your day to and end, you'll create another delicious recipe using the fish you prepared earlier in the day.

  • Departure

    There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before heading back up the hill for 5pm.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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All prices include VAT.

Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

We’re afraid this course isn't typically suitable for those with fish and seafood allergies, however please do get in touch before booking to see if we can accommodate you.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018