Fresh ‘green’ fish is dish of the day

Chef James Barrett with trout
Chef James Barrett with trout

FISH – it’s the one thing that can’t be locally sourced on most land-locked Sheffield menus. But Barrett’s Bistro has found a way round the problem…

Chef patron James Barrett has come to an agreement with the owners of Mill Farm in Barlow – who run their own fishery. And that means diners at his Hutcliffe Wood Road bistro can enjoy fresh trout that’s been landed just a stone’s throw away, only a few hours earlier.

James has old friend and trainee chef Matt Barker to thank for this handy solution: “He has a crazy passion for food and is also a very keen fisherman. I asked about local fisheries and he took me down to Mill Farm to meet manager Steve Jenkinson,” says James.

The farm, set in 52 acres, boasts eight lakes stocked with home-grown trout and carp.

“The beauty of fetching hand-picked, fresh rainbow trout is that they are literally straight out of the water, just down the road. That means I can produce fantastically fresh trout dishes with a low carbon footprint and support the local economy too.

“I also have the opportunity to forage wild herbs on my way there – wild garlic is in season right now and I love it,” adds James.

The bistro menu changes regularly, according to what ingredients are available. And the Barlow fish are being put to a variety of uses.

Highlights of the current menu include trout pâté with fruit croûtes and caper relish; pan-fried trout fillets almondine with wild garlic pannacotta and Jersey royals; a bowl supper of trout with ginger and scallion noodles; and trout fillets on toast with lime marmalade. James’ next challenge is to set up his own smokery…

Lesley Draper