By 9 o'clock on Saturday morning I was up to my elbows in fish guts and desperately wishing I had practised a bit more restraint at after-work drinks the night before. I was at Billingsgate Market, on a course called "Mastering the Art", a full-day course which teaches the basics of fishmongery and fish cookery.
15 of us spent a few hours in the knife room, learning to gill, gut, fillet and otherwise prepare a range of round and flat fish with an expert blockman, then went next door to the kitchen to cook our own fish and watch some other demonstrations of fish cookery techniques.
I had a great day, and it really took away some of the mystique of preparing and cooking fish; many confident home cooks are slightly intimidated by fish, and this course proved that there's no need for that at all. It was also interesting to see Billingsgate Market in action, and to find out that it's open to the public and so much cheaper than most fishmongers!
I would recommend this course to anyone looking to find out a bit more about fish prep and cookery, whether experienced home cooks or not.