Josh Niland, the Aussie fish butcher, made an impression on Masterchef Australia this Sunday by effortlessly breaking down a kingfish into more prime cooking cuts than you could think possible, in front of the awestruck contestants and judges.
The chef and owner of fish restaurant Saint Peter in Sydney, and Masterchef guest judge, was introduced onscreen as a legend when it comes to butchering a fish. His ensuing cooking demonstration paid testament to what has made him a respected name in global gastronomy.
First scaling, gutting and "negotiating the organs out" of the king mackerel before scissoring away the collar from the gill and breaking down the fish further into a sum of edible parts, his deft Japanese-influenced knife skills made it more like a work of art than butchery.
Starting at the tail end, he makes light work of the large kingfish turning it into a puzzle of pieces; the shank of tail, two darnes or cutlets, a butterflied belly (full of fat and flavour), a boneless sashimi centre cut loin, tail chop, a four point rack and two double cutlets, as the contestants looked on awestruck.
While the Daily Mail newspaper has reported the visceral horror some viewers felt, others were mesmerised by his technique and skill with the presenters commenting on the rarely-seen ingenious scaling and gutting technique used by Niland. As the no-waste chef explains, even the scales go to use in his Sydney restaurant in a fish fat caramel chocolate slice.
Josh Niland has become world-renowned for starting a revolution in the way we think about fish, deploying his head to tail fish butchery skills and highlighting how to give maximum respect to ingredients from the ocean. He also recently won a James Beard Award for his cookbook The Whole Fish Cookbook.
Watch Josh Niland break down the kingfish in the Instagram video below:
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