Josh Niland took the stage at Food On The Edge 2019 in Galway Ireland to talk about his nose-to-tail fish revolution and how working at his restaurant Saint Peter in Sydney changed the way he began to look at fish.
When Niland opened his Saint Peter restaurant with his partner, he realized that the workload was too much, so he doubled his kitchen staff. It put a lot of financial pressure on the restaurant, which like any restaurant depends on seasonality for footfall.
With a reduction in customers, high wage costs and low food costs, Niland was forced to explore the opportunity in fish ‘waste’. He began to look fish in the eyes, literally. He started with the eye as an opportunity to create ‘western’ style deliciousness. The eye was transformed into a ‘prawn cracker’ which led to much more.
The eye experiment led him to explore the full potential of fish, with great appreciation from the media and the general public. They began to borrow from Asian cooking, with ingredients like fish sperm.
Describing some of the scientific aspects of fish and its breakdown, which traditionally sees us serve fish with acidic ingredients. By handling fish differently at Niland’s Fish Butchery - not letting the fish contact ice, descaling in a different way, Niland transforms the fish into a completely ingredient, one with a lot more potential than just the fillet, but a nose-to-tail experience that can contribute to more sustainable management of our oceans and a better, more delicious experience in our restaurants.