Who’s For Dinner With Dale Pinnock, ‘The Medicinal Chef’?

 

Celebrity Chef Dale Pinnock AKA ‘The Medicinal Chef’ has been working as the Alaska Seafood ambassador to help raise awareness of the health benefits of wild seafood in the diet and to increase confidence in fish cookery. He is an advocate of seafood due to its rich nutritional constitution. He shares his culinary journey and career in this inspirational journey.

dale pinnock

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where does your love of food come from?

This has really been a lifelong love of food. From as far back as I can remember. I have always loved flavour and variety.

How did you start your career in food? Please describe your journey.

I have been cooking literally since the age of four, but actively working in the industry since I was 16. I have done every role in the restaurant from pot-washing and starters, through to head chef and also front of house. So working with food has been a big part of my life. In terms of the current way in which I work with food, the seeds were sown at a similar age when I battled with acne. I eventually started reading up on nutrition, read over a thousand books on it and became switched on to the fact that nutrition represented a way in which we can actually actively engage in our own health care. So I eventually went to University, my first degree was Human Nutrition, I then went on to do a second degree in Herbal Medicine, and finally a Post Graduate degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey.

You have recently become an ambassador for Alaska Seafood. Can you explain the reasons why?

It is no secret that I am a huge advocate of fish consumption. The more, the merrier. However, there is no escaping the fact that the quality of some of the fish on the mass market is very poor and there are so many issues – from my perspective – from sustainability, through to contamination, and nutritional quality of the end product that we, as consumers, should be aware of. This is where Alaska Seafood comes in.

For me, it is the Rolls Royce really of the seafood world.  It’s all wild caught fish that has eaten a natural diet of marine organisms and as such has the most superior nutritional quality, particularly in terms of omega 3 fatty acid content. Everything from salmon and pollock to halibut and black cod swim in some of the cleanest waters on the planet so contamination and the question of additives and preservatives etc isn’t really relevant.

 As a consumer, we are also having to think more long term about where food products come from. What we enjoy now – will it last forever? For Alaska – yes. I want to be able to buy wild seafood now, in ten years’ time and forever more and due to their strict fishing regulations and stock management, we will. It’s that simple.

What would you say has been your greatest food-related accomplishment to date?

 I think it is that my work has facilitated change in the lives of others. By writing books and talking about this subject on TV and Radio, it has enabled people to make changes that have improved their health. It is a true blessing to be able to do that.

dale pinnock

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

 This is quite hard to answer as the industry presents a new challenge every day. I think in recent times, the hardest challenge is getting heard above all of the faddism and social media driven noise, and stand out as a credible source of information, and not just another faddy social media health nut.

What is your favourite meal and why?

I think this is almost impossible to answer as I love so many different types of food. But I’m certainly a huge sushi fan. Good sushi is a thing of beauty. I also love South East Asian flavours like a Panang Curry, or Kari Laksa. I love seafood and I love intense flavours.

 Name three ingredients that you cannot live without?

 Wild salmon, garlic and red onions.

Who’s For Dinner with you? Who would you invite for a meal of a lifetime with you and why?

Wow, this is a great question. Here are my top three:

 

  •  The Dalai Lama – in a world that is made up of such material nonsense and utter confusion and soul searching, someone that can offer clarity and insight into some of the deepest questions we hold would be wonderful.
  •  Beres Hammond – I love his music.
  • Jamie Oliver – he is certainly a business powerhouse in the food world and there are a million things I’d like to pick his brain about

Follow Dale on Instagram @themedicinalchef

Follow Alaska Seafood @alaskaseafooduk

Simple Simon's Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

Simple Simon’s Perfect Steak and Ale Pie

According to the American Pie Council the very first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were predominately meat pies and originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. British Pie Week  is a celebration of this historic meal that has brought so much joy to so many food lovers. The beauty of pies is that they are literally pastry packaged meals and you can fill your pastry with pretty much anything you like. I for one love my pies filled with meat which is why I was so excited to receive these Steak and Gunner ale pies from Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies as a gift to review.

Made with  chunks of Scotch Beef casseroled with Gunner Ale, carrots and set on potato this is a wholesome, hearty pie. The crust taste delicious, flaky and fresh. The quality of the meat was really good, there was one chunk of carrot which probably could have been sliced up into smaller chunks. But even the minor imperfections like a chunk of carrot actually prove how authentic these pies are. The pies taste homemade!

Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies was established in 2005 in Coulter, a tiny village in the south of Scotland and sends pies across The UK. With a great range of pies there’s something for everyone, from meat lovers to vegans!

Visit www.simplesimonspies.co.uk to find out more.

Celebrate British Pie Week With a Wild Alaska Salmon & Pollock Pie

Everyone loves a good pie with up to 75% of people in the UK enjoying a pie at least once a month*. British Pie Week  is a celebration of the simple yet satisfying meal! Breaking away from traditional meat pies this fish pie recipe includes wild salmon and pollock which are considered to be a welcome lighter alternative to meal, boasting low levels of saturated fat and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids.  Here’s a great recipe for a Wild Alaska Salmon and Pollock Pie which is a wholesome and warming way to celebrate the joys of pie!

Wild Alaska Salmon and Pollock Pie

Serves 4

25g (1oz) butter

700g (1 ½ lb) potatoes, peeled

150g (6oz) courgettes, sliced

350g (12oz) wild Alaska pollock fillet, skinned

350g (12oz) wild Alaska salmon fillet, skinned

200ml (1/3 pt) vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

200ml (1/3 pt) dry white wine

2 tbsp corn flour, blended with 3 tbsp single cream or milk

75g (3oz) frozen petit pois or garden peas, thawed

1 tbsp dill, chopped

3-4 tbsp milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / fan oven 170°C / Gas Mark 5. Grease an ovenproof baking dish with a small knob of butter
  • Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender. At the same time, cook the courgettes for about 5 minutes, then drain them well
  • Meanwhile, put the fish fillets into a shallow pan with the stock, bay leaf and another knob of butter. Heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 5 or 6 minutes, until the fish is cooked. The flesh will be opaque and should flake easily when tested with a fork. Use a draining spoon to lift the fish into the baking dish
  • Pour the white wine into the pan with the fish cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf. Add the blended cornflour and heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Stir in the peas, courgettes and dill. Season, and then pour into the baking dish, gently combining it with the fish
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them with the milk and any remaining butter. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on top of the fish mixture, spreading it out to cover the entire surface. If you prefer, pipe the potato on top of the fish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the potato topping is golden brown

Cook’s tip: Place the fish pie under a hot grill for the final few minutes to make sure that the topping is well browned.

Recipe credit: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Photo credit: Steve Lee

Wild Alaska seafood can also be cooked from frozen thereby reducing the amount of prep time required, and making this recipe the perfect dish that the whole family can enjoy during British Pie Week (March 5-9).

*Independent research by Toluna, January 2015, 300 consumers