Soul Food: Miles Kirby on delicious New Zealand flounder

Date:11-01-2014 08:58:42 read:2

Soul Food: Miles Kirby on delicious New Zealand flounder

Miles Kirby, chef and co-founder of the Caravan restaurants in London, grew up in New Zealand, where he loved to catch fish from the beach

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Miles Kirby as a child 
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In New Zealand the long summer holiday runs from mid December to the end of January. We used to pack up and head for our beach house at Te Horo, an hour north of Wellington. It was a real shack – two rooms and an outside toilet close to the rocky, windswept beach – but to me it was a sort of paradise. I spent all day on the beach, looking for crabs in the pools, and helping my dad make fishing nets. We shared a net with other families and we would all take a corner and catch whitebait, with which we made fritters. But usually we caught flounder. It was such a community round there and if anyone caught too many fish they would share them with the other houses.

My mother would just flour and fry the flounder whole in the pan, and put it on the table, all buttery and served with wedges of lemon picked from the tree outside. We'd eat it for a late breakfast or early lunch, depending on the tides. We had no sense of time there – we got up and went to bed with the sun.

Today, when I taste the sticky chewiness of a flat fish, I'm taken straight back to that beach and the fresh flounder in the pan.

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