2000s Archive

Cooking Schools: Sydney Seafood School

A one or two day program in Sydney, Australia. See Gourmet’s full list of the world’s best cooking schools.
Sydney Seafood School

In a space above the Sydney Fish Market, guest chefs like Cheong Liew teach the finer points of fish.

Short of the famous Tsukiji market in Tokyo, it’s hard to think of a more fitting location for a seafood school than the Sydney Fish Market. Owned and operated by the market itself, the Sydney Seafood School has a simple mandate: to arm students with the knowledge they need to get more pleasure out of the sea’s bounty. In-house classes teach the basics, like the secrets of the very-Sydney seafood barbecue, but it’s the busy program of guest chefs that piques the most interest. Pretty much anybody who’s ever made a name in seafood has fronted a class, and all-star regulars such as Universal restaurant’s Christine Manfield, Malaysian-Chinese maestro Cheong Liew (from Adelaide’s The Grange), and Thai-food virtuoso David Thompson can sell out months in advance. If you’ve ever felt like a tire-kicker visiting markets on your travels, only with no place to cook, these hands-on classes are your remedy. (011-61-2-9004-1111; sydneyfishmarket.com.au; $125 for a four-hour class)

What I Learned

Shiny skin, bright red gills, and a clean ocean smell are the best indications of freshness.

Biggest Surprise

Knowing the difference between boy and girl crabs at Chinese restaurants impresses the hell out of dates.

Before You Go

Take a stroll through the market downstairs; it will put you in the zone.

Where to Stay

The Westin Sydney (011-61-2-8223-1111; westin.com.au; from $577), an easy ride from the city’s fish market.


Spicy Crab Spaghettini with Preserved Lemon

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