Frank Camorra at Sydney Seafood School

Have you ever looked at the classes at Sydney Seafood School? Seriously, I want to do them all, but the bank says I need to space them out. The very second I saw Frank Camorra was doing a class though, I booked. I didn’t even bother to see if anyone wanted to come with me, or ask the bank, I was going.

Frank Camorra is a Spanish born, Australian raised legend. You may start to screw your nose up but to me, he is a legend. My first visit to Movida this year had me swooning over the place. He just gets it so right.

I was first to arrive to the class, maybe 15-20 minutes early, I wanted to get a good seat you see. The doors to the school don’t open until 10 minutes before the class, so I wandered the halls of the downstairs fishmarket.

When the doors finally opened I was, of course, first through with a seat in the front row waiting. The classroom feels small and intimate. All the seats are tiered so no one really misses out on anything. Large screens giving a birds eye view of the demonstration bench also are key to spotting anything Frank does. Class notes and a copy of the recipes demonstrated were  on each seat for us.

Frank looked a bit nervous but actually he came across as a very humble and gentle giant. For his first time at Sydney Seafood School he held the class in his hands. After he demonstrated a few dishes with the help of the school staff, it was up to us to get into the kitchen and have a go at recreating them. Frank had chosen dishes that, I think,  any average cook could manage.

The kitchen area is impressive. The work stations are designed with one oven and one induction cooktop. Today each station had 4-5 people working at each so we had some juggling to do to get all the dishes made with only a few hot plates. We had four dishes, that we divided between us, to do. I didn’t get the hang of the induction tops at all, luckily the staff were constantly on hand to help us out.

Frank also circulated amongst the workstations, willing to help out, answer any questions, or just have a chat. Our table of girls got him talking and he certainly wasn’t keeping any secrets. Frank is looking for a location to open a MoVida in Sydney!!!  The day before he had spent the day investigating locations around Sydney. He even asked our opinion. Heading four restaurants in Melbourne already he thought it was time to come north. Come Frank!!! We are waiting!

OK now back to the task at hand. The dishes were easy and quick to prepare. All the ingredients had been prepared and measured by the staff which made it even quicker. I chose the mussels escabeche to make. I love the intense vinegar flavour of a escabeche.

Mejillones en Escabeche (Marinated Mussels)

Pulpo a la Gallega (Octopus Galician style)

Arroz Sencillo (Easy Rice)

Vieiras con Vino y Migas (Scallops baked in their shells with white wine and breadcrumbs)

After we had danced around each other, whipping up Franks dishes, we carried then into the dining room. Each work station had its own allocated table. It is an impressive space for a cooking school.

The lighting was intriguing and quite fitting, as old fishing nets filled with light bulbs.

Wine was provided with our meal along with takeaway containers for the inevitable left overs. MoVida cookbooks were also for sale. I had Rustica but, of course, now I wanted the original MoVida too. During Frank’s demonstration he had been asked to show us how to devein a prawn, referring to it as the poo shoot. It gave me such a chuckle I had to have it as a momento.

9 thoughts on “Frank Camorra at Sydney Seafood School

  1. That sounds fab, and the dishes look great. I would love to hear how you made the mussel dish, i am intrigued! And I LOVE those lights, they manage to catch the essence of a fish market without being chintzy or cheesy in any way.

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