Psssst. Here’s what Jim Fisher from the Exeter Cookery School will be demonstrating on Fish Friday at this year’s festival.

Serves four.


 2 large un-waxed oranges
 250ml fresh orange juice
 250ml fish stock
 50ml dry white wine
 1 large fennel bulb, with outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
 8 mackerel fillets, pin-boned but with the skin left on
 Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for dusting
 1tbsp rapeseed or light olive oil


1. Using a zester, zest the oranges into a small saucepan. Halve the oranges and squeeze
the juice into the pan. Add the extra orange juice, the fish stock and dry white wine. Add
the fennel slices.

2. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer until the fennel is cooked but still retaining a
little bite. Remove the fennel with a slotted spoon and reserve.

3. Continue to simmer the liquid, reducing it to a quarter of its original volume. The resultant
liquid should be the consistence of a light syrup – if not, continue to reduce over a gentle

4. To cook the fish: Turn the grill on to high.

5. Smear the mackerel fillets on both sides with a little rapeseed oil, then season lightly with
salt and pepper. Place skin-side up on an oiled baking tray and place high up under the

6. Grill for approximately 2 minutes, by which time the skin will have browned and crisped
up. Remove the fish from under the grill and allow to finish cooking on the tray while you
finish the sauce.

7. Re-warm the fennel slices in the orange/fish liquid and add a little splash of oil. Season
the sauce with salt only and add a few drops of lemon juice to ‘lift’ the flavour.

8. Languidly swirl the pan to combine the ingredients, then lob over the gurnard and fennel

Voilà! Bon appétit.

Exeter City Council