Fishmonger and Specialist Training

These include free introductory workshops, low cost foundation certificates, sponsored events, seafood masterclasses, quality assessment of fish and shellfish, knife skills training, independent and multiple seafood retailers training packages. All profits from commercial courses fund free courses for young people.

One of the main aims of the Seafood School is to encourage young people and those wanting to change career to consider the Seafood Industry. Since the School was established in 2000 we have focused on developing our schools programmes to promote seafood together with benchmarking industry-wide training. To cater for our wide client base we offer both selection of scheduled events and tailored programmes, designed specifically to individual clients needs.  A selection of the classes we can offer the food industry can be seen below:

Please contact us for dates and availability

Billingsgate trade buying experience, 0500-0900 £75 per person
Join us for an early morning visit on the fish trading floor and experience how the Market operates.  The visit will give you the confidence to achieve the best prices and quality as well as an insight into the seafood supply chain.   Bring a budget with you to purchase a couple of species of interest and after breakfast you will be able to work with a fishmonger to prepare these in the School's cutting room.

​Fish trade knife skills: 0600-1300 £198 per person
Start the day on the trading floor opening your eyes to impressive selection of fish and shellfish products from around the globe.  Keep up to date with current Market trends and prices with a focus on seasonality and sustainability.​  After breakfast the rest of the morning is spent preparing a wide selection of flat and round fish to trade specifications.

Get into Fishmongering: 0600-1300 (funding available upon request)
This business workshop is a must for anyone considering setting up their own fish retail business.  We offer an insight into how to buy effectively at Billingsgate and also the chance to discuss and gain advice from Industry experts, discussing the pitfalls and opportunities within the retail trade.

Shellfish trade preparation skills: 0600-1300 £198 per person
Not only are shellfish delicious and nutritious but also offer sustainable wild harvest and aquaculture.  A visit to the trading floor will highlight these benefits as well as introducing the variety of less well known global varieties traded at Billingsgate.  After breakfast you will learn how to safely store and display this amazing food.  The preparation session includes a seasonal selection of both crustaceans and molluscs.

Fish & Shellfish Quality Assessment: 0600-1300 £150 per person
This class is designed for Food Inspectors, Environmental Health Practitioners and Technical Managers from food businesses.  Understand how fish and shellfish are traded and the food labelling and packaging requirements.  Industry experts will highlight through practical sessions and classroom presentations, quality assessment methods, legislation and guidance for further study.

City & Guilds Seafood Retail Certificate - 0900-1730 Day 1; 0500-1300 Day 2 (funding available)
Whether you are an experienced fishmonger or new to the trade our C&G Seafood Retail Certificate offers the chance to develop your knowledge and skills and receive Industry recognition through the C&G Profile of Achievement.  Through assessments on knife skills, product knowledge and cookery both during and after the course, you will produce a valuable portfolio.   This is then assessed and verified by Industry experts, leading to your C&G certificate.

Fish cookery and nutrition for fish trade: 0600-1300 £168 per person
Designed for fishmongers and those selling fish this class recognises the added value offered to customers through knowledge of the health benefits of eating fish and fish cookery techniques.  During your Market visit you will take a Chef's eye view of the species available, considering yield and portion sizes as well as seasonality and quality control.  Attendees are offered the chance to select some of the species used.  The cookery and nutrition class in the kitchens uses a selection of seasonal fish and shellfish in practical and demonstration sessions.

The business of fishing and fish processing: 0600-1000 £75 per person
Start your day on Billingsgate Market trading floor as the fish and shellfish are sold into London's leading restaurant kitchens.  These products have not only come from a wide selection of UK & European fishing ports but also been imported from fisheries around the world.  In order to make good purchasing decisions it is important to understand fishing methods and trade processing techniques.  After breakfast this class uses presentations and case studies to explain and discuss these subjects.

Farmed fish & shellfish - challenges and opportunities: 0600-1000 £75 per person
Half of all the fish and shellfish eaten around the world is now produced through fish farming.  Just like with many land based agriculture systems there are many ways farmers can produce food.  With a trend towards more fish farming being undertaken, this class uses both the trading floor and classroom to explore the Industry challenges and opportunities

Understanding Seafood Sustainability: £75 per person
As the global population continues to grow and half of all wild life on land and in the sea has been lost over only the last 40 years it is vital we enjoy seafood in a sustainable way.  This Industry workshop uses a Market visit and classroom discussion to introduce the leading sustainability organisations and their assessment and certification criteria.  You will discuss current trends and key global stock status' leaving better informed with an understanding of seafood sustainability.

Recent feedback from trade classes at Billingsgate School

National companies such as Direct Seafoods, who supply fresh fish and shellfish to the catering trade throughout the UK and Ireland, also offer chefs training to their customers.

“We partner with the Seafood School to deliver skills and knowledge training in a great location,” explains Mark Farrant, Direct Seafoods National Accounts Manager. “Billingsgate School understands our business and how important it is for us to deliver a fantastic service to our customers”. One such customer is Sodexo UK & Ireland, their Craft and Food Development Director, David Mulcahy describes the impact of these sessions.

"Our chefs really value the chance to experience the huge variety of species on the trading floor at Billingsgate. Training and development of our chefs has never been so important and the opportunity to learn filleting skills from fish experts as well as cook and experiment with a wide variety is invaluable. In addition the cookery school teaches key messages about sustainability and good practice when dealing with fish. Sodexo is very proud of its relationship with Billingsgate and the Cookery School.”

The School also works with independent shops and multiple retailers such as Morrisons educating fishmongers. “At Morrisons we value the opportunity to work with Billingsgate Seafood School,” says Simon Farrar, their Craft Training Manager. “They enable us to get access to the market floor so our colleagues get to see the widest range of fish possible. This enhances their knowledge of seasonality and sustainability and they are totally inspired by the iconic environment. Also key to our master class is the hands on cookery, we have developed a truly experiential piece, where colleagues get to cook fish in all possible ways from pan fry to poach, oven bake to grill and they get to taste everything.”

The schools educational offering is also incorporated within many well renowned training programs. For many years Leith’s School of Food and Wine, whose graduates include chefs; such as Gizzi Erskine and Lorraine Pascale, have been using the expertise of Billingsgate to educate their students, widening both their experiences and understanding of fish. This year the training team also attended a staff training day at Billingsgate, focusing on fish preparation.

With seafood the World’s most widely traded food commodity and Billingsgate offering a truly global selection, the School regularly attracts International visitors to attend their classes. Most recently a class of young French fishmongers studying at CFMPT (le Centre de Formation aux Produits de la Mer et de la Terre, Boulogne-sur-Mer) attended a ‘Trade buying Experience’ and demonstration to better understand the UK Industry. Benoit Firmin from CFMPT explains how the visited went. “We experienced wonderful hospitality on the trading floor; the trainees really enjoyed the Market visit and the demonstration with comparisons between the British and French techniques.”

As well as large company’s and education facilities using Billingsgate’s trade classes, restaurants also look for advice, inspiration and practical training. A recent example can be found in Ed Baines’ establishment, Randall and Aubin, whose kitchen staff and front of house team recently visited the School to get an update on products available at the Market. After their visit Anita Ronke of Randall and Aubin, was keen to highlight the benefits.

“As an established seafood restaurant in the heart of Soho we are always looking for ways to educate and inspire our staff.  Our customers not only expect to be served the freshest seafood each time they dine with us but they also expect our staff to be informed and knowledgeable about the food we serve.  The visit included an accompanied tour of the market in action and a short follow up talk on sustainability in the fishing industry.  The expert tour guides were able to give detailed answers and explanations to the many questions they were asked. The visit definitely added to the knowledge and understanding that our staff have of seafood and how it gets to the plate! We will most certainly be arranging further trips for new staff in the future”.