Seafood and Catering Industry

Billingsgate Market provides London and a large part of the South East with fresh seafood from around the world. Regular customers include established fishmongers, catering supply companies, fish fryers, small restaurants and shops.

We are keen to support the Food Industry in any way that we can. For industry training we have a selection of courses that offers expertise in many areas within the fish and shellfish trade. We offer hands-on practical training that caters for new and established fishmongers, chefs and catering companies and bespoke innovative product development days. Our lecture based courses include the Celebration of Sustainable Seafood Event and Understanding Sustainability Seminars. We also offer quality assessment and identification courses for the technical managers within food businesses and environmental health practitioners.

Professionally and enthusiastically delivered - our courses are aimed at those who are wanting to update their skills, to train new staff or to create an innovation day for developing new products for the industry.

We have a refurbished wet room for demonstrating how to create a fish display as well as 16 cutting stations for practical knife skills training.  We also have a kitchen and demonstration facility for practical hands-on cooking and development sessions.

Please contact us for dates and availability

Billingsgate trade buying experience: 0500-08.30am £50 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 £180 per person
20% discount on total cost for a group booking of 7 or more
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 may be 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. This course is to become part of our City & Guild training. 

Shellfish trade preparation skills: 0600-1300 £180 per person
Not only are shellfish 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 applied for 2017 and awaiting confirmation)
For those who are not eligible for funding this course costs £500.
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: 0600-1200 £130 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 £60 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. This course is delivered by George Hyde from Sparsholt.

Understanding Seafood Sustainability: £50 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.

What our customers say:
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 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; 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”.