See you later. A week ago, I left Jools and the kids behindand set off for Italy to get inspired by food again. But in Sicily I had quite a rough time convincingthe locals to eat my fish. Trying to get 'em to try something new islike trying to get 'em to take a new mortgage, d'you know what I mean. Now I've heard of this fisherman-cum-chefwho is supposed to cook the most amazing food on this little remote island. I'm gonna work in his kitchen. Oh I'll tell you now not many English cookswould have the **** to do this.

Try to please his customers. Liked the look of it, but when they tastedit, they didn't come together as well as they thought. And finally, really get away from it all. Yes mother. I just wish Jools was here really, to enjoyit all. The island of Marettimo is two hours fromSicily, towards North Africa. The captain said I was mad coming here, hesaid no tourist's ever come here. But Italian foodies go there all the time,just to take a pilgrimage to a restaurant.

Run by Giovanni, a fisherman-cum-chef. I've got a job working with him for a week,saying I'm an English cook who wants to learn more. Doesn't really look Italian, looks more likeTurkish or Greek or something. Look at these mountains, the clouds just rushingover 'em. It's a hell of a long way to come for a fishlesson! I think this is it. Ristorante… doesn't look like a restaurant.

Buongiorno! Ciao! Giovanni! Si, si, grazie mille, I understand that! Saluti! This is yours. Oh, no battery! Giovanni can't order food for his menus, 'costhere aren't any shops. It really depends what comes off the boats.

No ****, you'll push me!… No, no. Ahh! Grazie mille! Ciao. Can you imagine what health and safety wouldsay about that in London? Oh you've got a dog with a beer bottle withfresh fish… This is madness! It's seven o'clock and Giovanni's only justgot his ingredients to cook with for dinner.

Cos'è questo? Ah, menu. But all his menu says is: “Now I am cooking,I hope god will help me”. One minute Giovanni's all over the place andy'know talking shit and swearing and drinking, and if you look at him now he's so serious,in his eyes he's got cooking he's like concentrating. **** hell. Wow. So I've never ever seen anything like thatbefore. Pine nuts, raisons, cinnamon, y'know you mightas well be in uh, Morocco.

Wow that's interesting, swordfish balls – likemeatballs but with a really Arabic twist. What's more natural than that man waitingto see what comes in the backdoor? If he gets it he does, if he doesn't he doesn't. Giovanni comes up with four totally differentfish dishes every night, and he's feeding the full house, normally only with his youngdaughter to help. Okay. Si, si, no problemo. He's saying if I touch his daughter he's goingto kill me, he's going to cut off my cazzo. Si.

This is what I've been searching for. There's something about island life whichjust kinda makes everything just… slowly, softly. Don't rush, y'know take your time, y'knowand uh… y'know get time to think. Jools would have loved this. Look at the size of that bloody knife. Over the next few days Giovanni teaches mehow to cook, Giovanni style – which seems to be to have a really good time. He wants me to smoke and he wants me to drinkloads of wine!.

Dunno what Gordon Ramsay would say. Anyway, he's decided he wants me to cook onSaturday night. He gets in the kitchen about four, five, cooksall night… after service, pisses it up, has a party,and goes to bed about three or four in the morning. Basically what he's done is he's cooked octopus,boiled it. Once it's cooked he ties up three or fouroctopus in a bag, really tight, leaves it in the fridge for one day. It's like a prosciutto of octopus.

So many chefs are always serious. When I'm tasting Giovanni's food I'm gettinga sense of humour, fantasy and dedication, y'know it's all there on the plate. *** good. It's Friday afternoon and Giovanni's insistedthat I shouldn't be worried about cooking tomorrow night, no, we gotta go out and havesome more fun. He's erratically shut the restaurant downand he's taken me to another island where his mate owns a jazz club. Oh no, no no no – I don't play jazz!.

Rock and roll! Oh my lord, I should have never have toldGiovanni that I played the drums. It might be the worst jazz drumming they'veever heard, but I'm just loving my new cookery lessons. No it's a good night. Eat, drink… yes mother… And I've gotta cook in the restaurant tomorrow! Tonight I'm taking over Giovanni's famousrestaurant.

Which I'd drunk about five less glasses ofbeer last night. Grazie! Me speak no English… Si si, buono buono. I'm gonna start by using the oranges and lemonsfrom the bar so I can crack on with me main course, baked bluefish. Bit like tuna, encrusted in salt. Why bake 'em in salt? It seasons the fish it doesn't make it salty.

Actually what you're using the salt for isto create an environment where the fish kind of cooks almost like in clay, y'know whatI mean? None of the sort of flavour can evaporateinto the oven. Get some of these beautiful Sicilian orangesand lemons, and just take the zest off. What's that gonna do? It'll just put some nice flavour into thesalt so when actually it's cooking, a little bit of that lemon sort of cooks into the fishwhich surely can't be a bad thing. Alright big boy? Giovanni's also quiet today 'cos he's a bithungover as well.

So what do I do with it? It protects it from burning. Yeah it looks freaky. No. So I'm gonna cook that for about… 45 minutesat about 250, and then I'm gonna leave it in the shell until I need it. 'Cos I know that everyone that's coming tonightis um, proper foodies y'know from probably my favourite cooking country in the world. Like the customers don't get any harder really.

Also I'm making the menu a little bit morecomplicated, might be a mistake, let's see. I've cooked this cuttlefish. A little garlic, a little parsley chopped,sundried tomatoes y'know, Sicily, sweet and sour. And then here I've got the fennel and alsothose lemons, sliced those as well. Little bit of Sicilian dressing, orange, lemon,olive oil, oregano. The worst thing to do is probably even worry. This is the calm before the storm. I've fallen in love with this fantastic smokedswordfish which I'm gonna combine with my.

Lovely fresh cuttlefish salad. Finito. Mangia, mangia! Apparently, one of the customers wants to talk to me about my salad. The flavours… not enjoy… too complicated. Ok. Oh man they've given me marks man. See what Giovanni thinks of my salad.

Very I mean, y'know it's fresh flavours. Finocchio good, finocchio bad? For me second course I've got some beautifulred mullet fillets, which I'm sandwiching together with lovely Sicilian ingredientsfrom the store cupboard. Things like pine nuts, cinnamon, fennel, chilli. Good flavours. For main course they've got my bluefish bakedin salt, it's a really pure, clean flavour, so I hope it's gonna put a smile back on toGiovanni's face. The fish is cooked so beautifully, there'snothing they can say about the fish.

Like they can have it plain or they can dipit in the aioli. Overcooked, undercooked, perfect not perfect? Good. Buono. I can't believe it, Giovanni's making me countup the scores. Throw away the good ones, they don't meannothing. Take the bad ones, and go away and learn fromit. What a rollercoaster. I really feel I've seen a different side toItalian cooking this week.

And Giovanni, I love that daring fantasy andpassion he's got, what a character.


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