"So the President is now a cook?" (with photos)

"So the President is now a cook?", asked a lady, between astonishment and joke. The "president" who […]

"So the President is now a cook?", asked a lady, between astonishment and joke. The "president" she referred to is Júlio Barroso, mayor of Lagos, who this Friday, alongside his wife and vice president António Marreiros, participated in the cooking class of the mackerel promotion campaign, organized by Docapesca in the Avenida Market, in that city.

Júlio Barroso wore a white apron, put on his gloves, carefully followed the instructions of chef José Moura, who explained how to make smoked mackerel…but the mayor did not touch the fish or any of the ingredients. "There is someone who has to keep their hands clean," he joked, in good spirits. «…it may be necessary to fetch a bottle from the pantry, or squeeze someone else's apron».

On Friday, the group was made up of eight cooking "students", who, first of all, learned how to make mackerel fillets and then how to smoke this fish, using a cataplana where they burn the aromatic herbs - thyme and rosemary - after marinating the fillets in lemon and oil. To accompany, a rice pudding risotto. Says who ate it was delicious.

despite not having hands-on, Júlio Barroso was excellent at explaining to the people who were questioning him about what was going on there and the reasons for the Docapesca campaign to promote the consumption of mackerel. Even not having cooked, the president's wife assured the Sul Informação that he is «a master» of grilling.

More lover of the kitchen is the vice-president António Marreiros, who confessed to be a frequent cook "of snacks". And are you going to try this new snack, learned in the cooking class at Avenida de Lagos Market? “This even sounds easy to me and is very good. One of these days experiment!”, he guaranteed.

On this second and last day of the mackerel campaign in Lagos, in addition to the two mayors and the president's wife, there were also five other people – including Luís Bordalo, responsible for the Municipal Library, Margarida Santana, also from the Library, D. Isabel , in charge of the municipal refectory, and José Maria, retired, who guaranteed: "I'm not a cook, I'm a snack bar".

The day before, Thursday, the Sul Informação also followed the first cooking class session of the morning, entirely occupied by students linked to the City Council, such as councilor Livónia Xavier, who confessed that her husband "is the cook on duty".

But listening to the explanations of chef José Moura was also Maria Genoveva Godinho, responsible for the Education, Youth and Sports area of ​​the municipality, Maria de Jesus, from the Library, Ana Paula Santos, or Ana Rita, from the Environment department. The only man was Rui Ramos, an accountant, who, after two attempts, was already expert in the art of making mackerel fillets.

This time, the menu was cooked mackerel with oregano (but with a touch different from the traditional one), with mayonnaise salad, mustard and toast, and baby tomato confit.

Chef Moura, trainer at the Hotel and Tourism School of Portimão and chef at the Hotel Pestana Alvor Praia, considered the campaign promoted by Docapesca as a “super funny idea”, because it “promotes and values ​​a specific fish, little valued by people, but which is very good, whether in terms of gastronomy or even for health. In China, for example, mackerel is used for medicinal purposes».


Mackerel: good, cheap and gourmet


A lady, who had just bought fresh mackerel from the Mercado de Avenida de Lagos at 1,5 euros a kilo, immediately exclaimed: “they put on these modernities and then the mackerel goes up in price!”… And this is precisely one of the campaign objectives: that mackerel, as a species currently undervalued, increase its consumption and see its price rise, especially at the auction, where it is sold at 50 cents a kilo.

José Apolinário, chairman of the Board of Directors of Docapesca, who was also in Lagos, explained to Sul Informação that "one of the axes of the new European fisheries policy is to promote all species, reducing discards". These are more appropriate practices "from the point of view of the management of marine resources".

In the case of mackerel, the objective is to promote its consumption in order to value this species at auction, thus increasing fishermen's income. In the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2011, "the value of the sale of mackerel at the auction rose by one million euros," added Apolinário. «This is a species in which there are no restrictions on its capture, and, with this valorization, the fishermen themselves are starting to turn more to mackerel».

The campaign to promote mackerel, which has traveled throughout the country, in partnership with municipal markets and large supermarkets, has, according to the president of Docapesca, "went very well".

So that there are more and more municipalities joining and asking for the campaign to take place in their municipal markets. In a total of 24 actions, in July and August the campaign goes through municipal markets throughout the Algarve. And there are even new dates and places.

Thus, after Portimão, Olhão and Lagos, on August 2nd the campaign will be in Quarteira, followed by Loulé (August 3rd), Faro (10 and 11), Vila do Bispo (16), Silves (17), Albufeira (18), Vila Real de Santo António (23), Faro, again (in a different action at Refúgio Aboim Ascensão, on 24), Tavira (25).

Then the campaign leaves the Algarve and continues in Coimbra (31), Matosinhos (6 September), Nazaré (7 and 8), Porto (13), Aveiro (14), Ílhavo (15), Sines (21), Sesimbra ( 22), Viana do Castelo (28) and finally Póvoa de Varzim (29 September).

In all these locations, cooking classes with delicious, easy and super original mackerel recipes are given by teachers from the Hotel and Tourism Schools, in two daily sessions, with free registration: from 10 am to 11 am, and from 00 am to noon .

After traveling around the country showing how mackerel, in addition to being delicious and good for your health due to its richness in Omega3, is a gourmet product, all that remains is for Docapesca to follow the idea that the Mayor of Lagos Júlio Barroso launched on Friday. fair to José Apolinário: edit a book with all the recipes.