In 1996, my son Ian and I made a film for The London Metal Exchange. The filming took us to Rotterdam, where we were gathering scenes of the metal storage areas and the docks from which they were shipped around the world.
There was a small party from the staff of LME, among them, Ray Sampson, who was their Public Relations Officer who had commissioned us. Brian Reidy, their Public Relations Agent also, accompanied us. We stayed at The Hilton.
On the first night there, Ray Sampson invited us to join his party at a Japanese sushi restaurant.
There were five of us and we were seated at one side and at each end a table. The table offered a wooden surface to each diner but set into the middle and the far side of the table was a stainless steel surface. On the far side of the table stood a chef, allocated entirely to our table. He would prepare the food and slide it across the stainless steel surface and then in front of each one of us. We started off with a sushi. It went on for a while and it was thoroughly enjoyable
Sushi is a Japanese dish consisting of cooked rice that has been seeped in vinegar and is normally topped with other ingredients, such as fish or other seafood.
Sliced raw fish by itself is called sashimi, as distinct from sushi. We had some of that too. After the sushi and sashimi, we moved on to grilled beef, cooked right in front of us. It was another wonderful experience.
The following day, we filmed at the dockside, after which the Dutch associates of the LME took us back to a site where there was a storage shed, for the metals and the administration building. Alongside was the works canteen where we were taken to lunch. What a lunch. We were served with herring. We were told that it was seasonal and that it was something special. It was indeed.
Hollandse Nieuwe is a Dutch delicacy which is raw herring from the catches around the end of spring and the beginning of summer. This is typically eaten with raw onion. Hollandse nieuwe is only available in spring when the first seasonal catch of herring is brought in. We had arrived just in time.
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