AUTHOR and journalist Dale le Vack caught a pike from a friend’s boat close to Henley Bridge but wasn’t sure about the best way to cook it.
Then a chance encounter with a Swedish chef who lives in the town led to a gourmet dinner that evening.
Dale, a former television producer, was staying on the boat owned by Rory Connor, a chartered surveyor, when he caught the 5lb 6oz pike on his first cast using dead bait.
He said: “I was struck by its excellent condition, a tribute to the work of the Environment Agency in cleaning up the river. Fishing for predatory species like the pike and perch on the Thames is probably as good as anywhere in the UK.” Not knowing what to do with the fish, Dale was introduced by Rory to Baron Otto Stromfelt, a private catering contractor, who knew exactly how to cook it.
The chef said: “Pike is a gourmet dish for us Swedes and at its royal court it was once considered a delicacy by the country’s aristocrats.