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Rinelle and Agathe take fishcakes to the next level

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Agathe Holowatinc of Fuelled Bermuda, left, and Rinelle White of Umami are teaming up to offer a fishcake masterclass (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Agathe Holowatinc of Fuelled Bermuda, left, and Rinelle White of Umami are teaming up to offer a fishcake masterclass (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Rinelle White’s family love eating fishcakes on Good Friday.

The spiceologist makes between two and three dozen every year for friends and family who come to her house.

But hers are a little healthier than the traditional fishcake, typically a blend of salted codfish and potatoes, fried and then lathered in condiments such as ketchup.

“Fishcakes are not horrible to begin with,” said Ms White, owner of spice blend company Umami. “They have pretty good ingredients compared to some other things. But there are simple things you can do to make your fishcakes healthier and taste delicious.”

On Thursday, Ms White will be teaming up with nutrition coach Agathe Holowatinc of Fuelled Bermuda. They will be teaching a one-off workshop Fuelled Healthy Cooking Masterclass: Easter edition, Umami Takeover, at a private home in Paget.

In the class Ms White will also look at how to add nutritional value to the food, without adding toxins.

“They will still be delicious fishcakes, but won’t have some of the inflammatory things that cause fishcakes to be unhealthy for you,” she said.

Ms White likes to pan fry her fishcakes in avocado oil.

“People sometimes overlook the types of oils they use,” she said. “A lot of these highly processed seed oils are very inflammatory. Coconut oil is another good oil to cook in. Grass fed butter is also very good for you.”

Participants will use local, organic potatoes.

“We will make the fishcakes gluten free,” she said. “And we will be using freshly ground spices.”

Students will use her own new Umami fishcake spice blend, containing herbs with a hint of curry.

“Umami blends have no additives,” she said. “They are really clean. The blend takes the guesswork out of fishcakes.”

Ms White started Umami in 2019, with the goal of encouraging people to eat better using the freshest spices.

“People often imagine that healthy food will taste like grass or cardboard,” Ms White said.

But she said you can make delicious food that is healthy and comes together quickly.

This will be the second class she has done with Ms Holowatinc. The previous one was held last month.

“Ms Holowatinc has a background in nutrition,” Ms White said. “That was one of the things that made it exciting to be working with her. She shares the same passion I do for really good quality food. She is a leader in nutrition in Bermuda. She has been doing classes for the last two years. She was doing them virtually during the pandemic, and then outdoors. Now the classes are in person again. She is very passionate about what she does, so it has been really great working with her.”

Ms White said since Covid-19 began many people have become more conscious of what is going on with their health.

“People are starting to realise that what you put into your mouth has the single biggest impact on what happens in your body,” she said.

Ms White said she is not a perfect eater, all the time.

“But I think it is important to be aware of what you are eating,” she said. “No one will be good all the time, but it allows you to choose when you are being bad. Sometimes people think they are being good, but if they are not looking at the ingredients, they may be getting more toxins in their body than they know.”

Ms White said when you go shopping it is important to look at the ingredient list on the package.

She said many people are conscious of how much salt and fat is in their food, but forget about the amount of sugar. And spotting the sugar in the ingredients list can be tricky, because sugar is often disguised under other names such as high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin or maltose.

“Sometimes people don’t realise how much sugar they are eating,” she said.

Another healthy eating tip she has is to avoid starchy foods like cereal at breakfast time.

“I would save my starches for later in the day,” she said.

She eats cheese, but gravitates towards sheep’s milk or goat’s milk cheese.

“Pecorino, for example, is really similar to Parmesan but it is made from sheep’s milk, so it is easier to digest,” she said. “You can do better without always feeling like you are missing out on something, or you are making the extreme sacrifice.”

Ms White grew up in a family with relatively good eating habits.

“We were raised to have meat, two vegetables and a starch on our plate,” she said. “I feel like we ate pretty healthy compared to others. We always ate a variety of vegetables when we were younger.”

Now, she grows some of her own vegetables in a community garden.

“I am not the best gardener, but I do get a lot of satisfaction from growing my own food,” she said. “Lately, the issue has been time, because when my schedule is really busy, I have not been able to show up as much as I would like to.”

Umami products can be found at Island Pantry, Miles Market, Wadson’s Farm, Long Story Short, ER Fisheries and L F Wade International Airport. She hopes to add more blends to the Umami line-up, this year. She also wants to bring back food tastings this summer, something she did before the pandemic began.

“That is something we are looking forward to,” she said.

The fishcake masterclass will be held on Thursday at 6pm. Tickets are $100 per person. The class will be taught with a hands-on style and there will be eating afterward. To sign up contact coach@fuelledlife.com.

For more information see www.fuelledlife.com or umamibermuda.com.

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Published April 12, 2022 at 7:50 am (Updated April 13, 2022 at 7:48 am)

Rinelle and Agathe take fishcakes to the next level

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