LEE Conetta is Glasgow food royalty, with many years’ experience helping to run one of the city’s biggest restaurant groups.

Each fortnight in Times Out, she will share memories of her life less ordinary, her travels around Scotland and to Italy and beyond, and the food she loves to cook.

This week, Mrs Conetta shares a fishy tale, and whips up a quick and tasty halibut supper…

Glasgow Times: Lee Conetta with her November fish dishes.
Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times

WHEN we got married Joe’s father Tony give us the fish and chip shop opposite Belvedere Hospital in Glasgow as our wedding gift.

It was a great place.

Joe would go to the fishmarket very early in the morning, then pop round to Cooper’s at St Enoch Square for breakfast.

Those were the good old days, right enough - we worked hard, and for long hours but we were very happy.

Once the chip shop - which was called Conetta’s - maybe some Glasgow Times readers will remember it? - had closed for the night, Joe and I would hurry home to see the midnight movie on our television.

In those days, there was no such thing as Netflix.

If you didn’t make it home in time, you’d missed it. The very first one we watched was Zulu, starring Michael Caine, I can still remember it.

Before we left, we’d put a whole chicken in the chip pan and fry it until crisp, then we’d take it home and eat it watching the movie with a bottle of white wine.

It was an adventure for Joe, romantic for me.

One morning, I told Joe to have a long lie, and I’d go to the fishmarket.

I got up early and headed to Mr Eddie’s stance, and asked for 10 stone of fish. (They would deliver it later. I didn’t have to wheel it down the high street in a trolley.)

He showed me the haddock but I was not impressed.

We were young and quite inexperienced, but one thing I knew – nothing but the best for my customers.

I told the fishmonger I didn’t like the look of the fish, and he snapped: “Mrs Conetta, beggars can’t be choosers.” That was my first and last time going to the fish market and we switched to Bernard Corrigan.

My mum and dad used them, and 55 years on they are still supporting and supplying fish to my son and nephew at Di Maggio’s and the rest of the restaurant group.

READ MORE: 'Tommy Cooper was a regular' - Mrs Conetta's nightclub memories

Established in 1949, Bernard Corrigan is now owned and operated by the founder’s two sons Bernard and Sean and they supply Scotland’s leading restaurants and hotels.

The next generation is now actively involved in the business, with Sean Patrick Corrigan working hard on the e-commerce side and they now deliver directly to people’s homes via their website throughout the Central Belt.

Many businesses have had to improvise during the pandemic and we are the same – more about that in my next column.

It’s great so many family businesses are still going strong – Glasgow has thrived because of them.

Glasgow Times: Nut crusted halibut. Pic: Gordon Terris


This week's recipe is one of my favourite fish dishes. You can serve it with whatever you like, so it's good for a winter supper or a summer lunch. Buon appetito!


3 tbsp melted butter 
750g halibut fillets
55g pistachio nuts, shelled and finely chopped
Mixed salad and lemon wedges


Brush the melted butter over the halibut fillets.
Spread out the pistachios on a large flat plate. Roll the fish in the pistachios, pressing down gently, until covered.
Preheat the frying pan or griddle over a medium heat. Cook the halibut, turning once, for 10 minutes or until firm but tender - the exact cooking time will depend on thickness of fish, but this is a rough guide.
Season well.
Remove the fish and any loose pistachios from the heat and transfer it to a warmed platter.
Serve immediately, accompanied by a delicious mixed salad and some lemon wedges. 
Or, if you already have the perfect figure, splash out on a side dish of mashed potatoes with cream.