February 18, 2020

Hospitality Industry

While we are home and socially distancing ourselves, we wanted to take the opportunity to share what we have been thinking about prior to this pandemic. We are interested in some semblance of normalcy and need to grow and develop professionally. We will continue to share our knowledge along the way and keep seeking. We are in uncertain times and we hope that the desire to learn will help our community to keep looking forward. Stay healthy and resilient everyone! Here is a little something to read for now…..

Josh Niland took the world by storm with his book, The Whole Fish, where he explores his passion for a “fin to tail” approach to seafood. Niland is one of many chefs that are helping to reframe how we view our relationship with the fish industry. His restaurant, Saint Peter in Paddington NSW, Australia is changing the way we think of sustainable seafood and butchery. His book is a great read and is filled with methods of butchery and preparation that have left an indelible impression on us. We couldn’t imagine the beauty of dry-aged fish until recently and we are fans. Nigella Lawson has called Niland “revolutionary” and we have enjoyed learning some of his techniques and continue to be inspired by his work.

Another interesting chef on the seafood scene is, Tom Brown of Cornerstone Restaurant in England. We have been dreaming of trying his Salmon Pastrami on his Seacuterie platter. This looks and sounds like a winner and we will be sure to visit his restaurant the next time we are across the pond. As luck would have it, we have a dry aged fish monger in our backyard. The Joint Eatery and seafood market located in Sherman Oaks is a fantastic spot. We have been buying dry aged fish from owner, Liwei Liao, since they opened in 2018. He is knowledgable and passionate about fish and everyone who passes through the door is excited to chat with him. He handles the fish similarly to dry aged meat and they are displayed in his cooler hanging from hooks. The “dry scaling” technique Niland demonstrates in his book is the key to mitigating moisture prior to the aging process. Dry aging the fish, like meat, further reduces the moisture and adds flavor. The temperature and humidity levels are controlled during the aging process and the storage. The results produce an other-worldly flavor and texture. If you are in Los Angeles, you need to check this out. Have some delivered!

As recreational fishing enthusiasts and long time Chinook Salmon lovers, we love to try new things. We use many techniques to prepare the fish including various dry brines, cold smoking and hot smoking.

Several years ago we were curing the scaled skin, smoking and dehydrating it and then crisping it up in the fryer. We made several versions of “SLT” sandwiches with the salmon skin “bacon” . The process was arduous and not particularly marketable to event clients due to the high food and labor costs, but it is possibly the world’s most delicious sandwich. If you are very nice to us we may make it for you in the future.

In the mean time, we will continue to learn and broaden our knowledge of fish butchery and cookery and share what we’ve learned. Be well friends.