It's Always Sustainable in Philadelphia
The way to a chef's heart is through his stomach - at least that's what Samuels & Son Seafood in Philadelphia has learned. So tonight, the seafood distributor will woo more epicures when it hosts nearly 400 chefs and other seafood buyers at its annual "Chef's Night Out" at Estia Restaurant in the City of Brotherly Love. For the 15th year, the city's greatest gastronomes gather to break bread, witness emerging seafood products and learn about industry trends - like tonight's theme, sustainability.
While the guests dine on responsibly farmed fish and select wild species from around the world, they'll be informed about the Marine Stewardship Council program and how their choosing sustainable seafood can make a difference toward the future of the world's marine resources. Phil Fitzpatrick, commercial director-Americas for the MSC, will be the featured speaker of the evening.
And just one look at the event's unique menu shows that sustainable seafood can be exciting, daring, cutting-edge cuisine. For instance, the tasting options include hiramasa (kingfish) and suzuki (bass), each farmed in Australia; cobia from the Dominican Republic; Argentine bay scallops; Loch Duart Salmon from Scotland; Irish ocean trout; Wianno oysters from Cape Cod; and Mediterranean anchovies, among others. And, pulling out all the stops, there will also be an array of caviars - yes, caviars - including farmed American white sturgeon caviar, farmed osetra from Germany and American hackleback caviar.
"We feel obligated to enhance the education of ourselves as well," says Anthony Mendicino, sales executive with Samuels & Son. "In conjunction with the MSC, it is our goal to discuss the sustainable seafood movement in a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere. Ultimately, we want to ensure that this information is passed on to restaurant patrons and retail consumers with accuracy and relevance."
Aside from the nine featured seafood vendors and Samuels & Son staff, attending tonight's event will be Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix of Restaurant Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel, who Mendicino says "holds a spot among Philadelphia's culinary elite," and Barton Seaver, executive chef of Hook Restaurant in Washington, D.C., who was recently named a Seafood Champion by the Seafood Choices Alliance for his commitment to sustainable seafood.
Sustainability takes yet another step forward tonight, which someone should raise a toast to. I'll raise my glass to that.