SEAFOOD THROWDOWN AT BOSTON LOCAL FOOD FEST
SKATE - A SLEEPER OF A FISH
On October 7th, I was one of two MC’s for the Seafood Throwdown at the Boston Local Food Festival. There were many young movers and shakers in the sustainable food industry, giving me evidence that this world may be okay when I'm gone. Example: Jared Auerbach owns a sustainable fish wholesale biz. He explained that he is alerted the minute a single (sustainable) fish is caught and where exactly its caught thanks to the remote tagging scanner used by fishermen/women. Another lad, John Stoddard, who works for Partner's, is helping to transform hospital food by offering ways to get small farm food to institutions.
Two major hospital chefs were pitted against each other this year, Colin Targett from Beth Israel, and Akeisha Hayde from Children's Hospital. And it was finally revealed, the fish to cook is...... SKATE WINGS.
I would have done anything if I were able to cook skate when I competed (and yes, won) in this competition two years ago. First of all, it was already skinned, and I was given pollack, which was long and skinny and bony. But skate harkens back to my cooking school days in Paris 24 years ago. Short, pudgy Chef Chambrette poached the boneless wings ever so delicately and wrapped them into a sort of conical nuclear plant shape and inside was a creamy celery root remoulade. I learned at this fest that skate are serious predators. I was told they smother and sting their prey- flounder. But flounder is in high demand and eating skale will decrease the amount of living skate which will increase the amount of living flounder. So please eat skate, mostly because it is delicious. I recommend you talk to your fish guy about finding skate.
The Beth Israel chef, Akeisha is from Trinidad. Even though she lost by a sliver, I loved her food and her sassy attitude. Akeisha bought big pots of basil and parsley in soil with her alotted $25. She made a jerk sauce that was absolutely outstanding. And she made a beet and carrot slaw, see photo, that was elegant. Her two secret ingredients- limes and quinoa. The lime rind draped the quinoa and mixed in with the jerk sauce. It also was added to the beautiful beet and carrot slaw.
for some good shots and comments of the alluring human like face on skate, go to http://www.loving-long-island.com/dogfish-skate.html