ASPN June 2015 : Page 68

[FOOD & DRINK] TRENDS INSIDIOUS INVADER The fish is a pest in the Bahamas. BB’s Kitchen joins up with Seafood Watch This past winter BB’s Kitchen (525 E. Cooper Ave., 970.429.8284) became the first restaurant in the Roaring Fork Valley to become a partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program (seafoodwatch.org). Jax Fish House, with four locations on the Front Range, is the only other partner restaurant in Colorado, although many chefs and restaurateurs (including Grey Lady Executive Chef Kathleen Crook) are independent members of Seafood Watch. Partner restaurants, says Emerson Brown, associate communications manager for Seafood Watch, “make a time-bound commitment to sell only environmentally responsible seafood.” Look for seasonal catch like Arctic char and Colorado striped bass on BB’s eclectic menu. –LM Fish Eye Lens ROARING, FORK AN ASPEN RESTAUR ATEUR LEADS THE FIGHT AGAINST A DANGEROUSLY INVASIVE FISH—AND YOU CAN SAMPLE THE TASTY RESULTS. By Laurel Miller It’s like the plot of a B movie: Voracious fish indigenous and once our customers understand what the fish are to the Pacific and Indian oceans are accidentally released doing to the ecosystem, they always end up ordering it,” into waters south of the United States and begin eating notes Chadwick. everything in sight. Their neurotoxin-tipped spines and He discovered the species on a 2012 trip to the lack of natural predators enable them to gobble reef Bahamas. “I was amazed by how good the meat was, fish up to two-thirds their size (their stomachs expand and it got me thinking,” he says. He called wholesalers up to 30 times in volume). Prolific breeders, they’ve and processors to see if an established market for been found as far north as Nantucket, and the reef lionfish existed in the United States (it didn’t) and fish population in parts of the Caribbean began making sourcing trips to the Bahamas are dwindling, upsetting the balance and sending coolers of fish back to New of one of the world’s most diverse York. An experienced spear fisherman, marine ecosystems. Chadwick free dives with a Hawaiian Such is the story of the sling and nabs lionfish from beneath lionfish, an invasive species their preferred coral reef habitat. “It’s ravaging the waters around the really inefficient,” opines Chadwick. Bahamas, and Ryan Chadwick, “But traps and bait are currently co-owner (with Ian Perry) of being developed and tested. My MANE EVENT Aspen’s Grey Lady restaurant biggest concern, and why we’ve been Ryan Chadwick prefers to (305 S. Mill St., 970.925.1797), slow to introduce lionfish to the Grey see lionfish on a plate. aims to help eradicate lionf ish Lady menus, is supply consistency.” from nonindigenous habitats — by Now there are several companies that ship eating them. He’s been serving the white, flaky, lionfish to the United States. Chadwick works with one sweet-tasting fish (“They’re similar to snapper,” he called Lionfish Atlantic, and he travels regularly to the says) at his New York restaurant Norman’s Cay Bahamas to help develop industry infrastructure. since 2013. Many Bahamians believe lionfish venom is fatal. It’s proven so popular that Chadwick plans Rather, it can cause pain and localized swelling in those to offer the species at all three Grey Lady locations who are stung. Explains Chadwick, “We’re working to this summer (besides Aspen, there’s the flagship in clear up this misconception and teach proper handling Manhattan and a soon-to-open Nantucket outpost). techniques. By creating awareness about how lionfish A whole prepared lionfish (average 14 to 16 inches long) destroy the local habitat and by promoting them as a runs about $26 at Norman’s Cay. “We have placards food source, we’re helping to create a secondary income on the tables explaining our Lionfish Project mission, and a new fisheries resource for the Bahamas.” 68 ASPEN SUMMER 2015 UNDERWATER PHOTO BY STEPHAN KERKHOFS; DISH PHOTO BY JERRY DEUTSCH

Food & Drink Trends

Laurel Miller

ROARING, FORK

AN ASPEN RESTAURATEUR LEADS THE FIGHT AGAINST A DANGEROUSLY INVASIVE FISH—AND YOU CAN SAMPLE THE TASTY RESULTS.

It’s like the plot of a B movie: Voracious fish indigenous to the Pacific and Indian oceans are accidentally released into waters south of the United States and begin eating everything in sight. Their neurotoxin-tipped spines and lack of natural predators enable them to gobble reef fish up to two-thirds their size (their stomachs expand up to 30 times in volume). Prolific breeders, they’ve been found as far north as Nantucket, and the reef fish population in parts of the Caribbean are dwindling, upsetting the balance of one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems.

Such is the story of the lionfish, an invasive species ravaging the waters around the Bahamas, and Ryan Chadwick, co-owner (with Ian Perry) of Aspen’s Grey Lady restaurant (305 S. Mill St., 970.925.1797), aims to help eradicate lionf ish from nonindigenous habitats—by eating them. He’s been serving the white, flaky, sweet-tasting fish (“They’re similar to snapper,” he says) at his New York restaurant Norman’s Cay since 2013.

It’s proven so popular that Chadwick plans to offer the species at all three Grey Lady locations this summer (besides Aspen, there’s the flagship in Manhattan and a soon-to-open Nantucket outpost). A whole prepared lionfish (average 14 to 16 inches long) runs about $26 at Norman’s Cay. “We have placards on the tables explaining our Lionfish Project mission, and once our customers understand what the fish are doing to the ecosystem, they always end up ordering it,” notes Chadwick.

He discovered the species on a 2012 trip to the Bahamas. “I was amazed by how good the meat was, and it got me thinking,” he says. He called wholesalers and processors to see if an established market for lionfish existed in the United States (it didn’t) and began making sourcing trips to the Bahamas and sending coolers of fish back to New York. An experienced spear fisherman, Chadwick free dives with a Hawaiian sling and nabs lionfish from beneath their preferred coral reef habitat. “It’s really inefficient,” opines Chadwick. “But traps and bait are currently being developed and tested. My biggest concern, and why we’ve been slow to introduce lionfish to the Grey Lady menus, is supply consistency.”

Now there are several companies that ship lionfish to the United States. Chadwick works with one called Lionfish Atlantic, and he travels regularly to the Bahamas to help develop industry infrastructure.

Many Bahamians believe lionfish venom is fatal. Rather, it can cause pain and localized swelling in those who are stung. Explains Chadwick, “We’re working to clear up this misconception and teach proper handling techniques. By creating awareness about how lionfish destroy the local habitat and by promoting them as a food source, we’re helping to create a secondary income and a new fisheries resource for the Bahamas.”

Fish Eye Lens

BB’s Kitchen joins up with Seafood Watch

This past winter BB’s Kitchen (525 E. Cooper Ave., 970. 429.8284) became the first restaurant in the Roaring Fork Valley to become a partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program (seafoodwatch.org). Jax Fish House, with four locations on the Front Range, is the only other partner restaurant in Colorado, although many chefs and restaurateurs (including Grey Lady Executive Chef Kathleen Crook) are independent members of Seafood Watch. Partner restaurants, says Emerson Brown, associate communications manager for Seafood Watch, “make a time-bound commitment to sell only environmentally responsible seafood.” Look for seasonal catch like Arctic char and Colorado striped bass on BB’s eclectic menu. –LM

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Food+%26+Drink+Trends/2011103/259033/article.html.

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