Restaurants are still suffering from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. Last month the House of Representatives approved more than $40 billion in assistance for restaurant owners who previously applied but were unable to receive financial assistance from the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Chef Andrew shares where this sits currently.
Chef Andrew also remembers his long-time friend and colleague Chef Arthur (Art) Gonzalez (Panxa Cocina and Roe Seafood in Long Beach) who sadly left us way too soon this week. He was only 47. Chef Art was our resident expert on Hatch Chiles from New Mexico and spent time there cooking in fine-dining restaurants. Chef Art was of great assistance to Chef Andrew in the early stages of Slapfish when they were operating with multiple Food Trucks.
Chef Andrew is part of the distinguished culinary team presenting an epic meal featuring sustainably caught fresh seafood on the iconic Huntington Beach Pier on Thursday, May 12th under the umbrella of Outstanding in the Field as part of the L.A. Times Food Bowl. This grand event was rescheduled from last year. Chef Andrew offers a tantalizing preview.
There is a ban on the importation of Russian seafood into the U.S. There is a well-deserved ban on the importation of Russian seafood into the U.S. for obvious reasons. Surprisingly many Russian seafood entities use China to process their catch and that seafood then finds its way into the United States as a “product of China.” Ouch! Chef Andrew explains the unfortunate dilemma. Your best bet (although there are quality Chinese seafood purveyors) is to simply avoid “Product of China” seafood.
Farmed seafood, raised sustainably, is a good path for the United States to increase domestic production. Farming fish has moved inland which is a positive development. Chef Andrew will explain the benefits of both ocean-based aquaculture and the developing land-based aquaculture. Chef Andrew suggests it’s the future and also a practical way to get more nutrition-rich, fresh seafood on America’s tables.
Easter Sunday is April 17th. Chef Andrew has some helpful tips to add to your festive Easter table. Should it be ham or lamb? If it’s lamb Chef Andrew suggests Colorado lamb which is raised as a meat source versus used primarily for producing wool.
In Japan uni, the roe of a sea urchin, is a delicacy. There are varieties of sea urchins including the devastating purple sea urchin (with a Zombie mode) that is now destroying vital seaweed beds in California. Chef Andrew talks about an innovative experiment in the Santa Barbara area using safe aquaculture practices to turn these little menaces of the sea into a source of premium uni for restaurants. (This discussion was inspired by a feature article in the Sunday Los Angeles Times on March 6th by Aliza Abarbanel.)
Chef Andrew, among many attributes, is a nationally recognized authority on seafood, sustainability and it’s sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way. 90 per cent of the seafood we consume in the United States is imported. 65 per cent of that is farm-raised. The number one country we import that seafood from is China where the health and safety standards, unfortunately, aren’t quite as rigorous as in the States.
Chef Andrew would like to see a lot more farm-raised, sustainable seafood “grown” domestically where the standards of supervision are a lot more rigorous. Tilapia and shrimp are already being farm-raised domestically with the result being a high-quality product.