Seafood restaurants are casting a wider net for sustainable fish

There are also fringe benefits for chefs: when an ingredient is less popular, it usually means it’s cheaper. And figuring out how to conjure up something irresistible from, say, a necklace of blue fish helps cooks get out of culinary ruts. “Yeah, it’s a challenge,” said chef Tom Colicchio. “What do you do with it? I actually like it: it just forces you to be creative.

Anyone who’s taken a beach vacation knows that clam shacks have been frying the local catch for ages. At the end of things, elite chefs like Mr. Colicchio, Dan Barber, Eric Ripert, Dave Pasternack, David Chang and Kerry Heffernan have been keen to let people know that bluefin tuna isn’t the only fish in the Wed.

But lately, the idea of ​​casting a wider net has started to trickle down to neighborhood eateries, restaurants, and national chains like slapfisha growing West Coast company that hopes to open a New York outpost in 2016.

Louis Rozzo, the president of the F. Rozzo & Sons New York wholesale distributor and fourth-generation fishmonger, remembers the kind of comments his family used to hear from chefs: “Who’s going to come into an expensive restaurant and order porgy?” Now porgy, as well as local tilefile and hake, are in high demand.

“I’m selling more porgies by far than ever because people are interested in using something different,” Mr. Rozzo said.

There are many ways to think differently, and locally. AT beach craftsMr. Colicchio’s new spot in Miami Beach, the menu makes way for wahoo, cobia, snapper, Florida clams and Key West shrimp.

Change isn’t always easy, especially when customers are in vacation-relaxation mode. “It’s hard because you’re in a hotel and people want the usual things,” said Colicchio, who resisted suggestions from hotel owners 1 Hotel South Beach to make room. on the menu for a safe bet. like salmon.

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