Wednesday, August 15, 2012

California Journey: Fish~ing in Sausalito

Greetings from the beautiful golden state! My journey began on the 4th of August and even now on the eve of the 15th, it is difficult to know where to start when sharing the amazing highlights of this experience. 

I spent a week or so in San Francisco, and during that time I took the ferry over to sunny Sausalito. On a whim I chose a place called Fish to eat lunch, and I have to say that I am extremely happy that my instincts were sharp that day.

Once I stepped inside, I was instantly digging the vibe of Fish. Very unpretentious and casual with a rustic, nautical design sense, this place also instantly gave the impression that integrity was one of its biggest strong points.

After a little more "food blogger reconnaissance" I noticed that indeed my instincts had not dulled, as they are very committed to sustainable fishing practices and supporting local food and drink producers. They not only serve food to happy diners, but they also sell fish for customers to take home and cook themselves.

I ordered my lunch from the beautiful and friendly Nina, received my wine in a Mason jar (and we all know how I feel about Mason jars!), picked up my self-serve water and silverware and headed to the sunny wooden picnic table on the patio outside. Right on the edge of a marina, the Fish patio is pretty much a perfect place to eat lunch on a summer afternoon. I've said this before, but there is just something about a marina that brings me to my happy place. Perhaps there's a boat in my future.

I started with a glass of Vinho Verde, not local but a perfect pairing with the oysters I ordered as an appetizer. I received a sampling of Hog Island oysters, all served with the appropriate accoutrements: hot sauce, mignonette sauce and lemon juice. A very refreshing start to my lunch.

The main dish I chose was grilled halibut cheeks with early girl tomatoes, summer squash and caramelized onions. A hearty, filling meal, it was quite tasty and stayed within the lines of my often preferred Mediterranean flavour profile.

After enjoying my lunch by the seaside, I wandered back inside to take a few photos, when a friendly staff member asked me about my experience. I offered him my kudos and asked him if there might be a fisherman or a local food producer around that I might speak to for After the Harvest. "Yes!" he said excitedly and he returned with none other than the owner of Fish Restaurant (as well as the owner of its main seafood supplier, wholesale company TwoXSea), Kenny Belov.

Kenny was gracious enough to sit down and share his story with me over some local beers, and I'll be sharing our chat as soon as I make time to edit the video. Until the video is live, for now I will say that he was very friendly, clearly passionate about what he does and he went above and beyond, even showing me the freshly caught fish that had just been delivered to the restaurant that day.

I also met a fisherman who happens to be a former NBA player, which at first I thought may be a joke played on an innocent Canadian girl, but turned out to be quite true! It just goes to show you that you never know who you might meet in this world.

My extreme thanks go to Kenny and his team for great food and drink and amazing hospitality. Kenny's passion for sustainability and service is so abundant and it was a pure joy to sit down with him.

They say if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime, but I sometimes I think it's good to leave the fishing to the experts, especially those who will go to the ends of the earth to make sure the methods used not only feed us, but also sustain the ecosystem from where the fish come. A beacon of sustainable seafood, Fish was the first truly great place I visited on this journey.

More to come....stay tuned! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The California Journey Begins

Hello friends!

If you've been following my Twitter or Instagram feeds you'll know that I'm currently in California --  San Francisco to be exact. I've experienced some really amazing food and drink thus far, and most importantly, met some fantastic people with great stories to tell. With only a couple days remaining in SF before I continue on my journey, I must go now and experience this magical city, but before I go I will share a few photos for you to enjoy.

The journey is just beginning...