Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So glad it's salmon season

Went to a special lunch at Lark today put on by the Makah tribal trollers and Washington Trollers Association featuring a range of speakers talking about the efforts to preserve habitat and elevate the profile of this local product. Which, of course, was on the menu.

Chef John Sundstrom is a master of letting ingredients like this gorgeous fish shine without getting all fancy/fussy. I was so impressed with the pickled salmon served as an app, beautiful radishes from Full Circle Farm. He seared it and brined it and it was buttery and sublime.

The grilled fish on the main plate was cooked perfectly, very moist, the flesh just flaking, not "medium rare". The Ozette potatoes were a treat, too, this ancient variety is practically impossible to cultivate. They tasted rustic, almost earthy. And asparagus completed this picture of spring flavors. Stalks peeled, not snapped.

Chinook's new release of semillon offered a bright, crisp contrast to the rich flavors. 

What made the meal even more memorable was the company, which included a commercial fisherman who has worked out of Neah Bay for 18 years. You can find this beautiful fish tomorrow at Whole Foods and, possibly, at Fisherman's Terminal. It doesn't have the same cache as Copper River salmon, but it tasted as good, if not better to me. Better because it's from Washington.

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