Matt & I had a great opportunity to attend a 2 1/2 day fish class put on by Foley Fish, one of Bostons original fish purveyors.
We spent some long,long days starting at 5am at the Boston Fish Pier, on board a ground fish boat, a scallop boat and the New Bedford Fish Auction in between class time spent talking about sustainable New England Fisheries, quality control of seafood products and some amazing demos by master fish cutters.
All in all one of the best professional experiences I have had in very long time. The things that as a professional chef you feel you have a pretty good grasp on become elementary compared to the people who deal in that particular expertise day in and day out.
One of the things that I feel make me who I am as a chef is my desire to learn and continue to explore the world I work in on a much deeper level. Going into the belly of the beast so to speak to find out where my food really comes from, how does it get to my back door and by who.
Its easy to pick up the phone on a daily basis and place the order that magically arrives the next day. But to meet the captains of the boats and ask them the questions that you very rarely get to ask is truly going to the source and learning where its coming from and how its getting there.
If you can, get out and learn about the products you are using. Its not enough to ask your vendor where is it coming from, ask your vendor to take you where its coming from..............you may be surprised about what you learn.