|Crab and sweet pea panna cotta in carrot broth - like peas n' carrots! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Waterfront Seafood Grill's Executive Chef Peter Levine prepared five courses with crab that were caught responsibly. Each course was paired with wines chosen by Wine Director Kristen Young, including selections from Sparkman Cellars. Along with Waterfront Grill's General Manager, Chris Sparkman, to help explain the finer points of sustainable fishing, Frank Ragusa, General Manager of Ocean Beauty Seattle introduced the dinner. Ragusa explained that responsible crab fishing relies on:
1) A strong biomass, or a healthy supply of crab living in a region and being aware of its population
2) Awareness of a fishing fleet's carbon footprint, and taking steps to offset the expenditures of fossil fuels
3) Using nets and fishing methods that are more selective towards catching only crab, unlike gill nets
4) Adhering to strict size regulations and only taking male crab, throwing females back
Utilizing fishing practices like these help to ensure that the fishing industry is sustained as well as the population of the sea creatures they catch.
|A tasty catch at Pier 70 - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
The Waterfront Grill, located at the end of Pier 70, is a popular place for Seattle visitors to experience a taste of the Pacific Northwest. Located near Pike's Market and the Edgewater Hotel, it offers wide views of the surrounding Sound as well as tastes of what the area has to offer. For those unfamiliar with both the region and the cuisine, their menu contains several local favorites and delivers a picturesque occasion dining experience. Introducing the theme of sustainability in the menu and making it a point to ensure patrons that the ingredients were responsibly harvested and caught, continues the growing movement towards a greener way of eating.
The dishes served during the annual "Cult of the Crab" dinner included a dressed up version of a traditional Crab Louie, the comfort food pairing of peas n' carrots with a crab and sweet pea panna cotta in a spiced carrot broth, a Dungeness version of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, a rich ravioli of Maryland blue crab, and a bold-flavored whole Maryland soft shelled crab fried over green beans and fennel.
It was a wide range of flavors for the different crab, each paired with different wines to compliment the flavors of the dishes. The variety of dishes and methods of preparation were a good overall reminder that being environmentally selective over ingredients doesn't limit one's options, instead it provides opportunities for obtaining local products as well as comfort in the knowledge that what is served on the plate was obtained through responsible methods.
|A crabby meal -- but the ice cream sundae was seafood-free! Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Aside from having the great opportunity to meet and chat with the media voices of Seattle, the dinner was a good way to promote the practice of being a self-aware restaurant patron. No matter where you eat, ask where ingredients come from and be selective in menu item selection, prioritizing items that were grown, caught or raised locally. As patrons of restaurants focus on more seasonal and regional items, it creates both a sustainable business environment for local companies as well as the environment we all share.
Wasabi Thanks to the entire team at Waterfront Seafood Grill, Ocean Beauty, and the team at Randall PR for all working in concert to bring this dinner together.