The last two Julys I spent some time in Boston. Not only do I love the city; I love the food. Particularly the seafood (duh). In 2009, I joined Jim “Sevy” Severson, wife/partner Amy, and their two kids on their family vacation. Yes, I am desperate for friends, but I wasn’t just busting into their family vacation, we’d all enrolled in Steve Connolly Seafood’s School for Chefs. Many Dallas chefs (Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, Marc Cassel, Sharon Hage) have toured and learned from the plant’s two facilities: one in South Boston, the other in historic Gloucester.
I ended up writing a feature about our trip. To this day it remains one of the most interesting (and fun) adventures of my life. Meeting the fisherman who risk their lives and fortunes on a daily basis changed the way I think about the food on my plate. Especially the seafood.
One of my fondest memories came during a tour of the plant in Boston where the fish are processed and packaged for delivery. Our guide at that point was Robert Chandler, a marine biologist, senior buyer, and general manager of the facility. As he was explaining how the scales were removed from fish, his right hand was massaging the mouth of a huge striped bass in a tub next to him. I made some snarky remark about his unconscious tendency to rub a fish and he laughed. I wrote:
“I love this fish,” he said, absentmindedly massaging the mouth of the fish with his thumb. “They are the quintessential Massachusetts summertime fish. You know when the striped bass are running. The Red Sox are playing, and times are good.”
Anywhoo, it’s summertime in Dallas and this morning I received word that the striped bass are running. Those in the picture will be served at Fearing’s, Neighborhood Services Lovers & Preston, Dragonfly, and Neiman Marcus downtown tomorrow.