Edible Notes, Nice Catch
“What we’ve seen with farm - to - table is now happening with sea-to-table,” says Captain Ben Hyman, whose company Wild Local Seafood targeted a June opening of its storefront at the Ventura Harbor. “We’re giving people the opportunity to really get in there and embrace it.”
Hyman has been a professional fisherman in the Santa Barbara Channel off the Ventura and Santa Barbara coast for 20 years and has been preaching the gospel of sustainable, local fish for about that long. Local, responsibly caught seafood not only supports a healthy environment, he says, but also working fishermen and the local economy.
“People can always have a better experience when food is less processed and has traveled less. Your fish is going to taste better a day or two off the boat, versus one farm-raised on soy and corn, then processed in a country thousands of miles away—when you might live a quarter mile from the beach!”
Wild Local Seafood will offer an array of seasonal fish, primarily from California’s Central Coast. Shoppers will find a selection of fish and seafood, including grenadier, vermilion, lingcod, black cod, uni, prawns and even smaller fish like anchovies, sardines and mackerel. There will also be tuna, halibut, white sea bass, king salmon, sheeps-head, ocean whitefish, yellowtail and opah.
The spectrum of fish, and the maritime equivalent of a nose-to-tail philosophy which uses the whole fish to reduce food waste, creates a wide price range and makes sustainable fish accessible to everyone.
Another way to make fresh fish accessible: Adjacent to the shop will be a tasting room, expected to open later this year, where patrons can sample small plates paired with libations from local wineries and breweries.
Hyman has a big vision for changing the food system, educating consumers and bringing sustainable seafood into the mainstream: “We want people to know where their fish has come from, and how awesome an experience they can have eating fresh local seafood from their own community.”
—Sarah R. Squire
Wild Local Seafood
1559 Spinnaker Dr., #105, Ventura