Thomas Keller, I Tried

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I TiVo the Martha Stewart daytime show every day, so yesterday I watched Monday's episode - it's the one with Thomas Keller (the famous chef/owner of French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon). On the show, he made this really nice dish, called 'Mediterranean Bass with Squid, Fennel, and Tomatoes' from his Bouchon cookbook.

The whole dish revolves around the fish, which is bass. I went to the seafood counter, and they didn't have striped bass (or any other variety), but they *did* have Chilean Sea Bass. In my mind, I'm thinking, "okay, it's not the same bass Thomas Keller used, but it is bass, soooo....." and then I thought - wait a minute - I just read an article this past weekend in New York or Gourmet or some magazine about how Chilean sea bass is severely overfished. I asked the man who was helping me if I was remembering correctly, and he sort-of fumbled around about how some chefs took it off the menu but were wrong about it, and there's no way it was endangered, and if it was it would be so much more than the $22/lb. he was selling it at. (Did he mean to imply that he'd sell endangered fish, just it would cost more? I hope I misunderstood that.)

Well, I really was thinking by that time that I was remembering correctly, so I didn't order the Chilean sea bass and ordered some salmon fillets instead (I'll do those in a different recipe tonight). Once I got home I was really curious about what was really right about it, so I Googled it (search here) and found a wide range of opinions.

I'm not 100% sure which opinion is correct, but for now, I'm not going to buy it. I'll go to a different fish market later this week and see if they have striped bass so that I can still do the recipe.

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