Talk­ing trash ... fish

Chefs cham­pion for­mer cast-offs Dog­fish, drum, sea robin — em­brace the idea that “one man’s trash is an­other man’s trea­sure” and sam­ple some so-called “trash fish.”

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LIVING - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Media

“I like the term un­der­loved fish,” said Pa­trick Byrne, pro­pri­etor of Gen­eral War­ren in Malvern. “An­other great term to use for trash fish is fish­er­man’s din­ner or fish­er­man’s lunch.”

And what bet­ter time to try these of­ten over­looked fish than Na­tional Seafood Month?

“Some­times we say rough fish be­cause it’s not ap­peal­ing or ap­pe­tiz­ing. No one wants to eat trash,” ex­plained ex­ec­u­tive chef Chi­wishi Joy Ab­ney, an in­struc­tor at the Wayne Art Cen­ter in Wayne. “A lot of them are scav­engers, so they’re re­ally looked down upon.”

Grow­ing up, her grand­mother made de­li­cious fried porgy.

“We’re kind of pres­sured by what is pop­u­lar,” Ab­ney said. “I think it’s our job as cooks to re­ally of­fer some insight and va­ri­ety to the plate.”

“Chefs to­day are so much more cre­ative and think­ing out­side the box,” agreed Byrne. “Drum fish used to be a bait.”

As a young chef, he re­mem­bers restau­rants dis­cov­er­ing fluke, “a thick floun­der” that was “as cheap as can be.”

“Ev­ery­thing cy­cles,” Byrne noted. “His­tory re­peats it­self on ev­ery level, and that in­cludes food.”

One way to trans­late the trend at home: Use lesser-known fish in an au­tumn seafood stew, fea­tur­ing spiced car­rot puree.


Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent fish in a sim­ple, col­or­ful au­tumn seafood stew. “You can get this from the re­frig­er­a­tor to the ta­ble in about an hour,” says Josh Smith, ex­ec­u­tive chef at Gen­eral War­ren in Malvern.


Reg­is­tered di­eti­tian-nu­tri­tion­ist Emma Fogt pre­pares fish for a class at the Wayne Art Cen­ter.

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