CATCH A RISING STAR
HAKE IS RAPIDLY BECOMING THE FAVORED FISH FOR THE SEASON’S BEST DISHES. BY BAO ONG
Hake is rapidly becoming the favored fish for the season’s best dishes.
Lately, a seafood lover is bound to find on any East Hampton menu a newly indemand fish: hake.
“It’s going to be the most popular fish at the best restaurants this year,” says Peter Callahan, the owner and creative director of Peter Callahan Catering (137 W 25th St. #4, New York NY, 212-327-1144; petercallahan.com). This first cousin of cod has a delicate flavor and meaty texture that makes it perfect for grilling or sautéing, adds Callahan, who often serves it with fresh vegetables.
At Coast Kitchen at the Montauk Yacht Club (32 Star Island Road, Montauk, 631-668-3100; montaukyachtclub.com), chef Josef Bruno gently poaches hake in a fragrant butter spiked with star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, and thyme, before placing the filet on a bed of risotto and baby vegetables. Bruno likes hake, not only for its flavor, but also because it can be fished sustainably.
At Dock to Dish ( 6 S. Elmwoodave.,montauk,917853-8559; docktodish.com) the Montauk-based fishery that connects chefs with fishermen, hake is one of the top five fish caught off the Hamptons shores. Of the nearly 27 million pounds of commercially caught fish in New York state, about 1.5 million pounds is hake, notes cofounder Sean Barrett. “We are certainly seeing more hake dishes on the menu,” says Barrett. “But otherwise, folks still aren’t really aware of what a local treasure hake truly is. It won’t be long until they catch on.”
top left:what the hake? This often-ignored fish is starting to attract top chefs; top right: Seared Hake on lemon mint puree with early radish and wild onion shoots, grilled zucchini, yellow squash and heirloom tomatoes from Peter Callahan Catering;...