Alte r native WHAT'S t h e
Undervalued, lesser-known fish species might be the
answer for chefs.
By Clare Leschin-Hoar
FOR CHEFS who embrace
sustainability, from their baby-greens salad
starter to their artisan-crafted cheese course
for dessert, fish is frequently the pitfall that
can trip up even the most earnest of efforts.
practices land it squarely in the red “avoid”
column. Add the BP oil spill into the mix, and
there’s no question that substitution skills are
being honed in kitchens everywhere.
THE INVASIVE ASIAN CARP
Before launching his food-truck venture,
Chicago-based chef Phillip Foss had
emerged as the champion of an invasive,
much maligned fish: the Asian carp.
After all, it’s a complicated topic. A species
may be overfished in one part of the
country, yet plentiful in another. Ratings by
environmental groups can change over the
course of a year. Perhaps a specific fish
population is strong, but harmful fishing
Savvy chefs have started taking a closer
look at undervalued fish. Increasingly,
menus are sporting lesser-known species,
such as golden tilefish, tripletail, cobia,
pompano or black drum. Here, we take a
closer look at three alternative fish, and
the pros and cons of each.
Originally imported to the U.S. during the
1970s, the carp was used to clean catfish
ponds. It eventually escaped, and has
been working its way up the Mississippi
ever since, devouring large quantities
of plankton and algae and crowding out