The rise of the farm-to-table movement is a pleasing trend, with foodies and general consumers alike becoming more curious about the origin of their food. With farmers' markets popping up all over the place, it was only natural that a seafood alternative would appear on the scene.
Enter Dock to Dish. Founded by lifelong fisherman and restauranteur Sean Barrett and a handful of other community-based fisherman, Dock to Dish is Long Island's answer to the farmers' market of the sea, bringing the catch of the day straight from the docks of Montauk to participating co-op members, mainly a collection of local chefs, and avid foodies.
Booming populations and demand for seafood worldwide has seen massive over-fishing occur in our oceans, as well as the introduction in relatively recent times of farmed fish, where various breeds of fish are bred year-round, exclusively for human consumption. Eating farmed fish isn't only bad for you (for more on this, read here), it disrupts the natural cycle of seasonal fishing and eating. In addition, the impact on the environment of farmed fish is profound, clocking up a huge carbon footprint to reach all corners of the earth.
Dock to Dish is different. Not only does it celebrate local fisherman and the local fishing community, it only practices sustainable fishing methods, ensuring the delivery of a catch that is always in season. In addition, all seafood from Dock to Dish is rated abundant and sustainable by theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fishwatch Program, a simple system designed to help consumers make informed, sustainable seafood choices.
Members are provided with the highest-quality, locally caught, sustainable seafood within a turnaround time of under 24 hours, making it incredibly easy for chefs to now plan their menus around the catch of the day, instead of having their seafood orders dictated by a previously written menu, a practice that most chefs still follow.
With the goal to fundamentally change the marketplace of New York's largest fishing port by "demonstrating to producers, through consumer demand, the economic and ecological value of traceable, sustainable seafood", Dock to Dish has a very noble task at hand. With more people consuming local, sustainable seafood, the hope is that demand will move away from the farmed, out-of-season alternatives, and focus instead on what is readily available right at our doorstops. Plus, what could be better than the flavour and texture of fresh seafood?
Dock to Dish is a fantastic institute, and one that should be supported abundantly. For more information, visit the Dock to Dish website here.