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Skuna Bay feels proud to be featured at the historic Beard House for the 6th Annual "Salmon Seduction" dinner on October 2nd, 2018. In contrast with previous years, Salmon Seduction VI was no less, when it comes to unique dinner experience. Chefs created a stunning array of versatile salmon dishes, leaving the guests in awe.

Each in their own unique way, our line-up of Chefs this year developed jaw-dropping Skuna Bay Salmon dishes...

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MAX CAVALERI- THE NEW YORK TIMES

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?

Growing up Italian and Jewish meant that life revolves around food. Even before I knew I wanted to become a chef I learned how to make my family’s tomato sauce recipe. My great aunt worked in an Italian Market well into her 70s and she always made huge Italian meals every time we went to her house. My mom was a pretty decent cook and I always helped her in the kitchen mostly because I was a pretty picky eater and wanted to make sure the food was the way I liked it. By the time I was 15 cooking seemed to make the most sense to me and I wanted to see what it was like to work in a real kitchen. I began my culinary career as a chef’s apprentice in a small French bistro in Los Angeles.

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SARAH RINKAVAGE - MARISOL

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?

When I was in high school, I started working at a gourmet deli in my hometown. I was hired as a barista, but quickly became interested in the kitchen and the Chef’s work. He started to teach me, and encouraged me to go to culinary school. I went to the Culinary Institute of America for two years, then moved to Chicago. I had a few odd cooking jobs before settling at Lula café for seven years. I worked from the bottom all the way to the Chef de Cuisine. From there, Jason Hammel took me to the MCA to help open Marisol, where I am the chef de cuisine today

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JASON McCLAIN - JONATHAN CLUB

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?

My father went bankrupt and told me to get a job. Found a job washing dishes and bussing table. A Garde Manger cook cut himself and I was promoted. The Chefs took me under their wing and started teaching me how to cook and prep. I was not good in school because of my learning disability so realized I need to learn a trade I could do with my hands. Cooking to me seemed like a fun career because it was always evolving and changing. Every memory I had with, from my childhood, with friends and family, was always over a good meal. I like the idea of bringing people together through food I create.

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Photo by: J Fusco, Visit Philly

SYLVA SENAT - Maison 208

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?


I grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Early on, after moving from Haiti to the U.S., I was given the opportunity to join the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and was fortunate enough to be mentored by C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman, which ultimately built the foundation for my career. I currently serve as a proud alumni board member and a mentor to recent grads and high school students. I think it’s important to give back to the organization that helped me to get my start in this industry. 

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When the Craftsman Farmers of Skuna Bay have a rare break from caring for their salmon, they're on the look out for new means to to create a sustainable future.

As of September 2017, the Craftsman Farmers are proud to join other responsible producers and sellers of seafood as a Seafood Watch Collaborator and Good Alternative on the Seafood Watch® list. 

Starting in March, the folks over at the James Beard Foundation will no longer including "red-listed" Seafood Watch items at their events.

We are also committed to aligning our partnerships and programs in support of these values. Starting in March, events at the James Beard House will no longer include “red-listed” items. We are pleased that our long-time partner Skuna Bay Salmon’s rating has improved from an “avoid” to a “good alternative” (British Columbia) as part of the most recent farmed salmon assessment by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, allowing us the opportunity to continue to work with them in our programming.

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When you’re in the seafood business and  farming salmon, the topic of sustainability comes up constantly. Naturally, as a farm that raises its salmon in its natural, ocean environment, we at Skuna Bay are as passionate about being responsible in our waters as anyone could be. After all, we need to have healthy and pristine waters in order to have a sustainable future. So our Craftsman Farmers’ jobs in many ways are as much to be conservationists as they are to be animal farmers.

All that being said, while of course we think we operate at the height of sustainability, anyone can say anything at any time, but there’s limited credibility in boasting about one’s own operation. This is why it has been so important to hold a credible, valid, third party audited certification from a well-recognized certification program. And this past week there were some developments on this topic at the Sustainable Seafood Summit in Seattle. At that event, our friends at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program announced a change to their criteria, that moving forward, salmon farmers who adopt the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification would automatically qualify for a “yellow (good alternative)” ranking under the Seafood Watch program. This is commendable and good news for responsible producers. Finally, it is being recognized that rearing salmon in its natural, ocean environment is a positive thing for the world and that our efficient, low carbon food method could truly be a major contributor to sustainable food solutions globally.

 

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Hello Chefs from the farms! 

I wanted to share with you the latest from our Skuna Bay farms. Since we resumed harvesting earlier this year we’ve been really happy with how our salmon is responding. Feeding has gone well and our fish are showing us their appreciation – at almost 11 lbs, our average size has never been larger! Mother Nature seems to be cooperating and while I have been raising salmon too long to expect an easy ride, we feel like we’re in the best position we have ever been, positioned for great quality fish and lots of them in the months and years ahead. One thing that gives me a lot of optimism is an innovation that we have introduced and are starting to perfect. This is a “graded harvest”.

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For the past 6 months we have been at a farm that has drastically under performed - so we made the difficult decision to reduce supply rather than relax our standards. Our time at the Bennett sea farm reminded us that even our best efforts, even all the passion and experience in the world sometimes isn't enough to overcome Mother Nature. The main problem was that we were limited to harvesting from this one area as the fish at our other farms in Nootka Sound were not mature and not ready to be harvested. It meant that we had no other options. Bennett's troubles were due to a lack of oxygen in the water because of a lack of storm activity in the fall (this meant less turbulence in the water column and less oxygen - when this happens fish struggle and can't be fed and they fail to thrive which causes other problems). The fish were smaller and less of them met the Skuna Bay standard (a quality criteria we weren't willing to bend). This is the one farm location where we see this.

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For more than 2 years we Craftsman Farmers of Skuna Bay have been proudly raising great salmon for great chefs. In doing this we have used our experience, our knowledge and generally our love for what we do to ensure that every time the chef receives their box of Skuna Bay in their kitchen, the fish in that carton arrive in 'fresh-from-the-ocean' condition. That has been the mission and we have searched for ways (small and large) to control every little variable that can affect that experience.

Doing this and seeing the chefs' response to our work has been very rewarding and it motivates us to continue doing what we are doing: improving and driving for better results for our chef customers.

Yet for these past few months we have been reminded that ultimately we Craftsman Farmers can't control everything, especially Mother Nature. We have been harvesting at a farm since last December that has consistently given us challenges that are