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SFF Partnership Highlights California Spiny Lobster

SFF Partnership Highlights California Spiny Lobster
Andrew Reitsma

Seafood for the Future

January 2, 2013

This February Seafood for the Future (SFF) is collaborating with Chef Ray Garcia, executive chef at FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, as well as A Sustainable Kitchen and Edible Westside to highlight local and responsibly harvested California spiny lobster.

Chef Ray Garcia
Chef Ray Garcia
People associate lobster with the image of the bright red crustacean with giant claws and a side of melted butter. Over the course of the summer, coastal communities all over Southern California celebrate these American or “Maine” lobsters from New England in a series of festivals. Meanwhile, the clawless spiny lobster native to California is less well known.

California’s spiny lobster fishery is a well-managed trap fishery with minimal bycatch and strict limits on how many fishermen can catch the clawless crustaceans. The California Department of Fish and Game is in the process of creating a Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan to further the sustainability of this local fishery. The majority of spiny lobsters harvested are shipped overseas.

On February 2 Garcia will perform a cooking demonstration at Surfas Culinary District in Culver City. He will highlight the mild and sweet flavors along with a freshness that can only come from lobsters caught in the Pacific adjacent to our coastline. Garcia will also feature a spiny lobster dish at FIG Restaurant Santa Monica in February. Check the FIG Restaurant website for details.

Garcia is committed to using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. In addition to responsible, local seafood, Garcia works with local California growers such as McGrath Family Farms and Weiser Family Farms. He even grows some of his own herbs and peppers in the FIG garden. Under his leadership, FIG’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond food to other aspects of the operation, including recycling and composting and turning fryer oil into soap. Garcia was recently awarded the Rising Star Award in the Sustainability category by StarChefs.com.

Learn more about the California spiny lobster fishery and recreate Chef Ray Garcia’s recipe in the winter issue of Edible Westside.

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