Northwest Pride extends beyond the Oregon border (unless you're a die-hard Timbers fan) so we couldn't resist cracking the spine of In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys (out March 7th from Viking Studio; $30; 272 pages), the new cookbook from Leslie Miller and the crew of Seattle's Pike Place Fish—aka the brawny dudes you'll find throwing salmon in front of a few dozen tourist cameras.
If you've found yourself among the ten million annual visitors to Pike Place Market, you've no doubt seen the piles of ice topped with fresh-eyed seafood and bright red Dungeness crabs, but you may not be aware of a radical sea change that occurred at the market in 2011.
Just over two years ago, Pike Place Fish teamed up with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to transform the fifty-year-old seafood stall into the first 100% sustainable seafood market in Washington state.
"We buy specific 'stunt' salmon just for throwing, and when they are no longer worthy of tossing (after about a hundred tosses they get a little funky), we freeze them. When we have enough, we donate them to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo and nearby Wolf Haven International to feed the animals. We even get to throw fish to the bears."
In the Kitchen explores the catalyst behind that commitment, offering easy-to-digest sustainable seafood tips alongside handy illustrated guides showing how to throw salmon, crab, and a 25-pound halibut.
This accessible, un-preachy education is followed by over a hundred recipes for everything from Dungeness crab and bacon quiche to a good ol' fashioned clam bake, mixed in with fishmonger profiles and behind-the-scenes stories, like the gem to the right.
Packed with action photography and drool-worthy shots of everything from Grilled Rainbow Trout with Crispy Sage and Brown Butter to Caribbean Seafood Stew, In the Kitchen is a great resource for longtime seafood lovers and culinary guppies alike.
EVENT ALERT: The Pike Place Fish guys will be stopping in Portland on their cookbook tour. You can catch their free reading at Powells City of Books on Sunday, March 17 at 7:30 pm.
Looking for even more information on ocean-friendly seafood? Check out these Top 5 Sustainable Seafood Tips from celebrity chef Rick Moonen and Riffle NW's Ken Norris.