By Rachel Lintott
Assistant Director, International Culinary Center CA
In February of this year, I had the pleasure of tagging along with our students on their Professional Culinary Arts Immersion plus Farm-to-Table field trip for a couple of days. On day one, after an eye-opening trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to learn about the nationally acclaimed Seafood Watch program, we made our way out to the Monterey Bay Municipal Wharf. The significance of meeting on the water was not lost—we were there to learn about Local Catch, a Community Sustained Fishery (CSF). Amidst the bustle of the wharf, Founder Alan Lovewell and Chef Kevin Butler explained to us the concept of a CSF. Like the more colloquial Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA), CSFs seek to directly connect fishermen to consumers.
Here in the Bay Area, we are fortunate to live in close proximity to our food—while driving down The One to Monterey that day, we passed through artichoke and strawberry fields and the quaint Moss Landing Harbor. Even though our food is so close we can literally jump out and touch it, modern economics make it difficult to source local seafood.
CSFs like Local Catch are seeking to break this trend to benefit consumers and fishermen alike.
What are the benefits of buying from a CSF?
When it comes to sustainability, CSFs like Local Catch are stewards of our oceans—that means they care about keeping our waters healthy by not overfishing and through responsible fishing techniques. Supporting responsible fishermen means we are better positioning ourselves to enjoy delicious seafood for years to come. And speaking of delicious seafood: fresh fish (that hasn’t traveled to and from a packaging facility) tastes better. CSFs bring local fish from the dock to you—guaranteeing freshness. CSFs also help fishermen get a fair price for their product (no middle men and no competing on the international market). Supporting your local food economy means supporting your community.
Since that eye-opening day on the pier, ICC has been working with Local Catch to bring fresh, Monterey Bay seafood to the Silicon Valley. By becoming a pick-up site for the CSF, we seek to support local fisherman and the local economy, to protect our oceans and to educate the public on sustainable seafood.
Interested in joining Local Catch? Email me your name and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Cost: $22/week for the Full Bounty option or $26/week for the select California Classic option (think more standard fish like Salmon and Halibut).
– Quantity: 1-1.5 lbs, or enough to create 3-4 entrees.
– When: Pick up will be on Tuesdays.
– Where: The ICC in Campbell—a school that rivals Disneyland as the happiest place on Earth.
– In addition to the fish, Local Catch provides seafood demos (in the ICCs state-of-the-art demo theatre where the likes of Jacques Pepin and Cesare Casella have taught our students); recipes, fishermen interviews, information about the natural history of the fish, and much more.
– Allergies can be accommodated.