DAY Chef Sammy Monsor prepares vermilion rockfish during a Trash Fish Dinner in 2016, put on by Chefs Collaborative.
Chefs Collaborative, a national nonprofit network of 20,000 members, has been hosting Trash Fish Dinners around the country since 2013. “While we use ‘trash fish’ as a catchy, edgy term, the industry is a little down on it because it undervalues these
species. They like to use ‘underutilized species’ or ‘bycatch’ or other terms,” says board chairwoman Piper Davis, founder and co-owner of Grand Central Bakery in Seattle and Portland, Ore. The group encourages chefs to host the dinners as
a way to encourage diners to test the waters. So far, more than 30 member chefs have hosted nine Trash Fish Dinners. “I know on the chef’s side, there’s clear evidence of people using different types of fish on their menus. We joke, ‘Anything but halibut and salmon!’”
Davis says. “So yes, there’s definitely an increase in chefs understanding that underutilized species are great options. And it works both ways — not only are they the environmental good choice to make, but quite often they’re less expensive. So it’s a more affordable choice, too.” There are a few Trash Fish Dinners scheduled for fall, but no dates have been finalized. To find out whether there’s one happening near you, go to chefscollaborative.org.
Asian ribbon fish
GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017
CHEFS COLLABORATIVE; GETTY IMAGES
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