My initial interest in seafood stemmed from medical concerns and the resultant culinary disasters that they introduced. When I was fourteen, my father had a massive heart attack at a high school football game. After recovering from this near-fatal event, he radically altered his—and our family’s—eating habits. Gone were the cholesterol- and fat-laden prime rib, rib eye steak, and roast beef dinners. Instead, we ate heart-healthy meals of broiled flounder, baked haddock, and the occasional salmon cake.
Unfortunately, my mother, the self-appointed cook of our household, had little enthusiasm for the kitchen. As a result, she made our seafood suppers about as seasoned and succulent as sandpaper. I, however, knew there must be a better way. Inspired and armed with copies of Irma Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking and Jane Grigson’s Fish Book, I began a war against dry, dull seafood.
Along with learning how to cook moist, flavorful seafood I discovered the origins and habits of fish and shellfish. In addition to befriending my local fishmongers, who shared knowledge and tips, I started catching my own fish. From my first disastrous attempts in college to land a carp on the Allegheny River to reeling in bluefish in the Delaware Bay and yellowtail snapper in the Florida Keys I grew to appreciate every creature that I cooked and ate. This ultimately resulted in me switching over to a pescetarian diet. For over 16 years seafood has been a major source of protein for me.
Today I count myself among the fortunate to be able to work at what I love — writing, cooking, traveling and taking photographs. As a syndicated food writer, my articles have appeared in over 25 newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun. I’ve also covered food and travel for such print publications as VegNews and BackHome. My work appears regularly on the online culinary magazine Zester Daily and at Yahoo! Shine and MSN.com. I’ve also contributed entries to the food encyclopedia Entertaining from Ancient Room to the Super Bowl (Greenwood Press, 2008) and to Start Your Own Microbrewery, Distillery, or Cidery (Entrepreneur Media, 2015). Currently I am writing the non-fiction book Herring: A Global History for Reaktion Books. Throughout my career I’ve worked as a recipe tester, trying out and tweaking the culinary creations of noted authors as well as my own recipes.
Fish Market represents a lifetime of personal and professional experiences. In this cookbook I share anecdotes and histories as well as buying, storing and cooking tips. Whatever recipe you try is a dish that I’ve made and eaten many times beforehand. Needless to say, I hope that you will enjoy cooking from Fish Market as much as I do!
Have questions or comments? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional articles and recipes can be found at KitchenKat.com.