Liz McEnaney

JOIN US SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23RD, 3:00PM

The SS Columbia Project is restoring the 114-year-old steamboat Columbia and reviving the great tradition of day excursion vessels on the Hudson River. Once in service, the boat will be a new culture venue on the Hudson River -- a floating platform for arts, education and entertainment that reconnects New York City to the Hudson Valley. 

Please join us for a talk about the history of the Hudson River Day Line boats, and learn more about what it takes to bring a 1902-built steamboat back to life. Over the past 18 months, the boat has traveled over 250 nautical miles, glided across three rivers -- Detroit, Maumee, and Buffalo -- and crossed Lake Erie. She has passed the shoreline of three states -- Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- before landing for the first time in New York State. Columbia is now docked in the Buffalo River at Silo City.  

The presentation will be given by Executive Director Liz McEnaney, an architectural historian and preservationist who also teaches at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering. 

Liz is an architectural historian and preservationist. She has curated museum exhibitions, developed site interpretation plans, and advocated for the waterfront issues in both New York City and the Hudson Valley.

Prior to finding her sea legs, Liz was Executive Director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation and worked for artist Maya Lin’s What is Missing? Foundation. She has also been involved in Hudson Valley-focused initiatives. She produced the documentary film Hudson Rising and worked with the Commissioner of the New York State Quadricentennial Commission.

Liz is an adjunct professor in the Urban Design and the Historic Preservation program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She also teaches in the Sustainable Urban Design Program at NYU Tandon Engineering.

Lauren Elachi

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH, 6:00PM

Landscape Designer Lauren Elachi will discuss Living Breakwaters, an oyster centric landscape intervention to protect Staten Island from future storms.  

The Living Breakwaters concept design was developed by the SCAPE team for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design (RBD) Initiative, and was one of six winning proposals in this global competition. SCAPE’s layered approach overlays coastal resiliency infrastructure with habitat enhancement techniques and environmental stewardship models, linking in-water protective interventions to on-shore resiliency and community engagement.

Proposed for the South Shore of Staten Island, Living Breakwaters employs a necklace of breakwaters to buffer neighborhoods from wave damage and erosion while providing a more biodiverse habitat for juvenile fish, oysters, and other organisms. This living infrastructure is paired with social resiliency frameworks in adjacent neighborhoods on-shore to help increase awareness of risk, empower citizens, and engage local schools in waterfront education. The proposal was awarded to New York State and is currently being implemented by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery with $60 million of CDBG-DR funding allocated for this project, currently in the schematic design process.

Lauren Elachi is a Landscape Designer focusing on regional mapping projects and community resiliency. She holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. Using her fascination with infrastructure to drive her design work, Lauren has previous experience working on conceptual energy master planning projects for the Taiwan Strait, as well as smaller civic landscape and artistic installations in New York City. She was awarded the Penny White Grant from Harvard University to study nuclear waste disposal in Finland and Sweden, and has published on the political economy of plants.

Michi Jigarjian and Libby Pratt

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH, 6:00PM

New Draft Collective is a New York-based duo made up of Michi Jigarjian and Libby Pratt that operates as an artistic practice, facilitator, and publisher; and focuses particularly on reinvigorating and retelling maritime history and culture within a contemporary context.

Jigarjian and Pratt will be speaking about their recent event based work Re-Current which explores the ever changing sociopolitical and physical landscape of lower Manhattan and its surrounding waters.

Second in its series, Re-Current is an event based work which explores the ever changing sociopolitical and physical landscape of lower Manhattan and its surrounding waters. On October 2nd 2016 New Draft Collective hosted a three hour sail with 40 passengers aboard the schooner Pioneer. The curated program included sound performances from land to water, conversations led by artists and curators which uncovered the diverse histories of the New York Harbor’s shoreline along with moments of recreation and leisure. Anchored by the performance piece “Voices Heard” the day’s events allowed for moments of reflective pause engaging the participatory passengers in a collective shared experience. The departure from the city allowed for new perspectives of the land bringing to light a myriad historical exploration of cultural and physical evolution of the New York Harbor. 

 

Pete Malinowski

JOIN US MONDAY, OCTOBER 10TH, 6:00PM

Join Pete Malinowski, director of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), as he paints a vivid picture of the oyster life of New York Harbor. Using the BOP oyster seeding cages hung over the side of our ship, Pete will explain how the harbor can be populated with a billion oysters by 2030.

Pete has taught marine science and aquaculture at New York Harbor School since 2008 and since 2010 has served as the school’s Aquaculture Program Director. In 2014 he was named Director of the Billion Oyster Project, which he developed with Murray Fisher. Pete has played a lead role in local marine restoration efforts, notably in connection with the Oyster Restoration Research Project (ORRP) in New York Harbor. Prior to joining Harbor School, he worked as a tall ship educator and deckhand at Ocean Classroom Foundation, and as a seasonal foreman at the Fishers Island Oyster Farm. Pete holds a B.A. from Vassar College, and is a Coast Guard licensed captain.

Lars Viola

JOIN US SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9TH, 12:00PM

An oyster is a truly a function of time and place, a reflection of where it was grown and how it lived. Join oyster expert Lars Viola, and explore a selection of sustainable oysters from both coasts. Learn how to safely and cleanly shuck a variety of breeds, understand their provenance and peculiarities, and delight in their unique flavors as you taste the fruits of your labor.

This event is sponsored by the Maritime Foundation, and is free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Bren Smith & Brendan Coffey

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 6:00PM

Learn about (and taste!) the food grown on revolutionary 3-D ocean farms with Bren Smith and Brendan Coffey, founders of GreenWave.  GreenWave helps commercial fishermen redefine their place within an industry struggling to adapt to the realities of climate change and depleted global fisheries.  Farming shellfish and seaweed in our coastal waters is a regenerative solution that creates jobs and a much needed economic alternative.

 

Marion Lear Swaybill & Noah Kaufmann

Noah Kaufmann, digital editor of Food and Wine, hosts a conversation with Marion Lear Swaybil, author of Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw.

In Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw, Marion Lear Swaybill presents a wide-ranging visual exploration of this iconic shellfish, including stunning portraits of more than fifty oyster varietals, the latest photographs from some of the country’s most renowned and beautiful oyster farms, and notable illustrations of oysters in the arts and culture, all alongside a lively and informative text. For centuries, oysters have had the power to sustain and delight, inspiring writers and artists, lowly cooks and four-star chefs, laborers and gourmands, and everyone in between. A feast for the eyes and the palate oysters also are rich in history and lore. 

Chef De Cuisine

Join Our Crew!

Grand Banks, the award-winning oyster bar aboard a historic 142-foot sailboat docked in Tribeca, is seeking a Chef de Cuisine. Candidates must be enthusiastic and experienced with an innate ability to manifest excellence in hospitality. We employ a crew that maintains a fine-dining level of service, a professional appearance, and a positive attitude in a fast-paced energetic atmosphere. We have a deep commitment to sustainably harvested seafood, the preservation of historic vessels, and the maritime community. Candidates for all positions should have appreciation for these values while demonstrating an authentic sense of hospitality.

 

Job Summary

The Chef De Cuisine is charged with the daily operational success of the kitchen. The person in this position develops systems for the production of menu items while leading a well organized team. They will consult closely with Executive Chef and Sous Chef to plan menus, create new items, and make seasonal changes based on product availability. Specific responsibilities include the planning and pricing of dishes, cost analysis, overseeing labor and inventory management.

  • Must have experience in menu development and execution
  • Kitchen management and organizational experience is mandatory
  • Fine dining experience is mandatory
  • Must have experience in managing financial systems
  • Superb communication skills are required
  • Must demonstrate a strong sense pride, leadership and collaboration
  • Must be able to remain composed under stress within a high-volume environment
  • Positive attitude, integrity and confidence are required
  • Full time availability is mandatory
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus
  • Must have sea legs
  • Certifications Required
  • DOH Safe Food Handler
  • FDNY Fire Guard
  • Food Allergy Training Course
  • Training / Skills / Knowledge Required
  • Management Practices
  • HR Practices
  • All BOH Positions
  • Purchasing / Receiving
  • Basic Safety - BOH
  • Grand Banks Practices
  • DOH Guidelines
  • Compensation
  • Competitive Salary
  • Application

 

Application

If you are interested in joining us for a season of fun in the sun (on a boat), please visit our APPLICATION PAGE by clicking the button below. Do not call, email, or send resumes.

 

*

Grand Banks is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the business thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our customers, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one's employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.

Julie Qiu

JOIN US MONDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 6:30PM

Julie Qiu, acclaimed oyster expert and connoisseur, will lead a discussion and free tasting of a variety of oyster species. Sponsored by the Maritime Foundation, and entitled Oyster Explorers, this journey is intended to bridge the knowledge gap between consumer and industry professionals. Julie is an internationally-recognized oyster expert and founder of In A Half Shell, based in New York City. Her passion for oyster appreciation and sustainable seafood has inspired her to create unique tasting and educational experiences such as the New York Oyster Crawl, Oyster Omakase Pop Up Tasting Club, and co-author products such as the New York Oyster Map, and 33 Oysters on the Half Shell Tasting Notebook. In A Half Shell has been recognized as one of Fathom Away’s “Top 24 Travel Blogs of 2015,” and SAVEUR’s “Sites We Love.”

Have You Discovered the Best Oyster Bars in New York City?

Via The New York Observer, written by Zachary Weiss:

In the last few moments of summer, reap the seasons rewards by enjoying the best foods on offer. While most consider raw oysters to be a tried and true aphrodisiac, I prefer to think of them more as a summer snack staple. Thus, rather than spending your last summer Friday packing into the Jitney with the masses, belly up to one of these awesome oyster bars. 
1. Grand Banks The “next big thing” in experiential New York bars, Grand Banks, takes guests aboard a schooner docked in Tribeca. Pay a visit to this hotspot before it becomes more sardine-packed than The High Line.
2. Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn It may not be located inside the actual midtown transport hub, but Grand Central Oyster Bar’s Park Slope locale makes for an even better oyster-filled happy hour devoid of commuter (and tourist) traffic. 
3. The Bar Room The Bar Room, tucked uptown on 60th St between Park and Lexington, serves up quality cocktails and $2 every day from 4-6 PM. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are the actually score some before they sell out.  
4. The Mermaid Inn The Mermaid Inn’s three locations in the Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, and The East Village are the brain child of restauranteur Danny Abrams, and have been known to pack to the gills on a summer Friday. The small spot also offers $1 oysters every Monday starting at 5 PM through the evening. 
5. Lure Fish Bar The subterranean Soho boîte, where Mets pitcher Matt Harvey once crafted a sushi roll for me, is a mecca for all things seafood-not just oysters! 
6. Blue Water Grill  This mainstay located on Union Square first opened in 1996, and formerly operated as the Metropolitan Bank, which is still visible in the eatery’s soaring ceilings and power lunches.
7. Hudson Malone Hudson Malone proprietor Doug Quinn is the master cocktail maker, formerly of PJ Clarke’s, who recently opened this new eatery with the eye for a no-frills dining experience.The bi-level space is slightly hidden on 53rd St, thanks to a sign that simply reads “Eva Dress Shop,” but keep an eye out for dim gas lanterns outside. He refers to it as “a real New York joint.” Mr. Malone also has a knack for remembering all of his customers. 
8. Maison Premiere This Williamsburg cocktail den and oyster bar offers an oyster happy Monday-Friday from 4-7pm, as well as on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-1pm. Maison Premiere’s selection of oysters changes daily, and a select 15 varieties are available for $1-$1.25.

Murray Fisher

JOIN US TUESDAY, AUGUST 4TH, 6PM

Murray Fisher will speak about the Billion Oyster Project, an ecosystem restoration and education project aimed at restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through restoration based STEM education programs. Murray has been President of New York Harbor Foundation since he created the organization in 2010. He founded Urban Assembly New York Harbor School in 2003 and served as its Program Director until 2010. Murray led the school’s move from the Bushwick section of Brooklyn to a newly renovated building on Governors Island and led a successful capital campaign for the school’s new waterfront Marine Affairs, Science and Technology (MAST) Center. Murray is the co-founder of the Billion Oyster Project. Prior to founding Harbor School, he worked as a Field Coordinator at Waterkeeper Alliance and an Educator at Hudson Riverkeeper. Murray holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University. 

How NYC’s Leading Chefs Plan to Turn Overlooked Local Fish Into Seafood Delicacies

Via Grub Street, written by Sierra Tishgart

"I can't think of a chef who would say, 'I want to rape and pillage the ocean'," says Blue Hill's Dan Barber. "And, along the same lines, I can't think of a chef who isn’t actively thinking about fish in different ways." Barber has a point: A number of big-name New York chefs are breaking down the complicated issue and trying to serve seafood with a big focus on responsibility. Tom Colicchio has pledged not to serve striped bass. Michael Chernow based his new restaurant on undervalued species like porgy and monkfish. April Bloomfield is championing bluefish and other underappreciated species. In the same way that local, seasonal vegetables and grass-fed beef first entered the consciousness of chefs — and then, eventually, the American public — the issue of local, sustainable fish is gaining traction in New York.
At the center of this seafood renaissance is Dock to Dish, a three-year-old initiative that gives a small group of 14 New York chefs direct access to fresh, wild seafood from Montauk. Members includes Mario Batali, Michael Anthony, Andrew Carmellini, Google's Michael Wurster, and Barber himself. At the moment, it's not as easy as simply signing up. The program has become so popular that there are now 45 restaurants on the waiting list and joining the group means a chef needs to be recommended by a peer, and then invited by founder Sean Barrett, a former fisherman. "I call it the 'Barber Effect,'" Barrett says, referring to the chef's uncanny ability to make other chefs care about the issues he thinks are important. "But the chefs are all about it — there's a huge demand for transparency."
The idea behind Dock to Dish's strategy isn't only about giving big-name chefs access to high-quality seafood. What Barrett's doing is reversing the traditional order of supply and demand: Instead of chefs placing orders for sea bass or tuna or cod, small-scale fisherman catch whatever they think is best for the environment (and in the best condition to serve at restaurants). Then, each Wednesday, Barrett delivers a grab bag of fish (just like a CSA) to the chefs — less than 24 hours after the boats dock. For the service, he charges restaurants $3,000 per month for a minimum of 300 pounds of fish. Chefs don't know what they're getting until the day before the fish arrives, but Barrett's system manages to cut out middlemen and get seafood that's as fresh as possible. "In America, there's an industrialized method of the chefs telling the fishermen what they want, which is backwards, in my humble opinion," he says.
One immediate benefit for customers is that the chefs are forced to be more creative with their preparations. Acme's Mads Refslund, the newest member of the group, recently broke down 60 pounds of monkfish and used the cheeks to make a seafood ramen. He also put butterfish on white-blossom branches, which he used as skewers to grill the small fish, campfire-style. "This changed my world of serving fish at my restaurant," he says. "In Denmark, you have a close connection with fishermen, but in New York, we're not used to that. We previously got our fish from so many places. It's very important for me to know Sean, who has connections with every fisherman. I can know the exact names of my fishermen. And if you know your farmer or butcher or fisher, you also know the animal."
This program is great for ambitious, mindful chefs, of course, but there's a question of whether or not it will have a larger impact on consumer culture. The biggest challenge, right now, is getting people onboard with expanding their seafood tastes beyond things like salmon and tuna and embracing a wider variety of fish. As a customer, it's hard to imagine sitting down to dinner and choosing tilefish over a big, beautiful slab of halibut or Atlantic cod — and chefs are well aware of how that affects their bottom line. "On an à la carte menu, you've got to serve a fish that's going to sell, and there are a small number of fish that are recognizable at a certain price point," Barber explains. "That's a very difficult position for a chef to be in. That's why this issue has become so complicated, because it's not that the chef is necessarily opposed to any of these ideas. It's that he or she is forced into a kind of paradigm, which is the western à la carte menu."
Chefs, however, are adapting to this new world: The Meatball Shop's Chernow just opened a restaurant that's built to free him of that exact paradigm. At Seamore's, the $21 "Reel Deal" plate offers diners a choice of seafood from the "daily landings" chalkboard, sauce, and three sides. "On opening night, we had monkfish, porgy, and yellowtail flounder on our menu," Chernow (also a Dock to Dish member) says. "The fish that I grew up catching and eating is right here. All I have to do is put it on the plate." Plus, Chernow points out, "The greatest thing about using local, sustainable seafood in New York is that it's inexpensive."
Kerry Hefferman — currently of Grand Banks — shares a similar philosophy (but isn't involved with Dock to Dish). He has created the Save Our Stripers campaign, convincing chefs like Colicchio and Harold Dieterle to pledge to remove striped bass from their menus. "I will pay fishermen more to give me large porgies that have been well taken care of," Hefferman says. "If these fishermen know that they have a market for sustainable, high-quality, local fish that's caught and kept in a quality manner, and that they'll actually get paid more for that, they're going to continue to fish that way, and we can change the market."
The real challenge is making these kinds of fish feel less like temporarily trendy items, so that the focus on responsible sourcing remains permanent. It's not unprecedented: "Monkfish was considered 'trash fish' until the '80s, when Gilbert Le Coze dressed it up and glorified it at Le Bernardin," Barber remembers. "All of a sudden, chefs everywhere had monkfish on their menus. And then, because chefs had them on their menus, they exploded on the fish counters at the marketplace, and then people were eating monkfish, and skate, without thinking twice about it." Bluefish is a more recent example: As Bloomfield recently wrote in the Times, it still gets a "bad rap," even as it's become increasingly popular. "When they are caught fresh and eaten within a few days, they are the most elegant, fatty, and substantial fish you can find from New York waters," she says.
Bloomfield is right — and the dishes chefs are making with what's often seen as by-catches are fantastic. New York's Adam Platt loved Anthony's monkfish dish, with black garlic and lobster glaze, at Untitled. The porgy ceviche with cucumber and Tabasco was the highlight of a recent meal at Seamore's. Somewhat similarly, Má Pêche is now serving a pan-fried whole boneless porgy with Pearson’s hot sauce, fennel, and lime. There's a bouillabaisse with sea robin and Pernod at John Dory Oyster Bar. And that's not to mention all of the one-off nightly specials.
Fortunately, even though the idea is only starting to take root in nice New York restaurants, it's already poised to break out: Barrett has plans to expand Dock to Dish to Boston, Los Angeles, and Vancouver — and he's "given the playbook" to an association in Key West. The initiative's line of thinking, and its team of all-star ambassadors, are onto something: If chefs and diners now pay so much attention to where their vegetables hail from, and at what time of year they're freshest, the same can be done with seafood. It takes time, though — and a whole lot of work — to create a different paradigm. "You think vegetables are difficult?" Barber says. "Fish makes vegetables look like kindergarten."

The Case for Eating Small Fish

Encouraging consumers to eat fish such as herring, mackerel, and butterfish might, ironically enough, be the best way to save those species.

Encouraging consumers to eat fish such as herring, mackerel, and butterfish might, ironically enough, be the best way to save those species.

Via The New Yorker, written by John Donahue

From the beginning of time, through the artist Bruegel’s day, and until relatively recently, little fish had only big fish to fear. Since the middle of the twentieth century, however, some little fish—forage fish, to be precise—have faced radically increased threats from humans, and, by extension, from the pigs and chickens that the fish are increasingly being fed to. Forage fish are now threatened worldwide, which has potentially troubling implications for the entire food chain. In conservation circles, the suggestion lately is that encouraging consumers to eat small fish might, ironically enough, be the best way to save them.
Last week, on the decks of the Grand Banks, an oyster bar situated inside a restored cod-fishing schooner moored to Tribeca’s Pier 25, the chef Kerry Heffernan and Paul Greenberg, the author of “Four Fish” and “American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood,” considered this notion in detail, over a lunch, prepared by Heffernan, that consisted essentially of bait. The meal was there as a part of Sustainable Seafood Week, an annual series of events dedicated to responsibly sourced fish. A small crowd of adventurous, ecologically minded diners had assembled beneath the shade of the boat’s yellow-and-white-striped awning.
Forage fish, like many other kinds of fish, are in peril largely because of technological advances. The advent of synthetic fibres, in the nineteen-forties, allowed fishermen to create nets that were larger and longer-lasting than ones made of natural fibres such as hemp. Shortly thereafter, the rise of diesel engines permitted fishing farther offshore than ever before, and sonar, which had been refined to wage submarine warfare, was adapted to locate schools of fish. Factory trawlers made fish processing much more efficient, and fishing vessels became larger and larger. As a result of such developments, the world’s annual catch of fish quadrupled in the four decades after the Second World War. Despite stricter regulations and increased awareness of overfishing, many stocks remain in rapid decline.
From the perspective of small fish, the potential collapse of predatory species such as cod, tuna, and swordfish, which are popular with diners, would seem to be good news. However, as the larger, high-value fish became increasingly scarce, the fishing industry turned to farming, and those penned fish needed something to eat. Commercial fishermen have thus begun fishing down the food chain, and smaller fish behave in ways that make them very vulnerable, swimming in large, dense schools that are easy to spot from the air and require little fuel to pursue. “Fishing for these animals may be likened to shooting fish in a barrel,” a National Coalition for Marine Conservation report noted in 2006. Three years ago, a far-reaching analysis of forage fish, put out by the Lenfest Foundation and financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, reported that thirty-seven per cent of global seafood landings recorded annually consist of forage fish, up from less than ten per cent fifty years ago. Of that thirty-seven percent, only a small fraction goes to the consumer market—mostly in the form of fish oils and supplements—while the bulk is processed into pellets and fishmeal, then fed to animals like salmon, pigs, and chicken.
“We are grinding up a third of the ocean each year,” Greenberg told the diners at the Grand Banks, before the food was served. Greenberg was on hand to discuss the virtues of catches such as herring, mackerel, and butterfish, which, he said, are very high in omega-3 fatty acids (hence their value to the supplement industry), albeit bony and strongly flavored. “They are healthy to eat, but tricky to cook,” he said.
The meal had been organized in part to address one of the Lenfest report’s more radical conclusions: that forage fish, because they support swordfish, tuna, and other in-demand predators, are worth twice as much to us in the water than when transformed into animal feed. The authors suggested cutting the haul of forage fish in half each year. But of course this would also halve the income of the fishermen who depend on that catch, so other ideas began to circulate. “What if we cut the forage fish take in half and instead paid fisherman twice as much for that catch, since it would be sold as valuable human food rather than cheap animal feed?” Greenberg later mused to me. “By the reasoning of the Lenfest report we’d also have more wild big fish.” He added, “Of course this is all very sort of economics-in-a-bottle type thinking. What would happen to the market for forage fish if their price doubled? It could possibly incentivize more people to catch them. But I think it’s possible to engineer a management regime where they wouldn’t.”
This scenario would require creating a consumer market for forage fish—in other words, making fish like herring, mackerel, and anchovies seem tasty and desirable. A larger effort is also underway; recently, the conservation organization Oceana got twenty of the world’s top chefs, including Ferran Adrià, Massimo Bottura, Grant Achatz, and René Redzepi, to pledge to serve such fare.
In Tribeca, the task was left to Heffernan, the executive chef of the Grand Banks and a “Top Chef Masters” finalist in 2012. “He’s a genius with these fish, which are not the most popular in the media,” Alexander Pincus, the owner of the Grand Banks, said to the crowd. Duly introduced, Heffernan, wearing chef’s whites, shorts, and blue sneakers, told a story about a sport-fishing friend who had once brought his day’s haul of fluke and black sea bass to a sushi restaurant in Amagansett, on Long Island. The fisherman wanted the chef to prepare his catch, but instead he began cutting up the squid and other bait. It was delicious, the friend reported. “For a while now, I’ve been pondering how to do this,” Heffernan said.
He began by serving surf clams, which are used to catch codfish, and whelks, which, though small, aren’t typically used as bait. His clam preparation demonstrated a deft touch. He used to dig up surf clams as a kid on Cape Cod, he explained, and would cook them “forever,” in a chowder. At the Grand Banks, he’d sliced them thinly for a ceviche. Dressed with makrut lime and laid out delicately beside bright slices of avocado in half of its softball-sized shell, the clam was as attractive as it was crisp and refreshing. The whelk, which had been cooked in its shell, was slightly less successful. Rubbery by nature, it tasted less like bait than like a fishing rod’s grip.
The rest of the meal was highly whimsical. The herring, which is commonly used as bait in lobster traps, was paired with a lobster sauce. One diner said the herring was “delightfully mild”; another countered that the bones were “delightfully small.” To conclude the meal, Heffernan served butterfish—typically used as bait for tuna—with a tonnato sauce, which is made with canned tuna. “Today, the butterfish wins,” he declared, to laughter from the assembled diners. He proved correct: with a crisp and savory crust, the palm-sized fish was as addictive as French fries. It was delicious enough, even, to save a little fish from extinction.

Paul Greenberg & Kerry Heffernan

bait-to-plate.jpg

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24TH, 12PM

Sustainable Seafood Week and the Maritime Foundation are pleased to present a conversation between author, Paul Greenberg, and chef, Kerry Heffernan, covering under-appreciated fish  species, the state of commercial fishing, and the future of ocean habitats. 

Paul Greenberg is an American author and essayist. Since 2005 Greenberg has written regularly for the New York Times in the Magazine, Book Review and Opinion sections, focusing on fish, aquaculture and the future of the ocean. His book, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food  received wide critical acclaim, most notably on the cover of the New York Times Book Review by the Times' restaurant critic Sam Sifton "a necessary book," Sifton wrote, "for anyone truly interested in what we take from the sea to eat, and how". Greenberg has been both a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow and a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow. In 2011 Greenberg won the James Beard Award for Writing and Literature for Four Fish and he now lectures widely throughout North America.

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Connecticut, Kerry Heffernan began working in restaurants at age 15. Following high school, Kerry bicycled through Europe, eventually setting up camp in the South of France baking croissants. He returned home to attend the Culinary Institute of America, graduating second in his class. After spending another year cooking and traveling throughout Europe, Kerry came back to New York City, honing his skills at such highly regarded restaurants as Montrachet, Le Régence, Restaurant Bouley and Mondrian with Tom Colicchio before landing his first job as Chef de Cuisine at One Fifth Avenue.

Kerry later became the Executive Chef of the Westbury Hotel's famed Polo Restaurant, training ground of such extraordinary talents as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. Soon afterward Kerry opened Union Square Hospitality Group's Eleven Madison Park as Executive Chef and eventually became partner. Under his leadership, the restaurant received numerous accolades, including a tie with Per Se on Zagat Survey's "Top 20 Most Popular Restaurants in New York," The James Beard Foundation's Award for Outstanding Service in America, and Esquire Magazine's "Best New Restaurant."

Kerry is currently Executive Chef at Grand Banks. He previously spent a five-year tenure as Executive Chef of New York City's South Gate, and created and continues to work as a consultant to "15 CPW," a private restaurant at Manhattan's toniest address. Kerry remains active outside the kitchen in philanthropy, serving on the City Harvest Food Council and cooking for Share Our Strength, Project by Project, and both the Central Park and Madison Square Park Conservancies and as an advisor to several nonprofit agencies charged with seafood sustainability and conservation. In 2012, Kerry was honored as the commencement speaker at the Culinary Institute of America.

An avid outdoorsman and seafood expert, Kerry has won several charity fishing tournaments, including the "Manhattan Cup" and the "Montauk Redbone." In addition to appearing as a guest judge on Top Chef All-Stars, Kerry has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, CBS and CNN's American Morning. Kerry is currently working on a cookbook about foraging, fishing and cooking on the East End of Long Island.

Logan Rowell

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3RD, 6PM

Outdoor Fest and the Maritime Foundation are pleased to present Logan  Rowell, an expert sailor and instructor, speaking about ocean exploration and  bluewater sailing. Logan has acquired tens of thousands of nautical miles as a captain in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific; including 3 Panama Canal transits. He holds a US Coast Guard Masters Captains License and a Business Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School. Logan is the director of Atlantic Yachting, a New York based sailing school. 

Kerry Heffernan, Tom Colicchio And Other Celebrity Chefs Come Together To Save Striped Bass

Via Forbes, written by Monte Burke:

Kerry Heffernan, the former executive chef of Eleven Madison Park and Southgate, and the current impresario of the new Manhattan restaurant, Grand Banks, is obsessed with fishing for striped bass. But like countless recreational anglers up and down the East Coast, he’s noticed, with growing despondency, that fishing for stripers has grown worse and worse over the last few years. His personal tipping point came, he says, during the 2014 iteration of the Manhattan Cup, a New York City inshore catch-and-release fishing tournament put on by the Fishermen’s Conservation Association (FCA). “I caught a puny eighteen-inch striper and it won the tournament in the fly fishing division,” he says. “Even the guys fishing with artificials had pitiful results.” He decided then that something needed to be done.

Restaurant Power Rankings: Grand Banks Returns, Fung Tu’s Big Week, and More

Via Grub Street, Written by Alan Systma:

Welcome to Grub Street's weekly survey of the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in New York City. The list below features spots both new and old ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating (and admittedly subjective) metric: Who has the most buzz? Perhaps a famed chef has taken over the kitchen, or there's a new dish you absolutely must order. Maybe the restaurant is just brand-new, or the critics are raving about it. Whatever the reasons, these are the hottest restaurants in New York right now.

1. Fung Tu (Off last week)
Chef Jonathan Wu's year-and-a-half-old Orchard Street spot got a double dose of review love this week, from both the Times and Eater. (Bloomberg's Tejal Rao also reviewed the spot last month.) There's some critical consensus here: Even though the restaurant took a while to find its footing, it has fully done so now, the team is in the zone, and this has become — most important — one of the city's most appealing restaurants.

2. Untitled (Last week: 1)
At last week's James Beard awards, Michael Anthony took home the outstanding chef honor — one of the biggest there is. And, wouldn't you know it, Anthony is also overseeing the kitchen at this brand-new restaurant in the also-brand-new Whitney. Just as it is at Gramercy Tavern, the menu makes a point to highlight simple preparations of first-class ingredients, and the prices are surprisingly gentle.

3. Grand Banks (Off last week)
As of today, everyone's favorite bar-on-a-boat is back for the season. Hours have expanded, and so has the cocktail list. And, never fear, the excellent lobster roll is back, too.

4. Grand Army (5)
While we're on the subject of charming, welcoming, comfortably crowded spots at which to eat oysters and whet one's whistle, the new bar from Mile End's Noah Bernamoff, Rucola's Julian Brizzi, and Prime Meats' Damon Boelte is off to a great start. The drinks are crisp, the seafood is very fresh, and Grub's going on record that every oyster platter from here on out should come with the sauces in little eyedroppers.

5.Dominique Ansel Kitchen (4)
Dominique Ansel himself just opened his second location, this one in Greenwich Village. True to its name ("Kitchen" instead of "Bakery"), cooking is the theme here, and the majority of the menu is made-to-order. There are sweet and savory options, and it's open all day, so drop in whenever and see what kind of fabulous new creations Ansel and his team are working on now.

6.Bâtard (Last week: 3)
It's official (per the James Beard Foundation). This West Broadway spot from Markus Glocker, John Winterman, and Drew Nieporent was named the year's best new restaurant, a distinction with which it is difficult to argue. Head back in, check it out, and maybe order a French 75 while you're there.

7. Empellón Cocina (7)
Alex Stupak just reopened his East Village spot after a bunch of renovations, and will soon roll out this fantastic-looking tasting menu. Before that happens, though, Stupak is even dabbling in the Tex-Mex trend, turning out somethings like an impressive take on queso.

8. Rebelle (6)
Last month saw the opening of Pearl & Ash's sister restaurant, and — as you might expect — Patrick Cappiello's 1,500-label-strong wine list is nothing short of breathtaking. (Grub's advice: Just tell Cappiello what you like, let him know your price point, and let him go for it.) Chef Daniel Eddy has a menu of hyper-refined food to match. Oh, and there's at least one after-dinner drink that's worth checking out.

9. Ramen Lab (10)
This very tiny Kenmare Street shop has started to bring in a rotating group of chefs. First up is a team from Tampa that's serving some lightly Florida-fied riffs on ramen classics, while salsa music plays in the background

10. Porchlight (Off last week)
Leave it to Danny Meyer's team to pioneer what you might call the half-martini lunch: The new midday menu features low-proof cocktails that you can enjoy with a little food and — in theory, anyway — get back to work without wandering into the office looking like a tipsy Mad Men wannabe. Well played.

Waterways offer deeper insights into New York City

Via San Francisco Chronicle, written by Spud Hilton:

When you grow up with the notion of restaurants on tall ships being pirate-themed nightmares with little more than fish and chips and hush puppies slathered in tartar sauce, it’s difficult to reconcile a plate of fresh Black Point oysters from Nova Scotia and a well-made Negroni at a table on deck.
The wildly popular Grand Banks operates out of the 1942 fishing vessel Sherman Zwicker, a 142-foot schooner docked at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park (another waterfront rehabbed into a park and sports courts and fields). According to the owners, the restaurant was inspired by “the floating oyster barges that lined lower Manhattan’s waterfront in the 18th and 19th centuries.”
Looking across the deck on a Saturday night, however, it was a good bet that the young, hip crowd was not there for a history lesson so much as the simple upscale menu and drinks, the sea-level view of the new World Trade Center tower and the sunset over New Jersey (the only reason most Manhattanites gaze in that direction).
As simple a concept as Grand Banks seems, almost no one was doing it — at least not well, said David Farley, a New York friend who writes about food and travel.
“Even though Manhattan, specifically, is surrounded by water, it really doesn’t take full advantage of the water here,” Farley said over some baked oysters and ceviche. “There are very few water-centric places to eat and drink in New York City. It’s crazy.”