ERIC DONNELLY, EXECUTIVE CHEF, ROCKCREEK SEAFOOD & SPIRITS (SEATTLE, WA)
"The most vanilla species of all sea-dwelling fin fish, and also a menu killer -- put halibut on your menu and sit on everything else. Also, some chefs are serving this bottom-dweller raw these days, which, if not cut right, can be outright offensive, stringy, and gummy. Now, being from the Northwest, we grow up eating this so called wonder of the sea -- and God knows Grandma loves it -- but there are so many other fish in the sea!"
"Grilled, sautéed, or baked in any simple presentation (such as sea salt, lemon, and olive oil), this salty, oily jewel of the sea never disappoints. I also enjoy them grilled and served with a breadcrumb persillade. The sardine is a great protein that we at RockCreek serve in a variety of preparations, and is also one of the most healthy proteins we humans can eat."
AUSTIN KIRZNER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, RED FISH GRILL (NEW ORLEANS, LA)
“By the time you get past the heavy cream, garlic, wine, parsley, and any other ingredients coating the mussels, you can hardly taste the meat. Their natural flavor is masked, unlike other seafoods, especially Gulf seafood, where their inherent taste profile is at the forefront of the dish.”
Underrated: Tripletail Fish
"Tripletail fish is elusive to some -- they can be hard to catch, and are a little intimidating in whole form, with three scaly fins that give the appearance of three tails (hence the name, ‘tripletail’). They are commonly brought in along the East and West coasts of Florida. Once you get past its prehistoric exterior, pearly white meat awaits, which is sweet, flaky, and similar to a prime-rib cut of grouper. Its versatility allows it to be served a number of ways, whether broiled, baked, sautéed, or simply grilled.”