There’s Something in the Water

Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – There’s Something in the Water

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There’s Something in the Water!

Walk down the street of any major US city, and you may miss them – flourishing farms on the rooftops of buildings, making the most urban restaurant menus “hyper-local”. When you sit at a table at restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, your meal will be made with produce from their own farm in Pocantico Hills. The unique ways we source our food are no longer a rarity; they’re the standard. Seafood is no exception to this rule. Even the waters from which our seafood hails affect flavor, texture, and diner perception.

Take the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel in France for example. This body of water is home to “moules de bouchot” mussels. They are cultivated around oak beams coiled with loose ropes. The mussels are not native to the bay, but with nutrient rich water the young mussels, known as spats grow exceptionally well. They are sweet, clean and firm. As of today, the mussels are not available in North America. Instead, chefs throughout the US, such as Daniel Boulud, use what they consider the next best thing – mussels raised with the same method from the waters of Prince Edward Island.

The Maine lobster will always be the standard by which we judge all other lobsters. But if you travel the world, you’ll find that various waters bring forth unique lobster varieties. In the warm waters of Australia, lobsters have a stronger texture and saltier tasting meat than the lobsters that we are accustomed to here in the states. Australians call these lobsters “Bugs’. Harvested off the east coast of Australia, they are served at picnics as well as fine dining restaurants.

The American foodie expects their meals to have a story. We get behind food movements. We support our local farmer. Knowing the waters that supply our plates is becoming as important as knowing the farms. As you plan your menu, it’s time to start considering the source of your seafood too. There really is something in the water!

Eat well.

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Tony Lagana

Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.

In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.

The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.