Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on January 14th, 2014, in Announcements, Product Alerts, Selecting Seafood
We’re bringing back a pair of aquaculture favorites this week! Ocean Raised Striped Bass and White Sea Bass from Baja will be back in our coolers in a couple of days.
If you haven’t had a chance to try either of these delicious options, we’d love to introduce you to them. Both of these fish are coming do us direct from farms in Baja – just off the Todos los Santos islands, near Ensenada. No doubt that fish harvested this close to home is going to be super fresh!
The striped bass might be a little different that what you’re used to – it’s Morone saxatilis – which is a true wild striped bass – not a hybrid bass like most of the farmed striped bass on the market. This sushi-quality striped bass is impeccably fresh, high in omega-3 fatty acids and has a sweet, fresh flavor and delicate texture.
The white sea bass also comes with an interesting and unique story; check out this video to learn a bit more about what goes into the production of this amazing fish!
Our first shipments are going to be small – this is an exclusive opportunity so please contact your Santa Monica Seafood Sales Rep today if you’re interested in getting in on this first delivery.
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on January 10th, 2014, in Announcements, Selecting Seafood
We share a fair amount of information with you about culinary trends, and the end of one year/start of another is always a great time to talk about what’s going to be “hot” (or what’s not). We came across a little different take on food trends the other day, an article by Maggie Hennessy entitled “Dietitians say anti-wheat, pro-nutrition info sentiments will top 2014 trends”
As chefs, restaurateurs or just people who have a strong interest in the food industry, we’re always wondering how to best connect with our customers. According to Hennessy’s article, consumers are demanding more nutritional information than ever, and yet obesity rates continue to climb, with some dietitians worrying that Americans are becoming complacent in their unhealthy weights. Kale, chia and wheat-free will stay hot in 2014, while low-fat diets will fall out of favor.
She also mentions that consumers are looking for “more eco-conscious eats” with an eye out for eco-labels, “local” options and more sustainable food choices.
One way to get your customers what they want is with fresh local swordfish! We work to find local options whenever we can – whether it’s the gorgeous sword we have in house now, fresh black cod, rockfish, Grassy Bay (or other) oysters, uni roe, Dungeness crab and more…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on January 6th, 2014, in Selecting Seafood
img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-3896″ title=”Sea Pact small” src=”http://www.santamonicaseafood.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Sea-Pact-small.jpg” alt=”" width=”176″ height=”180″ />Exciting news from the team over at Sea Pact – they announced their second Request for Grant Proposals today! Sea Pact is a coalition of seafood distributors (of which we are a founding member) who strive to advance environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices. The group’s goal is to provide the building blocks of a long term and sustainable seafood industry by financially contributing to improve the fishing and fish farming systems from which they procure.
Through this RFP, Sea Pact aims to select a project in line with their goals – Fishery and Aquaculture Improvement Projects, habitat restoration efforts, scientific research and other projects are encouraged to apply. Responses are due by January 28th, 2014. Sea Pact will announce the grant recipients in March 2014.
To apply for funding, organizations are asked to fill out the RFP document available on the Sea Pact website: http://www.seapact.org/projects.html.
“The entire RFP process is enlightening,” said Logan Kock, Vice President of Strategic Purchasing & Responsible Sourcing at Santa Monica Seafood and and Chair of the Sea Pact Advisory Committee. “Our group learns something from every proposal, whether we fund them or not. There is so much exciting work going on in all sectors of our industry, and we’re looking forward to funding some great projects through this next round of proposals.”
About Sea Pact: Albion Fisheries, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Santa Monica Seafood, Seacore Seafood and Seattle Fish Co. are the founding members of Sea Pact and share an active progressive approach to their sustainability commitments. In addition to the founding members, the group now includes new members Stavis Seafood, JJ McDonnell, and A.C. Covert. Sea Pact works with New Venture Fund and receives sustainability counsel from non-profit organizations FishWise and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). Sea Pact is a project under New Venture Funds 501c3 non- profit status. To learn more about Sea Pact, visit their website…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 27th, 2013, in Announcements
One of our RSVP supported projects, Trout Unlimited, got some good news just before Christmas as mining giant Rio Tinto made public that they are considering pulling out of the Pebble Mine Project.
This announcement comes on the heels of Anglo-American’s pull out in September of this year and the news that the Mitsubishi Corporation was selling out in 2011.
If you’re not up to date on why the potential demise of the Pebble Mine is such a big deal, Trout Unlimited’s “Save Bristol Bay” website lays out the issue pretty clearly:
The Pebble deposit is a massive storehouse of gold, copper and molybdemum, located in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major rivers that feed Bristol Bay. If built, Pebble would be one of the largest mines in the world. Because of its size, geochemistry and location, Pebble runs a high risk of polluting Bristol Bay, one of the world’s few and most productive wild salmon strongholds that supports a $500 million commercial and sport fishery.
Obviously, Bristol Bay needs to be protected, and with the latest announcement from Rio Tinto it seems as if the project may be doomed. We’ll keep you updated on what’s going on, and although it sounds good, as Huffington Post writer Joel Reynolds points out, the announcement “…is encouraging news for the people of Alaska and Bristol Bay. But we emphasize that actual divestment, as opposed to consideration of divestment, must be the company’s ultimate outcome.”
Our hope is our next Pebble Mine update will be to announce that actual divestment; stay tuned. Also, consider making your own donation to support the fight to Save Bristol Bay – click here for more info…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 17th, 2013, in Announcements
Two American and one Canadian company recently became new members of Sea Pact; Stavis Seafood, A.C. Covert, and J.J. McDonnell have signed on as the group’s newest members. We’re one of the founding members of this now 9-member group and we’re looking forward to see how the new additions will increase our reach and economic impact in the new year.
“It’s really exciting how many different companies from the U.S. and Canada are expressing interest in the group,” said Logan Kock, Chair of the Sea Pact Advisory Committee. “We’re looking forward to the wide range of experience and creativity these new companies will add to our already diverse base.”
The three companies selected to join Sea Pact are:
• Stavis Seafood is a family business that has been a Boston Waterfront landmark since 1929. Today, Stavis distributes both nationally and internationally from their primary distribution facility in Boston. The company remains family-owned and operated today with four members of the Stavis family still actively involved in the business.
• A.C. Covert has been helping to deliver Atlantic Canada’s fish and shellfish since 1938. They are recognized for their commitment to the region and their well-known Jail Island Seafood brand.
• J.J. McDonnell has established a market leadership position in Maryland, Washington D.C, and Northern Virginia as a provider of high quality seafood products and services. Founded in 1945, they service a wide range of customers, in both retail and foodservice…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 16th, 2013, in Announcements
We’re thrilled to share with you that we recently passed our ISO14001 recertification with flying colors! The audit was tough, but it gave us an opportunity to look back and celebrate some of the internal changes we’ve made over the past year.
In addition to meeting all of the legal and other regulatory requirements that our certification requires, we have also met (or surpassed) a number of environmental objectives and targets including:
- Reduced Energy Usage – In the last year we reduced our energy usage per pound of product produced by 25%! Thanks in part to a new lighting system and controls and installation of new refrigeration coils in the production area.
- Reduced Water Usage – In the last year we reduced our water usage per pound of product produced by 30%. Some of the upgrades that helped were installation of low flow valves on production drop hoses, better thawing management and reduction in overall operations water usage.
- Commitment to Sustainability – As part of our Responsible Sourcing efforts, we completed the Marine Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody certification process this year. Our next recertification audit will take place in April of 2016.
- Waste Diversion – We are actively partnering with Waste Management to divert our solid waste from the landfill via a company wide recycling program.
- Transportation – Over the past year we have increased our mile/gallon efficiency by 2%! Better routing management and new, more fuel efficient trucks are a large part of the solution.
We’re proud to say that overall, our first year’s environmental performance under the ISO140001 certification as illustrated by these improvements was quite impressive (according to the auditor)!
A big thank you to our Environmental Management Systems cross functional team members for their full support during the auditing process…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 13th, 2013, in Announcements, Seafood Education, Sustainability
Rockfish have long been a staple on the west coast of the United States. This delicious, versatile food fish is also one of our favorites! Historically, mid-water and bottom trawl nets have been the most accepted way of catching these deep-dwelling fish – the nets are dragged behind a boat, and snare the fish as they aggregate in schools.
Unfortunately, trawl nets are fairly non-discriminating when it comes to catching things. The deep-water habitats preferred by rockfish also support a lot of other sea-creatures; the bottom set lines of the trawl nets can damage these habitats when they make contact with the sea floor. While hook and line gear is more environmentally preferable, for some species trawl gear is the most economically feasible option.
This is where our newest Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner (RSVP) Program member, Fathom Consulting, comes in. They are aiming to help trawl fishermen strategize ways to minimize bycatch and damage to sensitive bottom habitat.
Working with the trawler “Pioneer” out of Monterey, Fathom Consulting is conducting trials with heavily modified trawl gear that significantly improves on traditional trawl gear through the use of pelagic trawl doors, elevated sweeps, spaced discs and electronic sensors.
In simpler terms, the new net design allows more non-target species and juveniles to escape, while reducing contact with the seafloor and seamounts. The new modified gear also has significantly less drag than traditional trawl nets, which translates into shorter fishing times and reduced fuel usage…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 11th, 2013, in Selecting Seafood
We always hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but that generally refers to our own health. According to a recent article on Restaurant-Hospitality.com, breakfast might also be the most important meal to your bottom line!
Meghan Rowe pulls some great info from Technomic’s recent Breakfast Consumer Trend Report including;
“Restaurant operators need to think outside the box if they want to boost their breakfast sales”, Technomic executive v.p. Darren Tristano advises. “Opportunities to promote breakfast can extend far beyond conventional morning hours,” he says. “Operators looking to promote this daypart can leverage consumer interest in all-day or late-night breakfast programs. There’s also room to expand brunch options, and even get creative by applying traditional breakfast flavors to nonbreakfast foods.”
Another point they pulled from the Technomic info does have to do with health, “Consumers link breakfast with health: 63 percent of consumers feel it is unhealthy to skip breakfast; open-ended data shows that many consumers want more healthful breakfast options.”
So, now that you know that your customers not only want breakfast, but they want a creative, healthy breakfast, how are you going to change your menu?
We’d love to see some seafood options on there, of course… There are traditional seafood-centric breakfasts out there like lox and bagels (to go!) or eggs benedict that features a crab cake, but what about a breakfast wrap or burrito that featured shrimp or smoked salmon? Breakfast crepes with seafood fillings? Adding seafood to a breakfast buffet is a no brainer, and cooked fish and shellfish make tasty additions to omelets and scrambles. Smoked fish hash and fish cakes are great ways to utilize trimmings if you’re processing whole fish in house…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 6th, 2013, in Announcements
We’ve been chosen as Newport International’s Distributor of the Year - What an honor!
“We are very proud to be Newport International’s Distributor of the Year! Their commitment to the success of Santa Monica Seafood and the Pacific Cove line of products has been nothing short of fantastic. It has been a great partnership based upon quality you can trust and customer support that is second to none,” Michael Cigliano, Executive Vice President, Santa Monica Seafood.
A big thanks to our team for all their hard work and another big thanks to the Team at Newport International for this wonderful recognition…
Posted by Santa Monica Admin, on December 4th, 2013, in Announcements, Seafood Education
McCormick’s has revealed it’s annual “Flavor Forecast”, giving us something delicious to ponder as we plan our New Year’s Resolutions.
According to the spice giant, “five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors” will play a big factor in the coming year. Those trends are:
Chilies Obsession – whether you’re choosing guajillos, chile de arbol, tien tsin or aji amarillo – you need to add some international heat to your menu. Sounds good to us – we like spicy seafood dishes!
Modern Masala – Will chefs bring a taste of India to their menus? We’d love to see the grilled shrimp tandoori salad with mango dressing that McCormick’s highlights take over menus across the country!
Clever Compact Cooking – McCormick’s is reminding us that size doesn’t matter – but flavor does! Just because you have a small kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t create big tastes! Must have ingredients include noodles, tea and cilantro.
Mexican World Tour – can you guess our favorites from this category? That’s right, we’re cheering for Shrimp and Queso Fresco Empanadas with Charred Tomatillo Sauce and Salmon Tostadas with Chamoy and Charred Corn Relish…
Charmed by Brazil – not heading south for the World Cup? Bring Brazil’s flavors here! Add some guava, cassava or a pinch of Bahian seasoning to your menu. We’re thinking that Pepita and Chile Salsa recipe would go great with scallops!
You can check out more (and find some tasty recipes for inspiration) at McCormick’s website. Any of these trends sound appealing to you? We’d love to hear what you’re planning to feature in 2014…