Posts Tagged 'chef chris becker'

Fresh Thoughts: Sustainable Seafood Q&A with Chef Chris Becker

About next week’s featured Fresh Thoughts chef, Chris Becker of Fleet Street Kitchen

A Baltimore native and veteran of several of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants, Chef Chris maintains deep

chef-chris-becker

relationships with local farmers, foragers, and fishermen. His contemporary American cuisine at Fleet Street Kitchen is defined in conjunction with the seasonal produce of Cunningham Farms, the restaurant owner’s farm in Cockeysville.

A graduate of the Baltimore Culinary Institute, Chef Chris spent time in the kitchens at The Brass Elephant, Linwoods, and The Wine Market in Locust Point. He was noted as one of the top “Chefs to Watch” by Baltimore Magazine and identified as one of “Ten Professionals Under 30 to Watch” by the b newspaper.

At Fleet Street Kitchen, Chef Chris combines both traditional and modern techniques, creating elegant dishes that reflect his intense devotion to his craft.

Can’t wait for next week’s dinner? We chatted with Chris about how sustainable seafood is changing the culinary scene throughout the mid-Atlantic region: 

What’s your favorite sustainable seafood ingredient to prepare?

Because I’m new to Maryland seafood, I’m really excited to start using soft-shell crab, which is one of Maryland’s local sustainable seafood products. It’s a really interesting ingredient and very versatile in the way it can be presented, so I’m sure you’ll see it on the menu at Fleet Street Kitchen soon.

How is sustainable seafood playing a role in Baltimore’s dining scene?

I think more and more chefs are becoming conscientious about sustainable seafood and this in change is influencing our guests to think about it as well. Because we’re by the Chesapeake Bay, I think it’s easier for people to make the connection between how we fish and the seafood we serve. People are definitely appreciating it more. At Fleet Street Kitchen, we make sure all of our seafood choices are based off the Seafood Watch list and only select the seafood listed as “Good” or “Good Alternative.”

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to cooking sustainably?

All the great product that’s not sustainable makes it difficult. There’s some great tasting seafood that is overfished. We recently had to stop using monkfish, because it is now in the red on the Seafood Watch List. It’s unfortunate, but it it makes me more creative and exposes people to different types of fish that perhaps they wouldn’t necessarily try.

What is one sustainable seafood ingredient you hope to see more of in restaurants (including your own) this year?

Lionfish & Snakehead. Both are invasive species that are threatening key ecosystems. Lionfish are damaging coral reef ecosystems across the oceans and are actually a great tasting fish. It’d be great to see more of it on Baltimore menus. Snakehead are doing the same here in the Chesapeake Bay. There has been a lot of great press about using snakehead in restaurants. I’m definitely hoping to use both at Fleet Street Kitchen.

If everyone could walk away from our Fresh Thoughts dinner knowing one thing, it would be …

My hope is to pass along Fleet Street Kitchen’s passion for sustainable seafood and for people to make the connection between the way seafood is harvested and what is on their plate. It’s also important for people to know that they can ask if a fish is sustainable in a restaurant. This lets a restaurant’s chef and staff know that there’s a demand for conscientious ingredients. Most restaurants will appreciate this, even if they aren’t currently serving sustainable products.

To learn more about our sustainable seafood program and other conservation initiatives, click here

Our Fresh Thoughts Series Is Back!

The National Aquarium’s Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dining series is back this fall, with events at both our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues. We hope you will join us for one or both of these exceptional four-course prix fixe menus with wine pairings, all in the unique setting of the Aquarium at night!

Fresh Thoughts, Washington, DC

September 19, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Featuring: Sea Bream
Click here to buy tickets!

Chef Xavier

Chef Xavier Deshayes

Join us in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 19, when Chef Xavier Deshayes will serve up a four-course meal featuring sea bream, a delicious white fish. Hear from experts about this fish and learn about the completely sustainable system at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), which is providing the sea bream for this dinner.

Learn More and View the Menu

About Guest Chef Xavier Deshayes
A native of Beziers, France, Xavier Deshayes is the executive chef at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, which hosts some of the city’s most notable meetings and special events and is often recognized for its distinguished catering services. Chef Deshayes is on the forefront of developing sustainable and environmentally conscious menus by thoroughly researching his product sources.

Fresh Thoughts at the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, is sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Click here to buy tickets for DC Fresh Thoughts!

Fresh Thoughts, Baltimore, MD

September 25, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Featuring: Lobster
Click here to buy tickets!

Chefs Becker and Semidey

Chefs Chris Becker and Omar Semidey

You’ve asked for it, and it’s finally coming to Fresh Thoughts—lobster! Join us in Baltimore on Tuesday, September 25, when guest chefs Chris Becker and Omar Semidey of Fleet Street Kitchen present their menu featuring the succulent shellfish, along with fluke and rainbow snapper.

Learn More and View the Menu

About the Guest Chefs From Fleet Street Kitchen
A Baltimore native, graduate of the Baltimore Culinary Institute, and veteran of several of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants, Chef Chris Becker maintains deep relationships with local farmers, foragers, and fishermen. He was named one of the top “Chefs to Watch” by Baltimore Magazine.

Born and raised in New York City, Chef Omar Semidey developed a passion for food and cooking that led him to pursue a career in the culinary arts. Omar attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After working with Chef Becker at The Wine Market, he rejoins him at Fleet Street Kitchen, with the goal of developing and executing an exciting, high-quality, and seasonally inspired menu.

Click here to buy tickets for Baltimore Fresh Thoughts!

We hope you’ll join us!

The concept of our Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dining series is to offer unique dining experiences themed around a sustainable seafood choice. Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception and educational demonstrations and/or discussions followed by a three-course seated dinner paired with perfectly matched wine in the tranquil atmosphere of the Aquarium after-hours.


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