I’ll Have a Local (Maryland) Lobster, Please … at The Shark

[EDITOR NOTE: OK, I haven't made a blog post in so long that more than half of my Twitter (@fotorules) followers don't even know this page exists … so why wait until January 1 to start living my new year's resolutions when I can start December 1. Let's hope there will be 20-30 others by January 1. Give me a couple of weeks to update the links/columns etc. Happy New Year … MB]

OC SHARK 04 1211Steve Vilnit (@SteveVilnit) heads up Commercial Fisheries Outreach and Marketing for Maryland's Department of Natural Resources. He's made a name for himself among the chefs of the region for his "water" trips to the Chesapeake Bay  to participate firsthand with the watermen to harvest oysters, crabs and rockfish while learning about the ongoing sustainability efforts to improve the Bay. Foodservice Monthly covered a late spring crab outing with Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen that was the cover story for the July issue.

I talked to Steve about the Atlantic Ocean seafood purchased from the West Ocean City harbor. Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel Motel OC SHARK 02 1211 Restaurant Association (@ochmra), had told me about the boats landing everything from lobster, clams, scallops and tuna. Even Campbell Soup has slips in the harbor to bring in product they need for their retail/foodservice operations. Steve made a call to Travis Wright (@ocshark), chef/partner of The Shark on the Harbor in West Ocean City, and the Thursday day trip was planned.

We met with Travis and his wife Jody as well as Susan Jones at the dock of John Martin's Martin Seafood where Captain Kerry Harrington of the Sea Born had returned that morning with a boatload of mostly dogfish shark and a few skate. OC SHARK 01 1211

After he emptied the morning catch, Harrington's crew filled the hold with ice, refueled and loaded the boat with bait for a three line set (nights) tuna hunt. They will use whole squPOTLUCK LOBSTER 1211id fished from Rhode Island to tempt the tuna. Captain Kerry also found time to break down the dogfish and the skate and deliver it across the way to The Shark for that night's menu. If you go to their website you'll find that Travis changes the menu twice a day … lunch today included scallops from the Christy, flounder from Valarie Marie as well as tuna, swordfish and mako from Captain Kerry.

You also can see a picture here of a seven-pound Maryland lobster brought in yesterday by Pot Luck Captain John Gourley also based in West Ocean City for The Shark's lobster feature. 

Wife Jody, besides restaurant duties, also helps maintain a very active collection of Ocean City "catches"  and stories on the website.

Click here for a GALLERY of fotos from today's visit to West Ocean City.




About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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