Chef Michael Cimarusti has long been a crusader for sustainable seafood, but he's going above and beyond to procure quality fish without the deleterious effect on the ocean with a new fishery called Dock-to-Dish. Cimarusti's high-end restaurant Providence recently celebrated ten years of redefining the white tablecloth dining experience in Los Angeles, but head in on any given night and you won’t find endangered seafood species like bluefin tuna anywhere on the menu. That’s just not Cimarusti’s style.
Now, the chef/advocate is doubling down on his efforts to put America back on track using sustainable, domestic seafood with a new partnership that commences today with fishermen at ports across the United States (including more than a dozen in Santa Barbara). It's essentially a restaurant-supported seafood purveyor where small-scale fisherman can sell directly (and collectively) to larger area restaurants that they may not have had access to otherwise.
The result, Cimarusti hopes, is a growing sense of dependability for restaurant owners and fishermen alike: dependability on available product for one, and dependability on sustained sales for the other. And all of it will be based on effective sourcing and sustainable practices that prevent overfishing or out of season catches.
Of course, the plan dovetails nicely with Cimarusti’s upcoming local plans to open Cape Seafood & Provisions this fall in the former Lindy & Grundy space along Fairfax Avenue. The high-end seafood retail shop will serve the same stuff being cooked up at Providence (with prices to match, likely) and rely on the same level of tracing that Cimarusti is trying to bring to every level of his operation. It’s ambitious, but also very necessary to keep the seas stocked for years to come.