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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Uncle Carl is #1...and loves Sustainable Seafood.

That's my friend Mary's drawing of her Uncle Carl, her favorite uncle as you might have guessed. At least he was back in the early 1980s when she drew this very lovely sketch. And I'm quite positive he loves sustainable seafood. Trust me on this. I know Uncle Carl.

Spent some time in the kitchen with Nico this morning as he and the Fish team cleaned and fileted their way through 300 pounds of fish (b-liners, triggerfish and a monster of a grouper, photos tomorrow) in preparation for tonight's Sustainable Seafood Dinner which kicks off in about two hours.

Now, totally unrelated to sustainable seafood is this little gem. Read a crazy story in The New York Times today about a time-honored, little known, gluttonous though rather affordable rite of passage.

Picture 350 guys hunkered down of over seemingly endless plates of beef with their bare hands at say, a VFW Hall in the middle of New Jersey. Somewhat frightening, I realize however, these meaty free-for-alls, called BEEFSTEAKS (I'm not making this up.) are becoming increasingly popular in the New York and New Jersey area for political meetings, fundraisers and corporate get-togethers. It's like an all-you-can-eat for say $40 or so.

As funny/disturbing as this is to me on a variety of levels, what I dig about these protein-laden utensiless feats is the sense of community they build. The article quotes Tommy Mason, a 75-year old real estate appraiser,“You can’t be courteous at a beefsteak, and you can’t be shy...But it’s all in good fellowship, and nobody gets out of hand. I’ll do it till the day I die.”

I'm not recommending you dive headfirst into plates full of beef by any means, but I'll support gathering a group of fine folks at a table over great food and conversation any day of the week.

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