Hi Everybody,

Spring is here for real Ocean is getting warmer. More fresh seafood and toys start to march into our kitchen. Last month trip with Palmer, lead by Kip Palmer and Steve Valentine that provided my staff a private jet to Seafood Expo in Boston, we got a lot of great suppliers.

Up to this point, our Island Creek Oyster Farm and maybe most of farms in the Northeast are in stage of shortage in supplies. As we know we had a real hard winter, oysters are the same way. They did not grow well. Now the weather breaks through, some of them started to spawn and some did not grow up to the point. Ok, we have to depart with Island Creek for awhile, still some suppliers in Duxbury area can provide us for another 3-4 weeks. Last week we tried Kaipara oysters from New Zealand about 2.5 inch deep cup, very cucumber taste-like, great, great flavor. We ordered 600-720 of them but we only got less than 500.  This week we will go back to our favorite Duxbury area. Standish Shore oyster should be 4 inches or longer. I will also get some Belon oyster this week.

Mussels have been a big problem for a while. PEI area is used to be prime area for everybody.
Nowadays they over-harvested them. Their size is getting smaller, as small as the tip of your pinky, and does not have a lot of meat too. We have changed our mussels to Hollander & DeKoning from Maine. This one looks like French mussels or so called Mediterranean mussel but smaller. They are fresh, very sweet and tender. We love them. The other alternative we are getting will be American Blue mussel from Maine. This one is very big and heavy, we are talking about 3 inches and up and the meat is filled up the cup. The problem is the size and thickness of the shell which could make us over-cook some of them easily. We will see what is coming in this week.

Baby squid is on the rise. As we know if the water is warm enough we can get Atlantic squid fresh. Three weeks ago they started to be consistent, they have been on our specials since. Octopus will be our next target. To buy them right, it has to be the one that has a thin skin, is not going to wriggle out and does not make a dark peel un-appetite appearance on the plate. Baby octopus will also be our prime target for the season.

Soft shell crab, first of the season, was on our specials last week. We got only a dozen of whale-size in. They were all dressed and we do not like them that much. We prefer live ones but the supplier in the area is so afraid carrying a very high perishable material at that caliber.

Pook asks me to stop writing and just head to work. She is trying new molecular tricks on her new desserts with Tim. I have to go now. We will talk more on spot prawn, shrimp with head on from Hawaii, and North Carolina or Mexico, and our new 8-12 weeks Dry Aged Rib Eye program. The season is here.

See you guy very soon.

Your Chef,