A native of Los Angeles, Erik was drawn to San Francisco for its vibrant restaurant scene and its ethos of valuing farm to table. Prior to creating restaurants, he owned a South African spearfishing company that captured over 10 spearfishing world records. During this time, he discovered the need to connect the prize with food and the whole process from nature through the entire meal. Respecting the animal and the ingredients is very much at the heart of Erik’s cooking and overall philosophy about food.
Chef/owner:Arsenal, Arsenal Noodle, and The Hunted.
He is part of a Montana Natural Prime cattle ranch,
Hunter and Chef for the Pursuit of Food.
Grouper. I love the challenge of the hunt and in general diving over rock piles and moving in and around rocks. You’ve got to get a good shot otherwise it will zig zag through the rocks and be extremely difficult to retrieve. Also the context of the hunt is awesome - for me it’s generally diving in Baja, Mexico.
The fish is also super tasty so that helps too!
Bucatini w/ poached fish
I like making stocks from the fish or abalone that we get. This is part of what it means to me to honor the "whole animal". By making the stock we incorporate the full flavor of the bones back into the dish.
1 16 oz pack of bucatini (Rustichella brand)
8 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 handful chopped ITALIAN parsley.
(panko) dried bread crumbs. kosher salt
STOCK & Fish filet
5 pounds whole preferably non oily white fish (oily fish do not make for the best clean stocks - and you want to make sure you have enough bones to make a healthy amount of fish stock which will keep in the fridge for 3 days or freezer up to a month)
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
Preparationn: Start by preparing the ingredients for the stock.
Filet, gut, and gill the fish and keep the bones and head rinsing them under cold water until the water runs clear (hopefully you have bled the fish well and put it on ice when you caught it)
Separate the filets from the skin and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. set aside in a bowl.
To make the stock, I like to make it with a combination of roasted and boiled bones. So in one pot, saute in a few tbsp olive oil 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk (all rough diced) and a pinch of salt (this helps to release water) until the onion is translucent. add 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (2 minutes).
add half the fish bones and cook briefly.
add 1 cup of dry white wine (sauvignon blanc) and boil on high while stirring the pot to release the albumins/proteins and flavor from the fish bones. Cook until wine reduces by half. Taste to make sure the alcohol has evaporated.
Pour enough COLD water to cover the bones while you set the oven on 350F. Boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Roast the other half of the fish carcass on a baking sheet for 15 minutes until there is nice color and the meat on the bones turn to white.
Make sure to dry the bones before you put them into the oven so they fully roast, as opposed to steam. This will enhance the flavor of the stock with a new dimension.
Add these bones to the stock and simmer the stock for 30 minutes. Add more water if needed at this point. Take off the heat and strain the stock, and adjust seasoning.
Note: You can separate the bones with a cleaver (good ones are made by Dexter Russell or CCK)
In a blender, blend up 1/2 handful chopped italian parsley, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko or make your own from country/rustic white loaf), a dash of olive oil, a pinch of salt.
Simultaneously prepare a pot of boiling salted water and the bucatini per package instructions, taking care to undercook the bucatini (if directions state 9-11 minutes, cook for 8 minutes), add pasta to a pan and cook for 2 minutes in the stock with 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water which will be starchy and help bind the fish stock to the pasta.
Take your fish cubes and salt them. rub them in the garlic parsley mix and in a sauce pan, quickly saute the fish cubes.
Finish with a little calabrian chilies or red pepper flakes and some olive oil. A touch of lemon zest if you want.
Plating: These principles can be used for most sea creatures- make a stock, lightly cook the seafood (not too much sauce as this overpowers the natural ingredient) and add the stock back to the ingredient.
Notes: Serve with white burgundy, sancerre. Anything along the coast of Spain from Getaria - Txakoli with slight lemon/acidity notes