By Flavor & The Menu
September 10, 2019
Ana Sortun admits that even she gets confused about sustainable seafood. “People are definitely confused, both chefs and customers,” she says. “Fish, in general, is a real gray area for the public, and there are a lot of mixed messages and agendas.”
She first learned about farmed seafood about 15 years ago, on a trip organized by Oldways Preservation Trust. “They brought us to visit a salmon farm way up in New Brunswick, Canada, and it was enlightening to see the process from start to finish.”
At Oleana, she serves a number of farmed and wild species, including farmed mussels. One of her favorite dishes is Mussels with Turkish Tarator Sauce, a creamy, nut-based garlic sauce. She steams them open, then dunks the shelled mussels in a light beer batter to fry before serving them with slices of Hungarian hot wax peppers and dollops of tarator. It’s her take on Istanbul street food.
“Our customers don’t seem to have an issue with farmed versus wild,” she says. “The story is much more important to them—they do care about what’s in season and where it’s coming from.”