Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Telling the Fish Tale Storytelling helps make the sale

The stories of provenance behind these dishes provide a backdrop upon which chefs can find creative inspiration

A fisherman, a farmer and a chef walk into a bar… How this story ends depends on what the fisherman caught, what the farmer grew, and how the chef combined his partners’ products to build a delicious plate of food.

Chefs and front-of-house staff, spurred on by the long-standing farm-to-table movement, have become comfortable in telling, sometimes in intricate detail, the stories of how agricultural ingredients contribute to their menus.

These stories help sell the dishes on offer because diners increasingly like to know from where their food is sourced. And they help justify the cost of menu items because diners gain an understanding of the work involved in harvesting high-quality raw ingredients and delivering them in prime condition to the kitchen door. And these stories of provenance provide a backdrop upon which chefs can find creative inspiration.

The same principles and benefits of story-selling can apply to seafood delivered to any dining establishment.

Here, we tell a handful of stories of fishermen and fish farmers, and the seafood they harvest from spots all around North America. We also tap chefs currently using these products to share with us how they tell these tales of provenance to appeal to their diners—and spark their creativity.

Read the stories

> Maine Lobster
> Maryland Blue Crab
> Alaska Pollock
> Cape Cod Skate
> Gulf Red Snapper
> Alaska Salmon
> Baja Striped Bass
> Sablefish
> Gulf Shrimp


From the special March-April 2019 Seafood issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read this issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.


About The Author


Christine Burns Rudalevige is a seasoned food writer and classically trained cook living in Brunswick, Maine. She has worked as a chef, a farmers’ market manager, and a boutique caterer. Christine founded the Family Fish Project (a website dedicated to eating seafood at home) and later worked as a lead culinary instructor at Stonewall Kitchen. The dedicated home cook and food writer has lent her voice to regional and national media outlets, from NPR to Cooking Light.