“Seafood Professor.” That’s what we’ve decided to call Barton Seaver after receiving an advance copy of his new book, American Seafood, which covers ever species of fish on earth. It’s encyclopedic and a fascinating read.
And Barton’s a fascinating person. After serving as executive chef for a group of restaurants in Washington, DC, he now leads the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is Senior Advisor for Sustainable Seafood Innovations at the University of New England.
He’s been a National Geographic Explorer and was apponted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to served on the U.S. Culinary Ambassador Corp. He grew up in the Chesapeake and now lives in Maine. We discussed sustainability and why regional identity is important starting with his backyard (back sea?) lobsters from Maine.
On a frosty March weekend we visited the tiny college town of Brunswick, Maine, for a family gathering that included one of the best and most creative Asian dinners we’d experienced in a long time. And, I thought I’d be eating just lobster and chowder all weekend!
Cara Stadler‘s Tao-Yuan blends local ingredients, Chinese flavors and the chef’s French training into creative dishes that are light in spirit (and on the stomach) and heavy on crisp, balanced flavors, from spicy, salty and savory to delicately sweet. Cara was inspired by her Chinese mother, Cecile. who runs Tao-Yuan with her as well as Cara’s local dumpling bar Bao Bao. Cara and her mother also ran the successful Gourmet Underground dining club in Beijing.
Cara recalls her mother’s extensive Asian dinners at home, an early influence that inspired her to pursue cooking versus a traditional college degree. At 16 she presented her parents a 10 year business plan that convinced them to let her follow her dream. She enrolled in the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and trained in top rated restaurants in France and China.
Now in her late 20s Cara has met and exceeded her 10 year plan, with Tao Yuan and Bao Bao, as well as recognition in 2014 as a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef, a James Beard Foundation Award 2015 Semi-Finalist and a major feature in the November 2015 issue of Saveurmagazine. Yet, her growing fame has grounded her even more. Cara’s focus is on her next 10 year plan including a hydroponic garden and aquaculture. –Melanie Young