Every fishing trip is different – be it the type of fish we catch, the amount of fish caught, the wildlife we see, the food we eat, the chefs on board and friends we make. Each trip is unique and so enjoyable – it makes organizing them easy and I’m already looking forward to our next trip sometime in October to celebrate the release of MADE IN AMERICA – be sure to check back or send me an email if you want to sign up for the next one. A huge thank you to all the chefs who came – and brought such amazing dishes – my one regret was not being able to eat more – too much good food. Not a bad place to be.
Yesterday we set out super early – a little too early for me! It was dark as we drove down to San Pedro the light creeping in with pre-dawn as we pulled into the car park.
I greeted chefs and guests on the dock at the 22nd Street Landing. We had a mixture of chefs who had been on previous trips and those who were new to the whole experience. As the sun came up the light made the super early start and only 4 hours sleep so worth it – just look at the rose pink color of the dawn sky. That slowly developed into a blue grey light before the sky turned to a bright bright blue – the weather was hot and sunny – perfect to be out on the water.
David Lefevre arrived before me – a first I think – he’s garnered rather a reputation of having the boat wait for him and even missing the boat on one occasion. Dressed in shorts and a spiffy hat he gave a certain elegance to our trip – think the harbor in Havana disappearing as we set out to sea.
As the boat left the harbor chefs chatted together – here Brian Moyers (BLT Steak) chats with Ryan Ososky (XIV) and Victor Casanova (Culina) in the early morning sunshine.
Before we could fish we had to stop to get squid and anchovies – not for calamari or caesar salad but for bait.
With open waters ahead we set off for a reef south of the harbour – those experienced fisherman on board (Michael Cimarusti being one) used this time to prep their rods. Plastic boxes filled with hooks and sinkers of various sizes are tied onto fishing lines.
For those who had never fished before it was time to hire a rod and get a quick lesson on what to do – drop down with your thumb guiding the line, set the reel and wait for a nibble then pull up fast and set the hook before reeling in the catch. As the fishing began so did the cocktails – a honey and grapefruit artisan vodka from Modern Spirits with fresh orange juice – Rick Moonen named it the Scurvy Screwdriver.
Here two lovely guests demonstrate how to fish and sip a cocktail and pose for a photo – talk about multi-tasking! Just look at the tiddler she pulled up. The lovely deck mate, Jim, spent a lot of time helping these women reel in fish after fish.
Chefs managed fishing time and took it in turns to use the hamburger griddle in the galley to prep hot food – Cuban sandwiches, Grilled Cheese sandwiches, Lobster rolls and more…
Other highlights that we ate:
The seven tastiest fruits in season right now – courtesy of Melissa’s – can you name them all?
Amy Jurist came prepared – caramelized pear and goat cheese crostini with balsamic reduction – plus the silver tray and the pretty flowers for the best in show for presentation! David Lefevre’s heirloom tomato salad with lemon ricotta and croutons was one of my favorites from the trip – here he adds the finishing touches to it.
Although fishing was slow we did manage to catch all creatures great and small – including some rock fish, a sting ray, sand dabs, sculpin and sand bass.
No prizes for the biggest catch of the day – a pelican! The mates gently and expertly caught the bird and removed the hook before letting it go. A little later someone managed to catch 2 pelicans and 2 cormorants in one go – let’s just say these birds aren’t very bright – often fighting for a fish on the end of the line as it’s reeled in and thus getting hooked.
The fish caught were put into these sacks before being prepared by Jim the mate for everyone to take home their catch.
Here the winner of the pot poses for a pic with his sand bass – I should say that a couple of people on the boat caught bigger fish – including Rick Moonen – but they weren’t in the pool for the biggest fish.
Fun fishy times out on the high seas – for the ride back in we even did a little whale watching – the prize Blue Whale the captain had seen earlier wasn’t spotted again but an albino dolphin/whale was and a large sun fish. Afterwards Rémy and Danté took it in turns to drive the boat back to shore. Thank you Captain Danny!
Until our next outing in October – tight lines and happy fishing… and thank you to all who came for making it a special day.