Why Salmon Is the Right Fit for Spyce
I love sharing new flavors with you and our guests. The creative work of recipe development is the fun part and is followed by a lot of details to ensure we’re making the right choices for our customers and fellow Spycers and serving up fresh-food-made-right. I thought I’d share some notes on how we made the decision to add salmon to our menu and the steps we’re taking to make sure it’s the right fit for Spyce.
Listening to Our Customers:
First, we were curious to hear from our guests on what proteins they’d like to add to their bowls. We did a concept screening with our some of our customers and shared a list of possibilities; including duck, turkey-meatballs, shrimp, salmon and even BBQ jackfruit. Salmon was the resounding winner. The good news is that salmon is widely understood to be a healthy animal protein and could be a good match for our food. So we set out to figure it out.
1. Is It Delicious?
Taste is subjective, but we start here to evaluate each ingredient and recipe. Salmon is delicious and we’ve worked hard on the logistics to make it accessible for our guests.
Our cooking is brilliant, yet complicated. Our culinary team and engineering team collaborate with restaurant operations to make sure we can prep, store, dispense and cook each ingredient consistently.
Frankly, we were all a little skeptical about whether we could cook salmon properly and be proud of the outcome. We had some serious questions: “Will it stick to the plancha?”, “Will the pieces break apart as it moves along the lane?”, “Will the salmon over cook and become dry?”
Preparing Salmon for the Plancha
- Lightly brine the flesh in a saltwater solution to maximize moisture
- Dice the fish into ½”-¾” cubes and marinate in our Lemon Dill Dressing (this helps with dispensing and adds some great flavor).
Long story short, our lab Infinite Kitchen testing results were great. So it was time to finalize the source.
3. Does It Align With Our Values: Sourcing Sustainability
We focus on traceability, ingredient integrity, responsibility, and equity for our producers and vendor partners. We steer clear of red meat on our menu and other resource-intensive animal proteins.
- We believe the food system is complicated: sustainability issues are dynamic and we are committed to reducing negative impact through our sourcing efforts and daily practices.
- The menu features mindfully sourced ingredients,; focusing on lasting partnerships, sustainable practices and clean ingredients.
Let’s talk Seafood in general…
Unlike other animal proteins, seafood is the only widely consumed species that is still available both wild and farmed. When was the last time you had wild chicken? This difference leads to controversy on what’s best for the planet and our bodies.
We believe that consuming a combination of wild-caught and farm-raised seafood is the most sustainable approach to protect the future of wild-stocks and provide a high-quality protein to a growing population.
Of course, aquaculture practices vary in their quality and integrity, much like land farming practices. We’re in the process of vetting the quality of potential producer’s aquaculture standards, supply chain logistics and their impact.
The Challenges and Considerations of the Wild vs Farmed Salmon
– Fisheries management
– Waste management
– Pen management
– Escape rate
– Waste management
Then, after evaluating five different Salmon sources, Wild-caught Sockeye (Alaska), Norweigan Farmed Atlantic, Canadian Farmed Atlantic, Faroe Island Farmed Atlantic, and Icelandic Farmed Atlantic, we finally made a choice.
We were thrilled when we decided to launch our menu with Niceland (Icelandic Salmon producer). Iceland is known for its wild-caught cod. And in recent years for launching high-quality farming of salmon, steelhead, and arctic char. The fishing industry makes up 13% of their economy and as such, they have invested heavily in their infrastructure.
Needless to say, we put a lot of thought and a lot of heart into the process of properly incorporating salmon into the menu. We are quite pleased, and we hope you are too! So grab a bowl and give it a try.