It’s hard to imagine that South Boston was once a remote peninsula with only iron foundries, machine shops shipyards, and refineries…connected to nearby Dorchester by just a narrow stretch of land. Today this area is one of Boston's fastest growing neighborhoods…home to a $850 million 516,000 square foot Convention Center, award-winning Institute for Contemporary Art building, the World Trade Center, Bank of America Pavilion, several major hotels, parks and over 50 restaurants.
I met Executive Chef Rich García at the Renaissance Hotel, where he oversees all culinary operations. Chef García is known locally and nationally for being an advocate for ocean-friendly species. He travels the country talking and learning about overfishing, the importance of giving a break to some species as cod and haddock, and introducing what he calls “trash fish” or underutilized species of fish to menus.
I was excited to meet Chef García and learn about South Boston’s evolving history and how and why he sources locally harvest products. He took me across the street from the hotel to Boston’s historic Fish Pier, which opened in 1914 and is the oldest continuously operating fish pier in the country. He introduced me to Jared Auerbach, owner of Red’s Best, a local seafood distributor whose innovative logistics technology streamlines, tracks and accelerates seafood transactions, reducing costs and transport time between fishermen and consumers.
Inside Red’s Best warehouse I experienced all kind of fish and shellfish and learned about pollock and dogfish, two species of fish that are less utilized, but equally delicious. I also tasted ocean fresh raw scallops, and for the first time sea urchin. Sushi delicious!
Back at Chef García’s kitchen we prepared three fabulously tasty recipes: Taylor Bay scallops with ceviche sauce, local pollock with bacon & seaweed consommé, turnip puree and pickled mushrooms, and Chef García’s famous “trash fish” minestrone…all made with ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Working on this episode intrigued and excited me to cook at home using locally caught sustainable seafood species. Hope you find inspiration on Chef García’s recipes too!
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About Neighborhood KitchensBuilding on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.
Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44
About the Author
On the GoIn each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!
Watch: Full Episodes
Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits
»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
»Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer
»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi
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