Friday, September 27, 2013

Butchery and Charcuterie Class Works with Abundant Seafood's Mark Marhefka

On Wednesday half of Chef Stefanelli's Butchery and Charcuterie class met at the Geechee Dock to work with Mark Marhefka. Mark and his crew came in on Tuesday night around midnight and off-loaded amberjack, triggerfish, red snapper, black sea bass, and porgy. We cut about 200 pounds of triggerfish. Students also got an opportunity to fillet two large amberjacks.

On Thursday, the other half of the class met at the dock and scaled, filleted, weighed, and bagged vermillion snapper, porgy and black sea bass. Mark then demonstrated how to fillet and prepare amberjack, the large fish in the photo with Mark. The class also got to sample some amberjack that was being smoked at the dock. This fish was cut and prepared by the class the previous day. The students spent 3 hours each day out at the dock.  

The objectives for the students was to give them the opportunity to learn how to properly prepare and fillet fresh fish from an expert and to execute this on a large scale. The repetition is invaluable in gaining better understanding of how to use the knife as an extension of the hand and to better understand the structures of different species. Chef Stefanelli also wanted the students to gain an appreciation of the hard work needed to supply chefs and restaurants with products. Additionally Mark spoke a bit about the challenges he faces as a fisherman both from a regulatory standpoint and from trying to satisfy and educate chefs who are working with his product.

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