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Eat the Skin, It’s Delicious

January 25, 2014 | Frank Bonanno

Last summer Chris McNeal and a small camera crew descended on my home.  We taped over windows and moved furniture around, then invited some of my favorite professionals to cook, barbecue, eat, and drink like crazy.We even managed to capture some of it on film.

Then, McNeal and his crew (Paul Kubala and Mitchell Alexander), and me and mine (partner, Chris Gregory and niece, Allison–both small as far as crews go) headed to the foothills for more of the same. We aimed to put a series together from all of this–something akin to the honesty of the cooking shows I grew up with (The Galloping Gourmet, The French Chef, Joyce Chen Cooks)–but with a focus on Colorado, and on the artisans, growers, and producers the public rarely gets to see.

These are professionals who make me want to be better–a better chef, a better entertainer, a better friend. Just better. Their passion imbues their products and infects everyone around them. I am honored, truly, to share this process–the process of getting to know them more, of getting a glimpse of their visions and methods.

In the first episode, we drove to Alamosa to visit Tyler Faucette of Colorado Catch. I’d been using his product for some time at my restaurants, but reading about and supporting “sustainable striped bass” is an entirely different matter from seeing a working bass farm, firsthand. It was pretty cool. I was so inspired by the freshness and beauty of the fish, we ate some streamside, gorgeous and raw, tossed in just a bit of citrus and salt.

Tyler was kind enough to invite the lot of us into his home, much as you will bring the lot of us into your home simply by watching the show, and I couldn’t thank you all enough for the hospitality.

These are the recipes for a smattering of the dishes we made. If you try them, please take a moment to let me know how they worked out for you–I’m always up for discussing food.

I included a cocktail recipe, too. Truth is, as I sit here and type, I’m drinking a Campari Spritz, very refreshing, and it seems to me these flavors would work mighty nicely with striped bass. In the meantime,



Roasted Bass

Colorado Striped Bass Tartare

Campari Spritz