“Over time, you develop relationships as a valued partner of the folks you buy fish from, and there are no short cuts to that…”
Meet Ian MacGregor, President & Chief Fishmonger of The Lobster Place in New York City. Ian took over his family’s seafood business 8 years ago, growing the modest mom & pop seafood shop into a thriving and respected wholesale/retail fish business. The catch he secures everyday for his loyal customers and chefs is as premium as seafood products get, and he credits that completely to the relationships he’s established with seafood suppliers all over the world – relationships that began in 1974 when his mom and dad started selling seafood in the city.
Personally, I shop at The Lobster Place quite frequently, and not only because my husband works there. When you walk inside, you’re instantly hit by the fresh ocean-y smell of the sea – something many folks say you should look for in a good seafood market. What’s most impressive is the sheer size of the market, trays and trays of freshly butchered fish fillets glisten in the fish case, piles of oysters sit on beds of ice waiting to be popped open, smoked fish in a dozen varieties are ready to be portioned, stacks of lobster crates under showers in the back hold LIVE lobsters in every size. It’s a seafood buyer’s dream, and it’s all made to feel like you’re shopping dockside in the Northeast: humble, raw and clean. Very very clean. They even have a made-to-order fresh sushi counter and a “Shack in the Back” for prepared sandwiches, salads, chowder bread bowls and lobster rolls. Need I say more?
What I’m trying to get at here is that these are all signs that point to good fishmongers. The Lobster Place knows how to handle, store, present and care for the seafood they deal with and it shows. Product is checked daily for degradation to ensure everything you eat tastes of the sea. And educating customers on the seafood they are buying is a top priority, not only can you learn where your fish comes from, but they can tell you how to prepare and cook it too.
So enjoy my behind-the-scenes peek into what makes The Lobster Place tick. I’ll take you inside their Hunt’s Point facility in The Bronx to see their wholesale operation during the wee hours of the morning before restaurant deliveries, and get up close with the fishmongers at their store in Chelsea Market. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher unless you’re catching it yourself…
Thanks for watching food. curated. Happy eating!