For the last year and a half, Rorapaugh has made it his mission to condemn snakeheads to dinner plates across the D.C. area. So far, they've been served up by chefs including Scott Drewno of The Source, sustainable seafood advocate Barton Seaver and Chad Wells of Alewife in Baltimore. But his latest client may be his most high-profile to date: Chef Michael Anthony of New York City's legendary Gramercy Tavern.It has long been my contention that all we have to do to get rid of the snakehead once and for all in Maryland and Virginia is to find a market for them, set onerous fishing seasons and gear restrictions on them, and let the watermen take care of the problem.
"It boils down to something really simple," Anthony told HuffPost. "Once we tasted it, we liked it. It has a dense texture, a wonderful clean flavor. There is nothing strange about it. It's a delicious fish."
By all accounts, this marks the first time snakehead has been on the menu at a showcase Manhattan restaurant. Gramercy Tavern, a powerhouse since its founding in 1994, is co-owned by restaurateur wunderkind Danny Meyer and launched the career of former co-owner and chef, Tom Colicchio.
Of course, I'm kidding. Well, mostly. Having a decent market for a fish that's considered undesirable from an ecological point of view would be something that watermen aren't accustomed to, and they might suddenly realize the benefit of leaving a little seed stock.
I really need to catch a snakehead this year...