John Tesar Says He’ll Have Copper River Salmon on Spoon’s Menu “Before Matt & Scott Get Their Rods in the Water”
“While Matt (McCallister) and Scott (Romano) are up in Alaska fishing (for Copper River salmon), I’ll already be cooking it at Spoon and sipping a glass of Rose Champagne,” chef John Tesar called to tell me after he read this story.
Turns out Tesar has a connection to a source for purchasing wild Copper River salmon before the commercial fishing season opens a couple of weeks from now. How is it possible that Tesar can obtain Copper River salmon before that? “Rick Moonen and I buy the fish from a seafood supplier who sources it from Native Americans. They’re able to fish for Copper River salmon and Yukon River salmon before the commercial season opens.”
While the opening date for the Copper River season hasn’t yet been set, Tesar says he’ll have the fish at Spoon by May 12, which will likely be a few days before Matt and Scott get their rods in the water.
“This will be my 20th year to serve Copper River salmon,” Tesar told me. “We’ll cook it like a celebration of spring, in a cast iron skillet so the skin gets crisp, then serve it with English peas, favas, black trumpet mushrooms, morels, ramps, maybe a leek broth.”