Fresh Sockeye Salmon, Complete With a Cause

Original story can be found in The New York Times' food and wine section. Click here for the original story.


Rich, lush and distinctively deep vermilion in color, sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska, is now in season for about a month. It is also in the spotlight. The bay is the largest spawning ground for the sockeye and king salmon in the world; its headwaters are also the site of the proposed open-pit Pebble Mine for gold and copper. The Chefs Collaborative, a network of advocates for sustainable food, like Rick Moonen (above) of RM Seafood in Las Vegas, and Trout Unlimited, a conservation group (both opponents of the mine) have begun a national campaign to encourage chefs to feature the fish to demonstrate its commercial value. Some retail markets are also selling it for home cooks. The salmon lover is in luck, however briefly: the sockeye is a joy to cook and delectable to eat, because its high fat content keeps the flesh moist.

The chef Rick Moonen, of RM Seafood, cuts sockeye salmon. Credit Phillip Townsend
Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is sold at Foragers Market in Chelsea and in Dumbo, Brooklyn; and at Heritage Meats in the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. The price is about $20 a pound. A list of restaurants participating in the campaign is available from