Not fond of fish? It could be because the fish you've tried wasn't very good, or perhaps you weren't exactly sure how to cook it. In fact, finding good fish in the Midwest used to be a challenge. But no more, thanks to Hooked on Fish.
The new seafood delivery service founded by Karen Wollins is inspired by the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). That's where a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Consumers purchase a share, just like a membership or subscription, and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. Karen says there is an equivalent of CSAs for fishermen on the coasts. She's trying for a similar concept in Chicago, except she's sourcing the fish rather than doing the fishing.
Here's how it works: you pay up front for a delivery or a series of deliveries. Karen finds the freshest sustainable fish she can find from a few local sources, makes sure it's portioned and packed properly, and delivers it to a refrigerated drop off point. You bring it home and cook it.
You can sign up for a single delivery, which is $22. But the price goes down incrementally if you order 4, 8 or even 12 deliveries.
Each week, you'll get an email with a few options. But if you aren't up for making a decision, you can get Karen's selection called the "Fishmonger's Choice". A big benefit of a CSA is that you often get interesting produce that you may never have worked with before. Hooked on Fish allows you to do the same with fish.
Both locations of The Chopping Block (Merchandise Mart and Lincoln Square) are pick up locations for Hooked on Fish, and we're happy to keep your fish nice and cold. Karen says she'll expand to other locations according to demand. If you can get six friends together, you can set up your own pick up point.
Karen says she chose to partner with The Chopping Block because she took a seafood class years ago and loved it. "I thought your classes would be a help to those who are leery of cooking fish. Also, I think that Owner/Chef Shelley Young is pretty like-minded when it comes to eating fresh, simple food," said Karen.
Karen is working to build up on online guide to cooking fish which includes Shelley's video on how to grill fish and a fish taco recipe from The Chopping Block. She says her plan is to have a section on her website with the basics of fish (how to store, cook, freeze, etc.), and a section on different sauces, salsas, and compound butters that go well with fish. She's also started a blog about her own home prep of the various fish she's offered.