By Jennifer Lade
NEW BEDFORD — After a feature on the Bravo channel’s “Top Chef” earned Oceans Alive Scallops national acclaim, the company decided it wanted to repay the favor. They invited Hosea Rosenberg, who won the competitive cooking series with a dish made from the local scallops, to see firsthand where scallops come from — and he was more than happy to accept.
On Saturday, Rosenberg traveled from Boulder, Colo. to visit New Bedford and learn about the scallop industry. Carl Achorn III, head of sales for Oceans Alive, gave him a tour of the waterfront and took him aboard Hear No Evil, a 92-foot western-rigged scallop boat captained by Michael Willett.
“This whole thing for us has been tremendous,” Achorn said. Since Rosenberg chose to work with their scallops for his winning dish for the series finale in February — and since the distinctive Oceans Alive can was featured prominently in a shot — the local company has seen a surge in customers.
“Our phones have been lit up like crazy ever since the episode aired.”
Aboard Hear No Evil, Rosenberg got a rare chance to be on the ocean. Achorn and Erik Orman, the co-owner of Tempest Fisheries, pointed out local landmarks as the boat made its way through the hurricane barrier. Fishermen aboard the boat gave Rosenberg a demonstration of how the scallop dredge is set out and hauled back in. Steven Gemaly, a deckhand, explained in detail the process of shucking and storing the scallops. It was a lot to take in.
“They just know what they’re doing; they’re proud of their work,” Rosenberg said. He added that often people are removed from their food’s origins.
“You don’t really think a lot about product,” he said. “It’s rare to see where the see where the seafood is coming from … we don’t think about the people involved in getting it there.”
The down-to-earth Rosenberg said that since the show, things have been “completely 180 degrees from my old life.” He is recognized everywhere, and his restaurant, Jax Fish House, is seeing a rush of business that is usually reserved for the summer.
Rosenberg will accompany Oceans Alive to the Boston Seafood Show today, which Achorn describes as a showcase of “every aspect of the seafood industry you could possibly imagine.”
Achorn’s father was a commercial fisherman and a scallop captain.
“It’s in my blood,” he said. To promote the industry, he added, “meant a lot to me personally.”
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March 15, 2009
Source URL: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090315/NEWS/903150350
By Jennifer Lade