In the beginning it was just fishing with my brother and my dad. He was a steel fabricator and made a boat called Bear Flag when I was born. Life revolved around the boat, the Channel Islands, and spots in Mexico. Eventually I worked on other people’s boats. I did it all: captain, second captain, chef, deck hand, scrubber. I got restaurant jobs and was lucky to apprentice under great chefs like Tim Johnson at Zenbu Sushi.
I learned how to evaluate the quality of the fish, how it was treated. You can tell from the meat if the fish was relaxed or stressed when it was harvested. No matter what kind of fish it is, I only buy the best fish, and I love the search for it, the art and science of finding it. With every job I did, every trip I went on, every person I met, certain things stuck with me, before I even knew what I was getting into. I was pulled by the sea. It was time to start my own thing. I found a location and went all in. I couldn't afford an architect so I did the drawings with a pencil and ruler. My dad and I soldered the refrigeration lines in the kitchen.