The Taste of Tomorrow

One of the unique challenges in writing a book —  for a short and middle-distance journalist like myself — is time.

Everything takes exponentially longer — the reporting stage, the drafting stage, the revising stage, the editor feedback stage, the legal review stage.   And then, when The Book is done, you enter this next-production stage that operates at a seemingly 19th Century pace.

Meanwhile…. while The Book slouches towards completion, the book’s characters do things  — they’re opening new restaurants,  finding new species of fish, experimenting with new herbs, using anaerobic digesters to increase the efficiency of waste, trying new growth media to spawn pork stem cells.

One of the missions of the ToT: The Zine is to provide updates on some of the book’s star characters and issues  (of course, since only about 30 people have read the advance copy of the book, these updates are not that meaningful to many as of March 2012…)

BUT, we’ll start keeping track now.

Open Blue's cobia

Not to totally blow the suspense of the book…. but two men named Dan Benetti and Brian O’Hanlon, a fish called called cobia, and a method of fish farming called open ocean aquaculture figure prominently in the story.  Benetti is, you might say, Patient Zero — he piqued my fascination in the world of marine aquaculture, and, ultimately, in the world of food innovation.

The big news is that his protege,  Brian O’Hanlon, one of the first cobia farmers in North America, and one of the first to try open ocean aquaculture,  has been doing very well since I last met him.  He’s now the leading supplier of cobia in North America.  And he’s going to the International Boston Seafood Show next week.

(Teaser for book:  the fact that O’Hanlon’s Open Blue Sea Farms has a booth, and is selling fish, at Boston is a big deal. )

We’ll keep you posted on the progress of cobia, and ecologically-sensitive methods of aquaculture,  on this site.

Meantime, here’s some background — a link to the Open Blue site,  and a Miami New Times story “A Fish Farmer’s Tale” from five years ago.

One other update on people, places, food in the book (for the 32 people who have read the book so far)

Remember Jacky’s, the bistro-like restaurant featured in chapter 10, p175? It’s the site of a fateful moment where the mano-a-mano taste test of cobia and barramundi occurs. Jacky’s, beloved by the author, has changed names. It’s now called Hota.  We’ll have more on the new Jacky’s in a follow-up post.

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