Staying healthy and fit requires a good diet to match your exercise program. One of the ways to stay fit and strong between surfs is eating right, and that means mixing in some quality seafood.
We're lucky to be in a city that has a robust fishing community and our access to fresh caught seafood is second to none. Most people buy their seafood at a local grocery store but they could be getting a fresher selection if they just did a little research. Lucky for you, I'm here to help. Tucked away on a very hidden road in Bay Park you will find one of San Diego's finest fish markets: Catalina Offshore Products.
Catalina Offshore Products has built a loyal following of chefs, restaurant owners and other customers because of its dedication to providing the freshest seafood possible. Among its offerings are red snapper caught off the coast of Baja and a signature product: uni - also known as sea urchin.
I recently caught up with Catalina Offshore Products representatives Tommy Gomes and Dan Nattrass to discuss the business of fresh seafood.
Gomes is known as the company's fishmonger. He comes from a long line of fisherman and was once a commercial fisherman himself. He works on the floor daily sharing advice and can often be found cooking up the daily catch for clients in his test kitchen.
I asked Gomes about seafood preparation and inquired about the best way to keep the fish as nutritional as possible.
"Keep it simple," he said. "Don't drown it in marinades. Just a little salt and pepper is all you need for most fish."
Gomes has also created a series of YouTube videos that show customers how to select and prepare the seafood offered at Catalina Offshore Products. If you have ever wondered how to prepare snapper, tuna or lobster, you need to give his videos a look.
I asked Nattrass about how the fish is sourced and his response is one you probably won't find anywhere else in the city.
"I've sat in the dirt and wind with panga fisherman in Baja for years and have developed relationships with many small fishing villages that provide a unique offering of seafood with the utmost in quality," Nattrass said.
Gomes added, "Knowing where your fish is caught, how it's caught and how it got to your table is something all people need to think about."
If you currently buy frozen fillets or farm-raised fish like tilapia, you are missing out on the quality, freshness and nutrients that wild ocean seafood provides.
When you head down to the market, keep in mind that weekends can get packed, so try to peel off some time during the week to access the best selection. When you're there, make sure you take a minute to talk to Gomes and ask for some cooking tips, he'll help you make your next seafood dinner the best it can possibly be.
Catalina Offshore Products Fish Market
Address: 5202 Lovelock St., Bay Park
Phone: (619) 704-3638
As a lifelong San Diegan, Ken Lewis has surfing and ocean life in his DNA. A 30-year surfer himself, Lewis has worked in the surf and skate industry for most of his career. Send him thoughts about the surfing and fitness worlds to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Instagram @hanger18.