Reel Fish Shop & Grill chef and owner Aiki Terashima celebrated receiving a 200-pound Blue Fin tuna last week with a ceremonial butchering, with help from his sous chef Travis Gullarian.
Terashima is possibly the only chef in Sonoma County butchering his own tuna line-caught off the coast of the Philippines.
He learned at the hand of chef Masaharu Morimoto at his Morimoto restaurant in Napa, and what skill it takes! Just in visiting the beautiful animal who gave its life for our pleasure, this writer learned that the “otoro,” or belly, is all fat, and the “chutoro” is half red meat and half fat.
Terashima explained that a fish that has never been frozen keeps its freshness close to the bone where it doesn’t allow oxidization. So he and his crew cut for the day’s needs at both 10 a.m. for lunch and 4 p.m. for dinner service.
While many people think of the Reel as a music venue with a good bar and burgers, it is also an interesting seafood restaurant with full bar. Guests might find the Blue Fin tuna we saw butchered make its appearance as carpaccio, chowders, poke, rolls, po’ boys and sushi, or as Terashima’s featured fish of the day. He buys a whole fish, butchers it, and uses it until it is gone. 401 Grove St., Sonoma. 343-0044. Info@thereelfishshop.com.