An early taste of Wildtype salmon
We started Wildtype with a mission to make the most delicious and sustainable fish and meat on the planet. To us, that means creating a product that not only tastes great, but one that we can all feel good about eating. Salmon was a natural place to begin given the challenges the fish is facing in the wild.
Over the past year, we’ve developed prototypes, tasted them, and listened carefully to the input of our partner chefs. When the time came to debut the latest version of our products, we could think of no better place to do so than Portland, Oregon. Not only is Portland a food lover’s paradise (food trucks and donuts, anyone?), but it is also the home range of our favorite salmon species including Coho and Chinook. Additionally, some of our closest friends in the food world call Portland home.
On June 2nd, we hosted a dinner at Maylin Chavez’s Olympia Oyster Bar. Joining Maylin in the kitchen was Rose Ha, one of the creative minds behind Baia, a new restaurant opening soon in San Francisco. Gusto’s Kyle Christy, who was formerly executive chef at Dame, also contributed his impressive talents to the night’s menu.
Maylin Chavez, Rose Ha, and Kyle Christy — photo credit: H. Watson
The objective of the dinner was to give our guests a taste of a sustainable seafood future. We also wanted to demonstrate the versatility of Wildtype salmon with a variety of culinary traditions.
Known as the filter feeders par excellence of the sea, a sampling of oysters from the Oregon and Washington coasts opened the menu. Following the starters, the menu featured other restorative foods such as a seaweed salad prepared from Blue Evolution’s flavorful products, topped with a local Gamay Noir verjus. We also dropped a few Wildtype surprises into the appetizer menu, including the Mexican-inspired snack below.
Wildtype Coho salmon slices atop a tortilla chip with avocado, pickled onions, and cilantro
Maylin, Kyle, and Rose each prepared some of their favorite salmon recipes using Wildtype’s products. Maylin’s Mexican culinary tradition came through powerfully in her Ceviche Verde, prepared with avocado, cucumber, katsuobushi, ginger and cilantro.
Ceviche verde with Wildtype salmon, avocado, cucumber, katsuobushi, ginger, and cilantro — photo credit: R. Hacmac
Kyle was interested in how our salmon would react to acid, and served a classic tartare preparation on a rice crisp. As expected, Wildtype’s coho salmon brightened in color after some time in Kyle’s signature tartare sauce. The texture also tightened up significantly, as it would in conventionally-harvested salmon.
Wildtype salmon tartare with dijon, rhubarb, tomatillo, green garlic, and cilantro on a rice puff — photo credit: R. Hacmac
Rose’s time in Hawaii inspired her to assemble a classic spicy salmon roll prepared with cucumber, avocado, fresh sprouts and her famous hand-made pickled ginger. Though they were the last savory course on the menu, the sushi rolls were one of the most popular courses of the night.
Spicy salmon rolls with Wildtype salmon, cucumber, sprouts, and a touch of gochujang — photo credit: H. Watson
This night was a milestone for us for a number of reasons. It was the first time we had produced over a pound of Wildtype salmon for a single event. This allowed us to feature our products six ways. Additionally, we believe this is the first time anyone has hosted a dinner featuring cell-based food so extensively on the menu. Finally, we were proud to introduce our guests to the world’s first sushi created with cellular agriculture technology.
While these are important milestones for us, our products are works-in-progress and will continue to improve in the months ahead. We listened carefully to every bit of constructive feedback offered, from color, to texture, to the initial and after-tastes. Each comment and impression from people outside of Wildtype is precious to us and allows us to continually improve our products.
This is why we believe that the creative culinary process should be as open, transparent, and honest as possible. We’ve been shown again and again that the best ideas for our products can come from the most unexpected sources, often outside the walls of Wildtype. We continue to warmly invite others into our culinary community and look forward to many more delicious meals together.
Photo credit: H. Watson