We Travel for Our Taste Buds | Chef Phil’s Fresh Dish | Part 2

After watching that mouth-watering introduction to Chef Phil McDonald of Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar and Black Bear Bread Co., we're hungry! Understanding that your planned vacation to Northwest Florida may still be a few weeks or months away, we asked Chef Phil to help us bring the flavor of the Gulf coast right to your table. Our home is your home.

"When you have a really good product like we have here, the fish, the oysters, you don't have to do a whole lot to it. Just cook it right. Season it right, that's it. Put some olive oil and some fresh herbs on a piece of fish, and I'll eat that all day over something that's trying to get too crazy."

Fresh Gulf Seafood

Thankfully, Chef Phil was happy to share some tips on filleting and preparing local Gulf seafood. His pizza, though? You'll have to visit to experience that one!

Northwest Florida Restaurants

If you're adventurous enough to attempt filleting your own fish, or just looking for tips to up your fillet-game, Chef Phil gives us his favorite tips here.

Whether you’re going to try and fillet on your own, or you’ve already purchased fish fillets from one of Northwest Florida's fresh local seafood markets, Chef Phil wants you to try it how it was intended to be eaten—raw! Crudo, to be more specific. Crudo is the Italian-style way of serving raw fish and is very ingredient-driven. With Crudo dishes, you don’t need much more than fresh fish, oil, and some seasonings. In fact, Chef Phil has even shared with us one of his favorite ways to season and eat Gulf Red Snapper:

Gulf Snapper Crudo

1 red snapper filet (very fresh)

1/2 lemon ( zest & juice)

Pinch of flaky sea salt (preferably Jacobsen)

Chervil fronds or finely chopped chives

2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Chili de arbol (finely ground)

2 fresh radishes sliced thin

  1. Using a very sharp knife, slice the snapper fillets into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Divide the pieces evenly between 2 plates, laying them out in a line or a pattern that looks nice.
  2. Freshly grind a few cracks of pepper over the snapper, Place radish onto fish and between pieces of fish, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Squeeze lemon juice on to the fish, drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a very small amount of Chili de arbol and fresh cut chives or chervil fronds and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
  3. And as the saying goes, “bon appétit!”