Craving some Alaskan king crab?

posted on October 26, 2007 at 8:34 am

Just got this in my inbox from Canoe’s PR peeps. Sounds like it might be worth the trip:

Canoe’s Executive Chef Carvel Grant Gould is venturing to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, from Saturday, October 27 through Wednesday, October 31 for the opening of king crab season to experience the port’s fishing culture and give her patrons the freshest and most desirable seafood possible. Dutch Harbor is the scene of “The Deadliest Catch,” a top-rated cable show on the Discovery Channel, and Gould, an avid fan of the show, will be aboard two of the show’s fishing vessels, Time Bandit and Cornelia Marie, to experience the process of king crab fishing. Gould, the only Southeastern chef in the group of 35, which includes the program’s captains and crew members and The Crab Broker Eric Donaldson, will experience how the system works from throwing and pulling crab pots to offloading the catch. Flying to a location that is 800 miles west of Anchorage and only 120 miles from Japan, Gould will experience the entire process of red king crab, the most desirable of the three types, being caught, cooked and shipped directly to Canoe for guest consumption.

While boats used to race in dangerous conditions (called “derby-style” fishing) during a restrictive time window to catch the most king crab, the federal government began setting quotas in 2005 that divide the catch evenly between established owners beforehand in order to increase safety as well as the availability of fresh Alaska king crab to consumers. This year’s quota has been set just above 20 million pounds, and as a result, fresh king crab will be shipped out of Dutch Harbor through the first two weeks of December.

While 93% of all king crab sold in the United States is from Russia, king crab from this region of Alaska is the very best available. King crab is rarely served fresh on restaurant menus as it is very difficult and pricey to ship from this remote area of Alaska, which sets Canoe’s king crab dishes apart from all others in the city. Like lobster, king crab has to be alive when it is cooked, so the fisherman must keep the catch alive on the boat, then offload and cook them immediately, and finally, ship out the crabs before they get frozen. Virtually all red king crab is frozen for use; however, Canoe will have king crab shipped to the restaurant before it is frozen. A prime example of Gould’s simple, seasonal preparations, Canoe’s king crab will only be offered for a very limited time due to the fresh nature of the product. Gould removes the crab completely from the shell and serves it with a butter lettuce emulsion, topping the dish with olive oil sorbet for a very light and delicate dish that preserves the natural flavor experience of the crab. Serving nightly dinner, weekday lunch and Sunday brunch, Canoe is located at 4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW; 770-432-2663;

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One comment

  • Re: Craving some Alaskan king crab?
    posted by: Anonymous · October 29, 2007  6:02 AM

    Speaking of amazing crab – I just had the most fantastic, juicy stone crab claws at Atlanta Fish Market over the weekend. I love how they crack them, so there’s literally NO work to be done – just pop them in your mouth, after dipping in either drawn butter or tangy mustard sauce. They are so great and alone make it worth a trip to “the big fish.” I forgot that the season on the stone crab claws started mid-October. Get ’em while you can…

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