Ray’s has been sourcing and serving fresh, sustainably caught Northwest seafood directly from fishermen and women for decades. But no matter how long we do this we can never get enough knowledge about where our fish comes from and the people behind it. We have great respect for the men, women and families that have fished for generations, sometimes in treacherous conditions, to make a living and provide people with the freshest seafood available.
This love for connection and knowledge recently led our team to the crisp, cool waters of Sitka, Alaska to visit with some of our suppliers. On our first day we were welcomed with open arms by Lexi of Fish & Family Seafoods with a private dinner on Bamdoroshni Island (big thanks to Captain Gary of Sitka Adventures for ferrying us back and forth!). She immediately made us feel like part of her family and we enjoyed a beautiful dinner withLexi, her two children, her mother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, with ingredients fresh from their local waters like kelp salsa and pickled beach asparagus (sea beans). We missed her husband and business partner at Fish & Family, Adam, who was out halibut fishing while we were in town.
Fish & Family Seafoods is a wild salmon purveyor and we were thrilled to be able to visit them at their home base to break bread, learn about their family, their history, their process, visit their fishing boat Myriad, and experience a bit more of what life is like for a fishing family with two small children. Hint: it’s not always easy. Lexi and the kids join her husband Adam and their two crew on salmon fishing trips aboard the Myriad throughout the summer. In the fall they join Lexi’s extended family to longline for halibut and black cod. Whatever the season, their lives involve lots of chasing both kids and fish!
We were also lucky to spend time with our partners and friends at Pacific Seafood who chartered a fishing boat with Big Blue Charters and took us out for a long day on the beautiful waters of Sitka Sound. We also toured Sitka Sound Seafoods to learn more about how they process their salmon, and we hosted a dinner where we served one of their gorgeous White King Salmon!
The trip also allowed us to explore Sitka, a place in Alaska none of us had been before. We took in a hike up Mt. Verstovia, a boat trip to Goddard Hot Springs, dinner at the Channel Club with some amazing King Crab and Champagne, as well as a beautiful dinner at Ludvig’s Bistro!
It was a packed trip and we loved every second of it. The people of Sitka are salt of the earth, good, kind people. They share their love of the land with everyone who passes through and we felt that kindness and hospitality radiate throughout our four days there.
You may not be able to hop a flight to Sitka anytime soon but you can taste the freshness of their wild salmon and the thoughtfulness with which it is caught and handled at Ray’s every day of the week.