Food Rebel: Sean Barrett
Fisherman, Restaurateur, and CSF Founder at Dock to Dish
Montauk, New York
Sean learned how to walk, talk, and fish in that order. While on a trip to San Sebastian, Spain, Sean was witness to the purist form of fishing: fisherman bringing their fresh catches right to the restaurant door. Seans idea for a Community Supported Fishery in Montauk was born. Cutting out the labor-intensive and costly steps between the fisherman and the consumer, Sean is able to have direct relationships with each of his customers, eliminate waste from bi-catch and over-fishing, and support the work of local fisherman while providing his customers fresh delicious fish.
Tell me about one of your earliest and fondest fishing memories:
Every year on my birthday I had an offshore trip and so it was my 13th birthday, quite some time ago, I caught my first shark off of Montauk and it was a 200 pound blue shark. It was like I was 13 years old, I had a Hard Rock Café hat on and it’s like for a 13 year old boy to be out experiencing that kind of thing
I think I was hooked for life no pun intended.
What do you love about fishing?
I always struggled, probably like most people do, about what you want to be when you grow up. And I took a few career deviations but at the end what I want to do is what I wanted to do when I was little you know, and that was get out on the sea. I know that I’m going fishing in the day, in the night, in the morning, I feel like my whole world is at peace in that situation and it’s a fulfillment. I feel like it’s a dream come true for me. To be fishing for a living, I’d be hard pressed to ask for anything more.
What do you do differently from large commercial fisheries?
People pre-purchase their fish and we know exactly how many fish we are fishing for, but we don’t take on any more fish than we need. So when we go out on the day, we know exactly how many fillet of fish that we need to satisfy the customers. The customers have pre-paid for that fish so that eliminates a lot of the variables. What we’re doing is kind of concierge fishing and going out in a kind of prepaid membership fashion so the till is filled with membership prescriptions and we know exactly how much fish we need to fulfill that so it’s a much more of an exacting science than what we’ve probably have done historically.