The Wall Street Journal - online
Cooking the fish connoisseurs crave with a top chef; first catch of a four-week season
By KATY MCLAUGHLIN
May 26, 2007
I've cooked plenty of fish. But today, my hands nearly tremble as I try to cut into a $34.50-a-pound fillet of Copper River king salmon from south-central Alaska. It's from the season's first major supply of fresh wild salmon and one of the most expensive, exclusive and hyped fish on earth.
My instructor is chef Tom Colicchio. Owner of acclaimed restaurants in New York and elsewhere and head judge on Bravo's "Top Chef" television show, Mr. Colicchio is known for letting pristine ingredients' flavors come through. He appears slightly annoyed at sharing his kitchen with an amateur. I fumble his instructions to cut the salmon "without pushing down on the flesh," so he takes over and slices effortlessly. "This is good fish," he murmurs as he handles the bright orange flesh, stoking my fear of ruining it.