Jamie Malone of Sea Change: Chef Chat, Part 2


Chef Jamie Malone has been working at Sea Change off and on for years but recently was promoted to head of the kitchen as the chef de cuisine. 

Yesterday we spent some time chatting with the chef about her early career and world travel (catch up here.)  Today we talk to her about farmers markets, sustainability, and fish on planes.


Do you get to shop at the Mill City Farmer's Market?

I used to, but it's hard to do for the restaurant. Corporate needs receipts, and that's not easy.

What about for home, do you shop here or at the St. Paul Farmers Market?

Saturday at the St. Paul market is like a tradition. I don't go as much as I used to.

Do you still live in St. Paul?

No, I live in south Minneapolis now.

What's your go-to meal to cook at home?

Tacos. My husband loves tacos.  I'm like, What can I make you? I can make ... anything, really, but he always wants tacos.

So, you're the cook at home, too?


Was seafood sustainability something you were concerned about before coming here?

Yes, I always have been aware, but the more I read, watch documentaries, and see what we should be doing ... . It scares me.

Having a sustainable seafood restaurant in the middle of the country isn't an obvious choice.  What do you think Sea Change's advantages are in terms of the location?

We sell so much fish. We literally order every fish to be flown in. We're getting to vote with our dollars. It's such a powerful thing and good for the earth.

Like, the other day, this just struck me as really funny. I'd ordered an ahi tuna, and it missed its flight. Made me realize that it's just a commodity that you can go and get at the store.  Each fish is special, and if he misses his flight, we don't get to have that fish.

Just picture him, racing down the tarmac...

...with a little, tiny suitcase.

People might make the argument that fish that has to be transported by plane isn't a great carbon footprint.

Well, yes, but the same argument can be made for wine. Wine is flown in from all over the world. There are pros and cons to everything we do.

We get local when we can. Our trout is local. In the summer we had whitefish from Canada.  We get greens from Dragsmith. I'm working on sourcing our pork locally. There's always more we can do.

We also have never used bottled water. We have a filtration system here.

Join us tomorrow for our final chat with chef Malone, when we'll discuss the potato chip pasta, ducks, and date night.