Scott Fredel on the Best Place to Catch Sailfish

Categories: Chef Interviews
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​Scott Fredel, executive chef and owner of Pilar, gave us a rundown on his feelings on sustainable fishing, what you're getting on your plate when you eat at his restaurant, and how expensive it is to commercially fish. Read the first part of the interview for the full story.

New Times: You named this restaurant after Hemingway's boat. If there was a Pilar down the street, is there a second choice you would have used?

Scott Fredel: The name of my boat is Scott Free... I like the name, but sometimes people think it's a Spanish restaurant. I knew I'd be associated no matter what I did with fish, everyone like, because I just love it. It's the same as like, like farm to table is so hot right now. People who fish, chefs who really understand fish, make it better. It's like farmers that know how to treat vegetable, they say you can see it in their food.

How do you feel about sustainable fishing, and do you serve fish that are "in season"?<

Absolutely. A hundred percent.

And do you have any strong feelings about the fishing industry?

Yeah, I really feel very strongly about serving local, line-caught fish.

Where do you get your fish from?

All of our fish comes probably from Florida. Right around Florida, unless we get like crab from Maryland, but that's just where you get it from. But if you call a purveyor and ask for lump crab meat, eight out of ten times they're going to send you something from China or Thailand, which is ridiculous. It's not like I'm going to stick just to Florida. If I get Maine lobsters, they're coming from Maine. Or stuff like that. I try to keep everything local. A lot of fish comes from Key West all the way up to the Panhandle, in the Gulf, or Gulf red snapper, I try to buy fish from there, because I know, as a fisherman, that they got hit hard by the oil spill but the fishing is solid right now. The fish are beautiful, but people that are naive to that will think that the fish are tarnished or something. They're not. Gulf fish is pomp, cobia, those true red snappers, they're awesome, they're beautiful. So, I get a lot of stuff from there.

So, you would buy from someone that was like yourself when you were younger or does that not really happen anymore?

Yeah, but you have to keep it legal. That's the problem. It's not worth it. I don't do stuff like that. I buy from some guys with permits, I'll buy from them. They don't even really come around anymore. The cost of fishing is very expensive now. With fuel, it's not like, you're thinking your car. A boat gets a mile to the gallon and gas is 40 percent more expensive at the marina, cause it's on the water, it's like $6.50 a gallon.

That's crazy.

So it's hard to commercial fish and actually make a living.

You still fish recreationally?

Location Info

Pilar

20475 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, FL

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
Red
Red

Every time I eat at Pilar it is awesome.  I usually go with a big group and we order a lot of different appetizers and entrees and share so we can have a little taste of anything.   The staff is super friendly.  My experience is spot on....consistency is key, that is why I keep going back.

Lisa
Lisa

 We've been going to Pilar for years...hosted a retirement party there for my mom, birthday parties for friends & family, bridal showers and girls night out!  Its everyone's favorite and a guarantee you're going to have great food and excellent ambiance!  And the chef is awesome!

Dawnmedina
Dawnmedina

There is no other chef that appreciates and handles seafood as well as Scott. And, his love for food, and cooking it, is reflected in every square inch of his beautiful restaurant. I have eaten everything on the menu, and always finish living my plate!

beachgrrl
beachgrrl

 He certainly does know fish. Pilar's seafood is the best in town!!!

Mrbones
Mrbones

great owners, honest food, good prices, couldn't ask for more. delicious flourless chocolate brownies too! 

Booger
Booger

 Great guy and a great restaurant.  Too bad it is not in MB or we would go there a lot more!

Red
Red

I meant a little taste of everything.  I'm getting hungry thinking about it.

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