Scott Fredel on the Best Place to Catch Sailfish
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.
So it's hard to commercial fish and actually make a living.
You still fish recreationally?