Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Winter-Spring 2019

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Seaweed Trend on the Rise at Restaurants Wor ldwide B Y L A R R Y H A R L A N D W ith Earth in peril and scientists scram- bling for solutions, Michael Graham of Marina believes he discovered a remedy clinging to his wetsuit. Seaweed, he says, can change the world. It's not only a fast-growing, sustainable food, it can help clean oceans and combat climate change. (Kelp farms de-acidify seawater, and feeding algae to cat- tle can dramatically reduce methane emissions.) Once the longtime professor and biologist with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories recog- nized the miracle, he started Monterey Bay Seaweeds in 2012. Graham and his chef-wife Erica use pristine Monterey Bay seawater to grow high-end algae for restaurants. "We can grow 1,000 pounds of seaweed in an 8-by-8-foot area in one year," he says. Food and Wine magazine calls seaweed— rich in vitamins, minerals and protective antioxi- dants—the biggest food trend for 2019. Graham fills the need by delivering unadulterat- ed seaweed to the finest restaurants in the country, including Alinea (Chicago), Singlethread (Healdsburg) and New York's Eleven Madison Park, named the world's best restaurant in 2017. The couple have created a unique partner- ship with the marine lab. The facility uses mini- mal electricity, no fresh water and no chemicals. Each tank resembles a giant, bubbling mojito, with multiple varieties of seaweed. The couple's eight combined kids help by removing unwant- ed sea critters by hand. "We built a market that had never existed," says Graham. Creative chefs help diners overcome the ick fac- tor, and they can't get enough Monterey seaweed. "Fortunately it grows fast," Graham says. For more information on Monterey Bay Sea- weeds, visit SHORTCUTS BUSINESS Michael Graham, a professor and biologist with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, launched Monterey Bay Seaweeds for restaurants near and far to use in their menus. 72 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 Photo: Kelli Uldall

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