Alex Cabrero ReportingSo what did you have for dinner tonight? Meat? Chicken? Vegetables? It may not be too surprising if you had fish, namely halibut.
I'm not a big fan of seafood, but one local chef says that would put me in the minority in Utah, big time. He says the Salt Lake Valley alone bought 5-percent of the worldwide supply of halibut.
Ty Fredrickson: “We use it in kabobs. We use it for fish sandwiches. We use it for fish and chips. We use it for seafood salad.”
Ty Fredrickson can tell you anything about Halibut, even things you don't care to know.
Ty Fredrickson: “It buries into the sand and that’s why this white part never sees the sun.”
Most likely though, you don't care about its behavior, just how it tastes, especially if you live in the Salt Lake valley.
Ty Fredrickson, Chef, Market Street Broiler: “Out of the 73 million pounds of halibut, we use five percent of it between Ogden and Provo.”
Five-percent of the world’s supply, right here.
Ty Fredrickson: “You get down to even your fast food places. They even use it now because it’s such a liked, nice product.”
Fast food places like Midvale-based Arctic Circle.
Bill Schoen, V.P., Arctic Circle: “Halibut is, by far in its class, the Cadillac of fish. So that’s what we decided to sell.”
And two years ago it's what they decided to promote. Customers couldn't get enough.
Bill Schoen: “It was unbelievable. It was like six, eight times what we normally sold. I mean it was phenomenal. It was the best promotion, probably, we had ever done.”
Not too shabby for a hamburger, fries, and shake place.
Yeah, we sure do like our fish, even though our city is named after a big lake that doesn't even have any.
Ty Fredrickson: “We use roughly three and a half million pounds of halibut, and per capita that’s astronomical.”
Fredrickson remembers the Market Street Broiler selling halibut lunch specials 25 years ago. Maybe that's what started the taste here in Utah and spread it to today’s generation.