Captain Sig Hansen has dedicated his life to feeding the cravings of monied diners. As beloved captain of the Northwestern on Discovery's mega-hit reality TV show, Deadliest Catch, Hansen risks his life in the waters of the Bering Sea each and every season to haul in high-priced king crab.
He's seen frigid gales, 30-foot-swells and death at sea - all in the name of a good meal. But when he's back on land and hanging with his family in Seattle, this dude (who may be the most down-to-earth person on cable TV) likes things simple.
Short Order talked to Captain Hansen about Norwegian food, what he craves while he's out on the water and why chocolate is so addictive.
New Times:So what's your favorite food?
Captain Sig Hansen: Well we're of Norwegian descent, so I like a lot of Norwegian foods. They actually have like a fish meatball. Fish, believe it or not!
After all the work you put into catching it, do you enjoy eating king crab?
Well we only get to fish it once a year, so it's a treat to bring it home. Everybody thinks I've got a giant freezer in my backyard full of it, but we only get it once a year just like everyone else. And I love it, it's delicious.
What's your favorite recipe?
I like to just make a crab dip, just a regular spread. I bake it with cheese and bread crumbs on top. We like to watch a movie and have some crab dip.
I hear you stick mostly to coffee, cigarettes and chocolate while at sea. Do you eat like a gourmand when you're back on land?
Chocolate is addicting on the boat because it helps keep you awake, you have to have it. At home the wife's got me working out. We're trying to eat a little better at home. We're not getting any younger so you've got to start to watch it.
On the boat, you don't know when you're gonna eat again. There are no specified meal times. Fishing is what dictates your meals and what you can eat, so your diet is horrifying. You're not eating at regular times, it's hell.
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It's also nice to have a little structure, you know, routine. That's what's different. You may be awake for two days on the boat. One time it was three and a half days. At home you get the routine back. So when you leave and get back on the boat again, it's a hard transition.
Are there any foods you crave when you're out on the water?
You know what, just a nice pizza is good. Think about it, it's not like you can stop at Burger King. All the stuff people take for granted on land, that's what you crave when you're up there. We've run out of food before, we've run out of water and you're washing your dishes in salt water. That's what it's like.