Short Order recently spoke to Patrick by phone. If you've ever wondered how that fish on your plate got there, and why it tastes so good, here's some insight....
"I am French. When we come to this country most of us are illegal, so easiest way to work is restaurants. I was lucky enough to speak English.
Back in 83' I started bringing fish from Paris, I used to bring fish from the Keys.
Europeans, somehow we have a different idea on quality, we go to market everyday to select what we eat the same day, we are more accustomed to quality.
I got involved with Caviar. That went well til 88' with the Iran embargo, I went back into the fish business.
It's a very hectic business because right now with economy people are very demanding on price...We are one of the highest price, but also best quality in the market.
If you would take 4 fish and put them in front of someone, they wouldn't know what's what. You have to teach people the difference between what's real and what's not. You'd be amazed for the people who get away with selling one fish for another.
We're part of the Avendra program. It's a very smart concept. They find the best and cheapest suppliers, move products to their customer base, and turn back a percentage of sales every year. They market themselves out of Virginia.
I sell to Loews, Milan, Prime 112, Michelle Bernstein, Boulud, Tides Hotel, 3030 in Ft Lauderdale. We have a contract with Whole Foods to provide fish.
I'm about the only sales person they have down here. I cover the Keys, Dade, Broward, and the Islands....Caymans, Turks and Caicos, St. Vincent....
The most honest person I found working in this business is Google.
We buy first or second table. When a boat goes out it's usually for ten days, we buy the last catch of the day before they get back, the freshest fish with the longest shelf life.Out of a fish that you order today, that fish is guarantee 4 days, no problem.
We have investment into packaging with special insert, and wrapping, CO2 option in boxes, the fish doesn't touch the ice.
The competition may cut the filet and put it in a bag and put it on ice. Bags in the islands may be broken. Fish lose freshness when they come in contact with water.
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You have a lot of companies that don't have the quality product, other people sacrifice that. In food business there is no grey area, you either good or you no good, and if we kept those lines stricter there would be more good restaurants.
How often are you satisfied with the meal entirely?"
Wanna buy some fish? Call Patrick Bachelier at 305-763-9802
Log on to GarySeafood.com for more info