Liz and Kelvin Jacobs, Wild Fish
At Wild Fish in Pacific Grove there’s never any question about where your seafood comes from: the name of the boat and, often, the name of the captain are included in a fish’s description on the menu.
Sablefish caught by the Deyerle family’s F/V Sea Harvest out of Moss Landing, petrale sole pulled up from the depths by Captain Geoff Bettencourt out of Half Moon Bay, and whole vermillion rockoff brought to shore by Half Moon Bay’s F/V Mr. Morgan were all listed on the menu on a recent Friday night.
“We’re putting their name on the menu, so if you’re unhappy don’t tell us—find the fisherman and tell him,” Kelvin Jacobs says with a laugh. “Kidding aside, our customers appreciate seeing exactly where their fish is coming from—it closes the circle.”
Wild Fish opened for business in Pacific Grove in April 2018, but the Jacobs have operated another Wild Fish restaurant on the Mendocino Coast, bringing guests fresh fish caught on the North Coast since 2011.
Liz and Kelvin Jacobs both have prior culinary accomplishments to their credit long before they brought their passion for traceability and sustainability to California. Liz Jacobs is a food writer and Kelvin a chef. The two owned and operated an inn and restaurant in Devon, England before coming stateside.
“It’s this romantic thing you see in other parts of the world where you go to the seaside and you see boats unloading and you see people from restaurants buying the fish dockside,” Liz Jacobs says. “And here I thought that was missing.”
But with help of local fishermen, distributors and supply-chain connections brought together by the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust, the Jacobs see opportunity for their business and others to keep fish caught within 24 hours in dinner plates in the region.