Matthew Beaudin, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Matthew Beaudin, executive chef at Monterey Bay Aquarium, spent years honing his palate by working around the world. From Hong Kong to Rwanda, the West Indies and Cincinnati, he plied his trade and learned local spices and traditions. He never stayed anywhere longer than one year, as he wanted to keep moving and learning. But he’s found a home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
“Here, I’m encouraged to think outside the box and look for solutions and opportunities when it comes to food,” he said. As an example, he points to the farm in Hollister where he collaborates with the farmer to raise pigs, goats and sheep for the restaurants at the aquarium. He also referred to the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust as an example of innovating in the sustainable food sphere. “Over time, I’m hoping to see more partnership between the fishermen, buyers, and local community,” he said. “When fish leave the area and become anonymous, personality and relationships leave as well.”
Matthew was just honored as a Seafood Champion Visionary by SeaWeb. As an advocated for local food, he has transformed the purchasing at the Aquarium to showcasing local food from the Monterey Bay area. Currently, he sources 99% of his products from 9 miles away. As well, he's working with an orphanages in Tijauna, Mexico to start aquaponics projects so that the children have access to fresh vegetables and fish.
For now, his top sellers are local rockfish. Fish and chips are the most popular, followed closely by fish tacos, both made from Monterey groundfish. His personal favorite is black cod. “Miso black cod is delicious, and culturally appropriate,” he said. “There’s long been a strong tie between Asian culture and seafood in Monterey.”