Carl Galvan may have left the hustle and bustle of the restaurant kitchen, but he definitely did not turn in his knives. As a buyer for Supreme Lobster in Chicago, Carl is a big player on the local restaurant scene. Known around town as the “Chicago Fish Dude”, chefs call Galvan when they’re looking for a “unique aquatic creature” to change up their menu. This guy loves fish, any kind of fish… and just about any part of that fish! He sources freshly harpooned Big Eye Emperor Mu and has it on his customers cutting board within hours of being fished from the clear blue Hawaiian waters. Looking for some beautiful petite Lingurian Sepiolini, or perhaps a Delgada Canyon Vermillion? Carl is your fishmonger. And of course I wouldn’t be writing about him if he couldn’t get you a gorgeous Raspberry Point Oyster® from Prince Edward Island! Among all the exotic species you will certainly find the more common pleasures like a locally caught Walleye, elevated in status by its extreme freshness. Not only can he sell you these amazing species but because of his extensive experience in the kitchen he can help you decide how best to prepare and present it.
Carl jumped into the kitchen at the ripe old age of 11! He worked his way up from bussing tables at Hob Nob’s to Executive Chef at Bistro American. Seven years ago Carl decided to explore another area of food service and joined a seafood distributor to try his hand at selling fish. Now, instead of ending his day at 4 AM, he’s just getting started. His close relationships with the area chefs and extensive knowledge of his products brought him quick success. As a distributor that visits with chefs daily, I noticed a unique rapport when I walk into a kitchen with Carl; he is definitely “one of them”. The Chefs in Chicago have a great deal of respect for Carl, they trust him with their seafood needs knowing that he does not compromise on quality or freshness.
Chef Carl still loves to put on his whites and get in the kitchen though. You will see him cooking up his catch at events like “Taste of Chicago” or “Chicago Gourmet”. In October he was invited to cook at the James Beard House along with Chef Gregory Elliott of the Lockwood Restaurant and Bar, an honor and definitely a career highlight!
I know who I trust when I need a fresh Portuguese Anchovy! At American Mussel we’re grateful that Carl trusts us when he’s looking for beautiful oysters and fresh from the sea