Saraspe Seafoods (San Diego, CA)

Winter in the US makes our job very interesting. Whether its the colder waters across the country that causes most fish to swim south, or the volatile weather our job is certainly a bit tougher this time of year.

We went back to our friends at Saraspe Seafood to pull together this bundle for you all. I'm excited because it's a nice mixture of products you've probably experience before and some you've probably never handled! I hope you're as excited as we are for this one.


California Spiny Lobster 

Harvesters: Charlie Saraspe & Andy Saraspe

Vessel: F/V Sarah Renee 

SiteSan Diego, CA

California Spiny Lobster are caught by our family off the coast of San Diego. They are harvested in traps by experienced licensed fishermen. This specie of lobster does not have claws, like their East coast counterpart. California Spiny Lobster have a significantly larger yield of meat in their tails than Maine lobsters.

The meat is much sweeter and tender than East coast lobster. The fishery is regulated by length of lobster, gear types, and permitting. This harvest method produce minimal bycatch and habitat impacts leading the California Spiny lobster to be a “Best Choice” by Marine Stewardship Council.


Kellet's Whelks

Harvesters: Charlie Saraspe & Andy Saraspe

Vessel: F/V Sarah Renee 

SiteSan Diego, CA

Harvest method and location: Traps (bycatch of lobster fishery) off the San Diego coast by Andy & Charlie Saraspe. 



Penn Cove Mussels

Harvest Type: Aquaculture

Site: Farmed in Coupeville, Washington at Penn Cove Shellfish 

These are the finest mussels of the Northwest, direct from the Penn Cove Shellfish family. They are located just two hours north of Seattle. These mussels do not disappoint! They are meaty, buttery, and tender.



The biggest mistake we often make is feeling like we need to find an intricate or elaborate recipe to do justice to buying exceptional ingredients. I can’t emphasize enough your approach to cooking with “special” ingredients should be the complete opposite! Let me explain.

The impetus for cocktail sauce being put on oysters was to make spoiled/dead oysters palatable. When you eat great oysters they need exactly nothing with the exception of possibly some fresh lemon or a mignonette.

Think of every remarkable steak dinner you’ve had. Did you smother it in A1? NO!! Why? Because great ingredients stand on their own.

If you’re interested in some reading about this I strongly recommend reading Fernand Point’s Ma Gastronomie. He does a great job explaining why simplicity was the basis for all of his dishes. If I can sum up his feelings it is that properly sourced ingredients are perfect as they are and a Chef's only job is to not ruin them by masking their flavors.

So the excitement of getting these incredible products should never come with a stress of “what am I going to do with them?” Keep it simple. You’ll be able to taste the difference and it’ll be a more enjoyable and relaxing experience!


Spiny Lobster Method: Baked


  • 2 California Spiny Lobster Tails*

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley, plus more for serving 

  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon 

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or more to taste 

  • 1 lemon, halved 

1  Arrange California Spiny Lobster tails on a rimmed baking sheet and set in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the compound butter by mixing together the butter, garlic, herbs, salt and juice from one lemon half. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer compound butter to fridge, covered. 

2  Remove lobster tails from fridge and set on a cutting board with the hard shell facing up (bellies down). Use kitchen shears to slice through the top of the shell, stopping at the base of the tail. Slice down into the flesh, ½-1 inch, without cutting all the way through. Use fingers to carefully spread the split tails, creating a "butterfly" look. 

3 Divide the compound butter between the spit of each tail, reserving two tablespoons for serving. Be sure to pack the butter down into the tails. Bake lobsters for 25-30 minutes or until the flesh is opaque and butter is melted. Serve with remaining compound butter and lemon half. Garnish with additional parsley.     

Kellet's Whelks

Cooking Methods & Tips:

It's so simple to eat Whelks. Just boil in salted water: 12-15 minutes. It's very similar to abalone; juicy, salty, and perfectly tender when tenderized (To tenderize: pound or freeze). Here's an easy tutorial on how to clean and prepare whelks. 

Nutrition (3 oz): Protein: 40.5g, Fat: 0.7g, Carbohydrates: 13.2g

Whelk is an EXCELLENT source of vitamin B12 having over 600% of the daily recommended value. Whelk is also a great source of vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and potassium.



There’s nothing better than a giant pot of steamed mussels. The beautiful juice at the bottom might be the most delicious part. Be sure to make plenty of garlic-scratched bread for dunking. Mussels should be closed completely before cooking and open when fully cooked. Discard any that don’t open.

Ready in 
20 minutes Makes 2-4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and minced  
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pound mussels
  • ¾ cup dry white wine 
  • 1 lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 Set a large pot or heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium heat. Heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the shallot and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the butter and garlic, and cook until the butter is melted and garlic is aromatic, turning down head if necessary. Add a large pinch of sea salt and some black pepper. 

2 Add the mussels, white wine, and juice from 1 lemon. Cover and steam over high heat until all the mussels and clams are open, about 5-7 minutes. Check them after 5 minutes. Garnish steamed mussels and clams with red pepper flakes and chopped parsley. Serve with garlic-scratched bread.

Make the garlic-scratched bread: Take 4 slices thick-cut crusty bread and coat with olive oil. Fry in a cast iron skillet or grill pan until both sides are toasted and golden brown, adding more oil as needed. Remove from the pan and rub each slice with a piece of smashed garlic. The oil from the garlic should infuse the warm bread. Top with flaky salt like Maldon and serve alongside the steamers.