John Foss is the Captain of the Coastal Rovers, a band of Fishers, Chefs, and Scientists committed to maintaining Coastal Communities. The Families, Foods, Tradition, and Culture that make up the fabric of these Communities and Villages is essential to protecting their Fisheries and Environment.
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John is a leader and activist in Sustainable Local Food movements. A commercial fisherman and sailor from Ballard, a small Scandinavian fishing village near Seattle, he has spent 30 years in Alaska and the Bering Sea developing community-based sustainable marketing in coastal fishing communities. Foss was instrumental in creating the first sustainable coastal community of Cordova, Alaska. Cordova’s fortunes and environment have been saved by the renewed economic importance of Copper River Salmon to the community. At home in Seattle he has helped develop several artisan-based food economies, all in a belief that developing community-based, artisanal, and local, sustainable food economies reward us all as we reward rural families. Ultimately, rural and coastal families that are supported by livable economies become the best stewards of the environment.
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Bethany Jean Clement is a regular at Burning Beast, and to date, has written the most definitive piece in Seattle's The Stranger.
"The Beast is on!" John Foss said, stringing silver sardines on a wire over hot coals. He'd arrived for Burning Beast—the annual open-fire meat bacchanal held at Smoke Farm, an hour or so north of Seattle—at three o'clock that morning, driving straight from Ilwaco in order to get the fish from the ocean to people's
mouths in fewer than 24 hours. .........
Jon Rowley has been warning me that the villages would soon be out on the Yukon River in zero degree conditions, dip netting through the ice for returning lampreys (Jon's article in Gourmet-great pics). the lampreys are returning from the high seas headed upriver to spawn. I told him I wanted to smoke some of them, remembering the remarkable flavor of some smoked lampreys I had tasted 25 years ago-from the Rogue River in Oregon.