Rick Hergott of Hergott Trading Company is a man who’s as serious as a sea bass about things that swim.
In other words, this guy is no fluke.
Nor were the fish dishes we tasted with him the other day at Postrio — all prepared to a turn by Executive Chef Mark Sandoval – each done simply to highlight the quality of the main ingredient. Hawaiian bigeye tuna, highly prized by sashimi lovers for its higher fat content, needs little more than a light sear, and that’s just what Sandoval gave his — along with a light dusting of sesame seeds. Our sea bass (lavraki in Greek, loup de mer in French) was served first as sashimi, then roasted, again to demonstrate the quality and freshness of the ingredient.
It was a simple lunch, and educational as well. We learned about the ins and outs of the Vegas fish biz, how middle-men like Hergott work, and how important it is for restaurants like Postrio (and the whole Vegas Puck empire) to have a guy on the ground (and close to the sea) like Rick — who is tied to his network of fishing boats and shippers in Hawaii by his ubiquitous Blackberry. “You’re only one bad (sea) bass away from losing a valuable customer,” he told us, ” So quality control starts on the boat and continues right to my warehouse and sometimes the trunk of my car when I have to make an emergency delivery on a busy night.”
Delivery orders and faxes have now all been replaced by streams of e-mail, and this fishy river of commerce flows back and forth constantly — with the boats telling Hergott what they’ve got, while the restaurants are communicating to him what they need. None of this deliciousness would be possible without air freight, and ELV thinks every great restaurant in town should have a tiny FedEx creche somewhere on the premises. Vegas’ carbon footprint may always be Sasquatch-ian, but then again, when it comes to fish like this, so is Chicago’s. Because of Hergott and his ilk, we now take fresh, out-of-the-sea-less-than-24-hours-fish for granted…something ELV would not have thought possible ten years ago.
BTW: We also learned something else at Postrio that day — its $54 sea bass for two is a flat-out steal, especially when compared to some of the prices charged by other top flight fish emporiums.
Hergott Trading Company picked up the check. Thanks Rick!
In the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian
3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109