Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Fucik and Dugan
MN: Do people still think you can’t get good seafood in the Midwest?
DF: Chicago’s one of the best places in the country. You’ve got O’Hare . . . East Coast fish comes in, West Coast fish comes in, you’ve got the Great Lakes stuff.
MN: How much time passes from the moment a fish is pulled from the water to the moment it comes in the store?
DF: A photographer needed a small sturgeon for a shoot, and we got an eight-pounder, from one of those farms out west, Fed-Exed. He took his pictures, and it came back to life. From the tank to him in less than 24 hours. Still wiggling.
MN: What’s your favorite seafood?
DF: King crab is the best thing in the sea.
MN: Is Chicago still a meat and potatoes town?
BD: I know lots of very masterful cooks, but they’re very intimidated by seafood. There’s not an appreciation of the market here as there is in New York.
MN: Why did you introduce Wellfleet [where he turns the Fishguy shop into an upscale restaurant on Thursday nights]?
BD: I wanted to encourage people to kind of get together in a setting that might encourage some cross-pollination there, some ideas, some exchanges.
MN: If you were on death row, what would you choose as your last meal?
BD: Would you like me to answer that in a vernacular fish? It would be peanut butter. I love peanut butter. But I think, probably, some really beautiful sashimi-nice big-eyed tuna. With just a little soy sauce.