Heather & Kirk Hardcastle are owners of Taku River Reds
, formed in 2003 with Heather's parents, Pete & Sheila Peterson. Kirk and Heather now co-own the company with friends Winston & Renee Warr, marketing the family's carefully handled, premium catch to quality-conscious chefs, fishmongers and consumers.
We recently met up with the Hardcastles to learn more about why they love fishing in Alaska. Here's an excerpt from the interview:
To read the rest of the Hardcastles' story, and to meet other hardworking men and women who bring wild and sustainable Alaska seafood to your table, watch for the new brochure, Like Their Fathers Before Them, to be released in the next month. To order this brochure, please visit www.alaskaseafood.org or call 800-806-2497.
- Kirk, did you ever expect to marry the daughter of a fisherman and move to Alaska? "I grew up in Northern California and worked as a chef in the wine country, so I understand that where food comes from affects its quality and flavor. But I always knew I'd get to Alaska. Heather grew up fishing with her parents, so I was able to take a shortcut."
- Advice to anyone who wants to fish for a living? Heather: "You don't do it for a living; you do it for a lifestyle."
- What does sustainability mean to you? Kirk: "The concept of sustainable fisheries isn't just about a system for the management of the fish and the ecosystem. It also includes the fishermen themselves and the entire pipeline of the market—the buyers, the retail markets, the restaurants. It's also about using as much of each fish as possible."