BLACK TRUMPET BISTRO

Evan Mallet, Owner and Chef

 

At the Black Trumpet Bistro overlooking the Piscataqua River at the heart of Portsmouth, the menu is forever changing with the season’s freshest ingredients in mind, including the local bounty of the sea.  “I like food to be simple and appealing without being delicate and ornate. I guess you could say that’s my personal aesthetic.”  When asked why he became a restaurant owner, he claims it is for the love of food and his will to deliver it to many people as possible.  However, cooking is not his only hobby.  Evan enjoys playing guitar with his 2 children Eleanor and Cormac, under the band name, YayYay WOW (outtakes available, B Side), as well as foraging, gardening, biking, and songwriting.

Having been in the business on and off for the past 23 years, he has finally settled in the heart of Portsmouth, in an establishment formerly known as Lindbergh’s Crossing.  After eating there one night, he fell in love with the place, and went back the next day and applied for a job.  After working as executive chef at Lindbergh’s for 4 years, the opportunity arose to buy the establishment.  When asked about this life altering decision, a Gundalow drifts down river, he proclaims calmly, “Only a fool would turn a space like this down.”  It has been in his possession 5 years now and with great success.  He draws much of his influences from his ingredients first and foremost, street food, wild food, and world cuisine, particularly from places such as Latin America, Spain, Turkey, and North Africa.

Making sure to feature as much local seafood as possible, when asked how he views sustainable fisheries, he describes them as, “A closely monitored wild or farmed seafood population, that takes into account the needs of consumers and fishermen as well as the long term survival of imperiled seafood species.”  What this means to him in the kitchen: “It has everything to do with my approach to seafood sourcing.”  As a kid, Evan spent some time time in Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, a place considered by many to be one of the best examples of a sustainable hook and line fishery in the northeast.  He would fish with his mother’s boyfriend from time to time learning about casting lines and deep-sea fishing.  “We used to catch a lot of dogfish and I would always throw them back because I was told they were not edible,” he shares.  Evan now serves dogfish, a type of shark at Black Trumpet Bistro as a special from time to time and plans to put it on the next menu come mid-July.  When asked which type of fish he likes to work with best, he responds, “the more under-utilized species that typically don’t sell,” such as the Acadian Redfish and dogfish.  They provide a certain element of culinary challenge, and can often surprise those customers who rely heavily on cod and haddock.  “When we diversify our diets, we are helping to diversify the oceans,” says Evan.  To New Hampshire seafood consumers, “Demand local fish from your fish mongers and don’t be afraid to try something new.”