Essential Cooking: Fine wine and fresh seafood with Antoine Przekop

Antoine Przekop is a sommelier who has worked in the food and wine business for a long time. Przekop joins Ann Delisi and Chef James Rigato to talk wine and sourcing fresh seafood.

In this episode:

  • The differences between selling wine and seafood
  • How to find out if your perch dinner is from the Great Lakes
  • The challenges of seafood’s short shelf life
  • Having fun with Antoine Przekop with a rapid fire pop quiz

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If you’ve got a favorite restaurant in Detroit, there’s a good chance that its wine menu was influenced in some way by Antoine Przekop.

Przekop is a sommelier who has been in the food and wine business in metro Detroit for over two decades working with restaurants and wholesalers. Now, he’s taken on a new role in the industry as sales director for Motor City Seafood Company. (Disclosure: Motor City Seafood is partly owned by Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, who is a financial supporter of WDET and the Essential Cooking podcast.)

So what is the difference working in seafood than wine? Wine often gets better with age, but seafood has a very short shelf life.

“It’s the most perishable product that comes into your kitchen,” says Przekop.

And since we’re in Michigan, ocean fish always has spent some time on ice, and the clock is always ticking.

An exception to that is oysters. They can live out of the water for weeks on end.

Lobsters on the other hand, need to be shipped alive. When a lobster dies, it immediately starts releasing ammonia.

Freshwater favorites in our region are often seasonal, too. Take perch for example. If you see “Perch Dinner” on a menu year-round, the fish in that meal might just be a Russian perch that came frozen from Russia.

If you really want to know if your walleye, whitefish or perch is fresh from the Great Lakes, just ask your server; there’s a good chance they know what came in fresh recently.

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  • David Leins
    David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.