John Bil has been called “the in-demand oysterman who shucked his way to the top” by Toronto Life magazine. One of Canada’s most respected seafood experts, John is a true independent spirit who left high school to open an indie record store in Toronto before spending fifteen years working on an oyster farm in the Maritimes. After learning about the life of the ocean up-close, he traveled the Northeast helping to popularize oysters with friends like Martin Picard of Pied de Cochon, and David MacMillan and Fred Morin of Joe Beef, one of the restaurants helped open along the way (including M.Wells steakhouse in New York City.)
His restaurant Ship to Shore in Malpeque Bay P.E.I was named one of En Route’s Best New Restaurants. He opened Honest Weight, a restaurant and store, in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, making the best seafood available to diners and shoppers there. Bil’s definition of “best” involves a complex connection between sustainability, fair labour practices, and openness to a wide range of fish choices, and great taste.
(Heartfelt apology to John: I mistakenly call Honest Weight “Easy Weight” at the beginning of our interview and John was courteous enough not to correct me. It’s Honest, not Easy!)
As usual, you can listen to the interview by searching for “The Grilled Podcast” on itunes or your favourite podcast provider, or by clicking on the link below.