Thierry Rautureau, chef of Seattle’s Luc café, has eaten crab around the world, but he is always happy to come home to the big, sweet Dungeness crabs that populate the Puget Sound and other West Coast waters. More than a million crabs are taken by sport fishermen and women each year. “Dungeness is among my favorites in the world,” says Rautureau. “It’s a generous crab, with beautiful flavor and delicate sweetness.”
Chefs Rautureau and Tom Douglas, along with Moveble Feast host Pete Evans, boarded the Fishwitch to crab with Carl Nyman, a charter captain based in Seattle’s Shilshole Marina. Nyman, who got his first boat in 1980, knows just how to hold a feisty crustacean.
Crabbing is on the rise, with the state’s recreational harvest more than doubling since 1996, according to Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. To encourage better conservation practices, the department has set up a volunteer corps of crab educators that go into the field and give crabbers the lowdown on the dos and don’ts of good crabbing.