Tommy Gomes :: CHEF'S ROLL :: The Professional Chef Network

Tommy Gomes

It’s been said that saltwater runs deep in my veins. I guess that's true. I don’t have a high school diploma and don’t have a lot of “$20 words” in my vocabulary. What I know from a lifetime of experience is seafood and about that, I am very passionate.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Catalina Offshore Products. San Diego, CA
Fishmonger / Brand Ambassador
Collaboration Kitchen. San Diego, CA
Director
Great News! Cooking School. San Diego, CA
Seafood Educator
SKILLS & EXPERTISE
Fish butchery
Fishing
Sustainable seafood advocate
Seafood cooking demos
TV/radio guest appearances
Lectures/classes
Food industry consulting
Menu development
Tradeshows / Events
Competition judging
GALLERY
VIDEO

  • Whole fish cooking with true red snapper

  • Tommy's take on sustainability

  • Chocolate Clams. Boom!

  • The Sporting Chef TV - Tommy Gomes Talks Prawns

  • Opahstrami

  • A word on Opah cuts

  • Asian style fish wings aka grouper collars

  • Tommy fillets a yellowtail
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
  • Best Fishmonger, San Diego Magazine Best of San Diego Issue, August 2014
  • Appreciation Award, Just Call Us Volunteers, 2014
  • Best Fishmonger, San Diego Magazine Best of San Diego Issue, August 2013
  • Appreciation Award, Just Call Us Volunteers, 2013
  • Best Fishmonger, San Diego Magazine Best of San Diego Issue, August 2012
  • Appreciation Award, The District 11 Disability Advisory Committee, 2012
  • Best Fishmonger, San Diego Magazine Best of San Diego Issue, August 2011
  • Appreciation Award, Just Call Us Volunteers, 2011
  • 50 People to Watch, San Diego Magazine, January 2011
  • Golden Porpoise Award, American Tunaboat Association, for the best record in saving porpoises while bringing in a good catch,
Tommy Gomes
Tommy Gomes
San Diego, CA
United States

Catalina Offshore Products
Trusted Fishmonger


A native San Diegan whose Portuguese family settled in San Diego in 1892, I come from a long line of professional fishermen. Working the city’s historic tuna fleets gave me a deep knowledge of the industry, which eventually led to my working at Catalina Offshore Products. Having started with the company in 2003 as a fish filleter, today I am most often described as the company's trusted fishmonger and brand ambassador; a sustainable seafood advocate; and fixture in San Diego’s food community.

Off the clock you are likely to find me at events providing seafood tastings and talking about sustainability; teaching seafood classes at local cooking schools; judging food competitions; volunteering in children’s fishing programs; or overseeing Collaboration Kitchen, a semi-monthly nonprofit dinner series that I conceptualized in partnership with Catalina Offshore Products and Specialty Produce. With a mission to “educate, promote and have fun,” the in-warehouse event features a guest chef who cooks for an audience, and proceeds from ticket sales are donated to our favorite local charities.

I take great pride in getting chefs and customers to think outside the box. To that end I regularly promote different ways to cook a whole fish, as well as creative ways to prepare lesser-known edibles such as fish collars, swordfish marrow, and otherwise underutilized cuts. I also spend a lot of time conceptualizing and creating sustainable products from seafood byproducts. For example, I developed Uni Butter® and Uni Goop®, which are products that turn waste from processing sea urchins into recreational fishing bait. Pretty cool stuff.

In 2012 my vision of opening a Seafood Education and Nutrition Center, which also houses a public fish market, came to fruition. I'd proposed the walk-in retail concept to Catalina Offshore Products owner, Dave Rudie, as a way to expand the company’s reach beyond wholesale and online retail sales and directly interface with the local community. It has since become a daily stop for San Diego’s best chefs and foodies, as well as folks who are looking to overcome their fears of cooking with seafood. We've got a demo kitchen in house and we love showing people how easy it is to cook with seafood. We welcome chefs to get in there, too. We've had some of the best come through our doors.