Ham of the Sea

By Sean Kenniff


Sean Kenniff
Chef Matt Kern's tuna conserva
Chef Matt Kern's tuna conserva

Heirloom restaurant is situated less than a mile from the Delaware Bay in historic Lewes (founded in 1631), and the ocean permeates Chef Matt Kern’s menu. For his house charcuterie board, he takes tuna chain—“sinew, tasty connective tissue, and all”—and transforms the oft discarded cut into tuna conserva. He cures the chain for 24 hours in salt, brown sugar, black pepper, coriander, cumin, and local fish pepper powder and then cooks it sous vide for one hour “until it becomes the ham of the sea and melts in your mouth,” says Kern, who leans new school when it comes to charcuterie making. “Recipes hold you back. You have to craft your own versions to grow as a chef.”  

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