Just because Wild Edibles Seafood Market isn't quite as well-known as some of our other nominees doesn't mean its pedigree is any less impressive. Co-founder Michael Reynolds trained with world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and became something of a food legend in his own right – just part of the reason Wild Edibles is a nominee for a Luxist award in the best seafood category.
In the summer of 1992, Reynolds was waiting tables at Vongerichten's new bistro, JoJo, when the restaurant's legendary proprietor asked if he'd like to go on a culinary adventure to Portland, Maine. Reynolds obliged, and soon he and Vongerichten were knee-deep in wild mushrooms, giant scallops and fresh sea urchins -- none of which were readily available on the New York market.
Gallery: Wild Edibles Seafood Market
When Reynolds returned to the city, he called his brother-in-law, then manager of Trattoria del Arte. The pair decided to start a seafood business, focusing on the sort of freshly caught, wild seafood Reynolds had discovered in Maine. In October 1992, Wild Edibles was born, relying on its founders' refrigerators at first. Within a year, the business had swelled to include a van and a distribution center.