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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Silver Lake exhibit comes to a tasty conclusion

This coming weekend marks the end of the "Back to Basics" exhibit at Silver Lake's Materials & Applications. But first, the stars of the show must be caught, filleted and then shoved into a taco. The Saturday night Fish Taco Party will feature the approximately 20 tilapia that have been raised in a tank in the M&A courtyard as part of an exhibit to get city dwellers interested in raising their own food, said Jenna Didier, founder of the Silver Lake Boulevard exhibition space that focuses on architecture and landscape.

Didier has watched the tilapia grow in the tank outside her office since May. But she said she will have no trouble savoring a tilapia taco. "I don't think I will have any misgivings about it," she said. But, "there is definitely an amount of respect you gain from that animal."

Didier faced an unexpectedly difficult time trying to buy live tilapia. Fish farmers were very reluctant to sell the baby fish for fear of creating a competitor, Didier said. M&A had to promise not to go into the seafood breeding business before a fish farm donated the fingerlings. Normally, the tank at the exhibition space could have held 200 Talapia but M&A was able to get only 20.

The M&A Talapia were fed a combination of organic fish food and protein-rich Duckweed, which was also grown in tanks at the exhibition space. On Friday, those fish, which now weigh about a pound each, will be caught, prepared and marinated overnight. Since Didier expects a big crowd for the closing on Saturday, which will coincide with the Silver Lake Art Crawl, other farm-raised fish will be purchased to make sure there are enough fish tacos (there were also be M&A grown veggies, too).

Didier prefers breaded, Baja-style fish tacos with crema and cabbage. But the M&A fish tacos will be barbecued instead.

Photo from Materials & Applications


  1. Meat(including fish meat)is murder.

  2. Why S:

    Many conscientious people disagree.

    I would like to get a few tilapia to grow- but a quick check of the internet doesn't tell me where to get them. It may become a quest. Any info on how to get a batch of maybe 12 fingerlings would be appreciated. halhurst@yahoo.com