Chef David Rodgers of Shima on Barramundi
David Rodgers is the Executive Chef at Shima, a popular rooftop restaurant at The Island House in Nassau, Bahamas, where he’s known for putting a delicious western twist on Southeast Asian cuisine.
Greatly inspired by the street food of Bangkok and subtle harmonies between flavors, this Aussie native has cooked up an inventive menu on which Australis Barramundi makes multiple appearances. Here’s what Rogers had to say about his restaurant, his philosophy, and how barramundi is making waves on his menu.
“When I’m looking for a fish, it’s always barramundi that I’m going for.”
Having grown up in Australia, Rogers has a familiarity with the country’s most popular fish, and considers it his go-to choice. Its versatility and resilient nature helps him manage the chaos within his busy commercial kitchen. “An extra 60 seconds in the steamer with barramundi and you’ll be forgiven,” he notes. “That could be lost if it was a more delicate piece of fish.”
“We don’t have endless oceans and I’m very much in support of sustainable seafood.”
For the first six months at Shima, Rogers was importing barramundi from Australia. This proved to be a costly move he knew wasn’t sustainable for his bottom line. Rogers credits one of his diners for tipping him off about Australis. He now orders and uses our farmed frozen fillets in his restaurant—a move that’s good for his budget and the oceans. “A lot of our fish in the Bahamas like grouper and snapper are in danger,” he says, stressing the need to consume certain species in moderation. “If we don’t support companies like Australis who are trying to do the right thing and offer our future generations the chance to enjoy the seafood we enjoy today, then eventually it’s all going to come to an end.”
“There are repeat customers coming in specifically for the barramundi dishes.”
Rogers welcomes repeat customers often—including the owner of The Island House, who can’t get enough of the barramundi salad. Calling it “one of the best dishes on the island.” he stops in up to three times per week for the caramelized pork belly, green apple, and barramundi salad. “It’s the most popular salad [among diners], and one of my favorite dishes that I’ve ever cooked.”
We obviously will need to make a special trip to Shima and The Island House to conduct our own taste test. Keep up the great work, chef!
Get Chef David Rodgers’ recipe: Lemongrass & Galangal Barramundi Curry