MAINE, Maine — About 18 months ago, Monique Coombs and her friend and fellow fishing wife, Rebecca Spear, began work on a cookbook. They had hoped to replicate previous cookbooks put together by fishing wives and families.
The pandemic presented a few challenges to their efforts, and eventually, the project was taken on by the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. They crowd-sourced the project, putting out a call for recipes — and they got a tremendous response.
Chris Kast was brought on to the project as creative director and content coordinator.
"The Maine Coast Fishermen's Association is all about keeping an industry that is so important to our state alive, growing and thriving, and also introducing a new generation of fishermen to this lifestyle," Kast said.
Recipes came in from families, old and young, and cookbook chefs like Dana Moos and restaurant chefs like David Turin. Mark Rockwood was brought in to do the photography, and Stacey Stolman did the food styling, producing beautiful images of the prepared recipes in the book.
The book can be pre-ordered through the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association website, and some local bookstores will be carrying copies as well. MCFA hopes to ship the books in time for Christmas but cannot guarantee that.
"The proceeds from the cookbook are going to benefit specifically two programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. 'Fishermen Feeding Mainers,' which works right with fishermen to help source their product and work with local processors to get fish into food banks and the Maine school system, and then we're also using some of the money to support our Fishermen Wellness Program, which is to advocate and create more resources around mental health and wellness specifically for commercial fishermen," Coombs said.