“I don’t know anything else, no office job or anything like that, just fish. So, I fell into the fish.”
Meet Aftabudin Rayman and Peter Wojick, the fish smokers behind the hot-smoked fish division at ACME Smoked Fish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. ACME Smoked Fish is the largest smoked fish house in the country, processing 6-8 million pounds of assorted fish for stores and seafood counters every year. According to Rayman, the head fish smoker, “to be successful at this job, you can’t look at it as just a job, an ordinary job”. To him, a successful fish smoker’s priority should be the fish, always the fish, that internal drive to achieve moist, smoky meat with a perfect golden hue everytime – not doing the job “to get an increase in pay”. And running a hot-smoked fish operation isn’t an easy task: working 10-12 hour days on your feet, constantly breathing in smoke, wheeling heavy racks of hanging fish over slippery floors. It’s physically demanding, which is why devotion like Rayman’s is hard to come by.
So come watch their story and discover the fascinating and delicate process of hot-smoking fish. It truly is a craft, a craft that takes passion, a certain “thoughtlessness” to it, and tens of years to master. Enjoy!
And for a real Brooklyn experience, stop by on Fish Fridays at ACME where they open up the smokehouse outlet to the local Greenpoint community for 5 hours to shop for freshly smoked seafood. You’ll get to meet the employees and mingle with loyal ACME customers who’ve been eating their product for decades. Here’s the address:
Acme Smoked Fish
30 Gem Street (Just off North 15th Street)