I first experienced smoked salmon in Ketchikan Alaska, the “Salmon Capital of the World” where I spent several of my formative years, part of which living with my maternal grandparents. The neighbors of my grandparents would often set a smoker in front of their house to smoke that day's catch. It was love at first bite for an impressionable youth who nearly two decades later and 3,000 miles distant would become known simply as "Unkle Ric" to those who knew him well.
These same grandparents taught me an appreciation for fine food and a respect for exacting standards. My grandfather was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy during World War II and got his start in business owning Howard's Charcoal Broiler restaurant in Ketchikan, Alaska. He passed on to his children and grandchildren his love of fine food and penchant for doing things the “right” way.
Though my educational background was in Chemistry and Engineering, I found myself spending much or my early adulthood in the hospitality industry. As middle age approached, an opportunity presented itself to care for my aging grandmother. Finding myself with an abundance of free time I purchased a commercial smoker to experiment with smoking meats eventually concentrating my efforts on salmon.
I purchased books and scoured the internet for recipes and methods for the proper smoking of salmon and other meats. Eventually, I became discouraged with the limited range of traditional smoking techniques and started to experiment. I studied what happened to the proteins and other fibers within the meats at certain temperatures with a picture in my mind’s eye of what I desired the final product to look like. I set out to design a process to achieve the desired results.
Pertaining to salmon, I desired a finished product which had concentrated salmon flavor which could stand up to an abundance of mild smoke flavor. I desired a texture which was semi-firm on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside, salmon that pops when bitten into much like a blueberry. It took years of practice and the modifying of traditional smokers but eventually, I invented a two-day process which involved 24 hours of active smoking and the hand turning of
each piece of salmon over 20 times. The salmon is reduced in weight by up to 50% during this process, increasing its cost but concentrating the flavors to the point that it could stand up to 24 hours of mild alder smoking. The salmon is smoked to 125ᵒF leading to a juicy tender salmon cooked to a perfectly colored and textured “medium”.
Demand for this unique salmon from family and friends continued to rise until the idea of Unkle Ric’s was formed. I bought two more commercial smokers and moved from Dallas to Waxahachie where I built a commercially certified smokehouse and kitchen. While Unkle Ric’s does have amazing food truck and catering arms, the heart and soul of Seley Foods is its unique smoked meats, in particular it’s one of a kind small batch smoked salmon.
This website was built so that Unkle Ric’s could share its unique vision of smoked meats with people all over the United States from the comfort of their own home.
*This salmon is 100% natural with no preservatives, nitrates, sulfates or other additives.