Whole Foods’ Plan for Bringing Sea to the Table

In an effort to get Louisiana consumers to choose local, Gulf of Mexico seafood, the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) is teaming up with the Louisiana Sea Grant, area chefs and Whole Foods to launch the “Sea to Table” series.

Beginning Oct. 2 and running four weeks, four Whole Food locations in the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge will take a turn hosting an area chef, who will prepare Gulf of Mexico seafood for attendees. The attendees will tour the store’s seafood department, learn how to prepare seafood and which wines to pair with their seafood dishes.

According to G.U.L.F., Whole Foods is the only national grocer in the United States to offer full traceability, from the water to the shelves, which is why the group partnered with the upscale chain.

“It’s connecting consumers to the fishery, connection to the resource directly, ” G.U.L.F. Program Outreach Coordinator Ashford Rosenberg told Seafood International, adding that the group got the idea from the North Carolina Sea Grant. “It’s something we’re trying to mimic here.”

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G.U.L.F., Whole Foods Market, and Louisiana Sea Grant Team Up to Host Sea to Table Events in October

Whole Foods Market® hosts October Sea to Table Series

Area chefs to demonstrate easy ways to enjoy Gulf seafood at home

Ticket sales benefit Audubon Nature Institute Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries

and Louisiana Sea Grant

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (Sept. 18, 2014) Thursdays in October, the Whole Foods Market Arabella Station, Baton Rouge, Broad Street and Veterans stores will host sea-to-table tastings with local chefs, Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter and Audubon Nature Institute Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.). Attendees will tour their Whole Foods Market store’s seafood department, sample fresh Gulf seafood, taste wine pairings and learn delicious ways to enjoy Gulf seafood at home. Registration is now available at seatotable.eventbrite.com.  Cost is $25 per person with all ticket sales benefiting Audubon Nature Institute G.U.L.F. and Louisiana Sea Grant.


Thursday, October 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Arabella Station • 5600 Magazine St., New Orleans, (504) 899-9119

Chef Alex Harrell, Sylvain

Baked Louisiana oysters with mustard greens, pickled lemons, and bacon

Pickled gulf shrimp with chilies and fennel

Chef Eman Loubier, Dante’s Kitchen

Fish in Calamari and Redfish on the Half-Shell


Thursday, October 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Baton Rouge • 7529 Corporate Blvd., Baton Rouge, (225) 218-0452

* With Triumph Kitchen Students

Chef Chris Wadsworth, Triumph Kitchen

Chef Ryan Andre, City Pork II


Thursday, October 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Broad Street • 300 N. Broad St., New Orleans, (504) 434-3364

* With Liberty’s Kitchen Students

Chef Kristen Essig, Meauxbar

Chef Bart Bell, Crescent Pie & Sausage Company

Redfish Courtbouillon and Gulf Seafood Pie


Thursday, October 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Veterans • 3420 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, (504) 888-8225

Chef Tenney Flynn, GW Fins

Sautéed Red Snapper with Spoonbread and Jumbo Lump Crab Corn Butter

Sautéed Shrimp with Mirliton Slaw

Chef Anthony Spizale, New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway

Crispy Gulf Oysters Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad with Parmigiano Reggiano

Jumbo Lump Louisiana Crab Cake Fresh Herbs and Light Crab Butter


“It’s a great opportunity to learn how seafood is sourced locally and various ways to enjoy Gulf species at home, while benefitting a great cause, ” said Kristina Bradford, Louisiana community and media relations coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We’ve truly enjoyed collaborating with Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter, Audubon Nature Institute G.U.L.F. and area chefs to share information on more responsible fishing methods and great recipes to cook with Gulf seafood.”

“The fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are unique and are such a large part of the heritage of this region, ” said G.U.L.F. Assistant Director Julianna Mullen.  “By working with Whole Foods Market and Louisiana Sea Grant, we can connect attendees of the Sea to Table Events and encourage them to support the men and women on the water who work so hard to bring us fresh seafood every day.”

As the only national grocer with full traceability from the water to the store, Whole Foods Market’s mission is to move the seafood industry toward greater sustainability, creating healthy ecosystems so people worldwide can be nourished by seafood into the future. The company does not sell red-rated wild caught seafood and sources from areas where fish are most abundant and fisheries are well-managed. In addition, Whole Foods Market does not carry genetically modified or cloned seafood.

Locally and globally, Whole Foods Market orders seafood daily to meet customer demands and accepts special orders with notice. Its fishmongers can help shoppers decide among a variety of responsibly-caught or farmed seafood. They can also cut to order and offer cooking tips and recipe ideas.

Serving as Whole Foods Market’s Louisiana distributor, Inland Seafood ensures 100 percent traceability from fishermen to table with no additives or sulfites.  For instance, Whole Foods Market prohibits the use of tripolyphosphates, which make shrimp retain water and weigh more. Through sustainable practices, these fishermen are following standards of low impact to the environment and fishery populations, while providing the freshest, highest quality seafood.

For more information on Whole Foods Market’s seafood sourcing and aquaculture practices, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/seafood.

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About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78, 000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.


About Louisiana Sea Grant

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.


About Audubon Nature Institute:

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

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Fins Win: Article about Scales and Ales in NOLA Defender


Photo Credit: Audubon Nature Institute


This year, Audubon Nature Institute will be celebrating the fifth year of Scales and Ales, an annual event that raises funds for Audubon’s education and conservation programs. The event features local beer and food.

This year, our partner Chef Tenney Flynn will be in the VIP tent cooking up some lionfish. In an interview with NOLA Defender, Chef Flynn said “They are one of the few invasive species that are actually quite delicious.” Whet your appetite? Come join us and party your fins off!

Full Article from NOLA Defender

Register for Scales and Ales

G.U.L.F. Discusses Restaurant Program on Fox 8

John Fallon, Project Coordinator, of G.U.L.F. was on Fox 8 this morning talking about our partnership with Tenney Flynn and the impact restaurants have on Gulf seafood.

Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fins Spearheads Gulf United For Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) Chef Council

Flynn TenneyChef Tenney Flynn of New Orleans restaurant, GW Fins, is advocating for the sustainability of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico by partnering with Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) to form a council composed of influential chefs in the region.

Nearly 70% of all seafood consumed in the U.S. is enjoyed in restaurants, making chefs the frontline for how most consumers experience seafood. Chef Flynn will spearhead the development of the G.U.L.F. Chef Council and act as a voice for promoting local, sustainable seafood harvested from U.S. fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico.

“The launch of the Audubon G.U.L.F. program signifies a means to remind everyone how lucky we are to have the Gulf of Mexico in our own backyard,” said Chef Flynn. “There are more varieties of sustainable seafood here than anywhere else in the country. I am honored to spearhead the G.U.L.F. Chef Council, utilizing our restaurants to inform guests about the wonderful local seafood that is available to them.”

After the Chef Council is formed, G.U.L.F. plans to expand its initiative with the creation of a restaurant partnership program to promote the use of Gulf seafood in restaurants and to educate local chefs, restaurant staff, and patrons about seafood sustainability in the region.

“This partnership is a perfect example of joining forces to increase the effectiveness of conservation efforts,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “Combining our love for Gulf of Mexico seafood with the expertise of our best chefs, we can ensure sustainability, so our Gulf fishery is healthy for the future.”

“Being based in the capital of food culture, and having the chance to work with the people who foster that culture, is amazing,” said G.U.L.F Assistant Director Julianna Mullen. “Chef Flynn’s commitment to and vision for sustainability is so valuable, and we are grateful to him and all our chefs for their support of Gulf seafood and our programs.”

Click here for full press release.

Click here for article from New Orleans Times-Picayune



Last week, Assistant Director Julianna Mullen and Project Coordinator John Fallon talked with TWILA TV about the G.U.L.F. program. Twila TV is a program dedicated to Louisiana agriculture. We enjoyed spending time with them and taking them through Audubon Aquarium of the Americas’ exhibit dedicated to Louisiana fisheries,  Geaux Fish! Lance Nacio of Anna Marie Shrimp also joined TWILA TV to demonstrate his use of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs), which minimize capture of unwanted animals in a shrimp trawl.

Research Keeps Seafood Jobs Alive

A Weekend of Seafood Festivals

The approach of warm temperatures means many things on the Gulf Coast: festival season, the height of seafood season, and storm season. This past weekend, all three went hand-in-hand as G.U.L.F. was hard at work spreading the message of sustainable seafood across the Gulf Coast.

instagram borgne

In our own back yard was New Orleans Oyster Festival. Located just outside of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in Woldenberg Park, this two day event highlights everyone’s favorite edible bivalve. Restaurants, bands, and festival-goers braved the rain for a chance to celebrate the heritage of oystering in Louisiana, and of course to try as many different preparations as possible. John got in on the action early, and was so excited about the oyster pie from Borgne that he wasn’t willing to share it with anyone…not even Instagram.

What would a festival be without some competition? Judges looked for the world’s largest oyster, oyster shuckers went head-to-head to determine who was the best in town, and the age old question of how many oysters can one person eat in 8 minutes was answered…and the answer is 40 dozen (480).




Simultaneously, Mississippi was celebrating their seafood heritage at the Blessing of the Fleet. As in Alabama, commercial and recreational vessels decorate and line up to be blessed by a priest for safe ventures and bountiful harvest from the Gulf of Mexico. The parade through Biloxi Channel was similar to that through Bayou La Batre. However an added celebration is now part of the 85-year-old tradition: the Mississippi Seafood Cook-off.



Five chefs showcased the variety of seafood Mississippi has to offer, as each dish featured a different species.  Judges had the pleasure of sampling innovative and creative dishes that featured mahi-mahi, Tripletail,  Mississippi redfish, speckled trout,  Mississippi shrimp, and flounder. Competition was fierce but in the end Gary Hawkins from 1908 Provisions  in Jackson took home the crown, though he was kind enough to share it with Laura and Ashford.  He will take on Aaron Burgau who won the Louisiana Seafood Cook-off, and other chefs from around the country in the Great American Seafood Cook-off on August 2.

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Louisiana Seafood Cook-off

This past weekend, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience took over the city at restaurants, event spaces, and parks all across the city. This extravagant event is an opportunity for chefs, restaurants, and wineries to showcase the unique flavors of New Orleans cuisine to the thousands of locals and tourists who attend.

Within this experience is the Louisiana Seafood Cook-off, sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.  Several New Orleans chefs create dishes around the unique seafood of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. The winner gets the chance to represent Louisiana in the Great American Seafood Cook-off that occurs each fall.  Competition is fierce, as ten chefs from some of New Orleans top restaurants brought their creativity and innovation to the judges in hopes to earn the crown. This year, Chef Aaron Burgau from Patois won with his dish: Crawfish and Pappardelle Pasta with Ramp Greens Puree and Uni Butter.

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G.U.L.F. Competes in One Boat Rodeo

G.U.L.F. and Captian C.T. Williams

Last week, John Fallon and Ashford Rosenberg joined charter captain C.T. Williams on a competitive excursion into Lake Borgne.  Along with Dee Murphy, Assistant Curator of Fishes at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the competition was hot as each person attempted to be the first to land 5 redfish. The final score was a tie between John and Dee with 3 fish each.  Watch the play-by-play below.

Audubon Nature Institute and BIGFISH Report

Download the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide mobile app:
Click here for the app tutorial on YouTube.
Sponsored and coordinated by Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.