Celebrating National Seafood Month with Whole Foods and Louisiana Sea Grant

The month of October was especially eventful for G.U.L.F. as we celebrated National Seafood Month. Our Sea to Table series with Louisiana Sea Grant and Whole Foods was a new way to expose participants to the joys of cooking and consuming seafood. “Our goal with the first year’s program was to develop an outreach tool that would address the need for consumer based education on local and sustainable seafood availability, selection, and everyday cooking techniques, ” said Twyla Herrington, Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter Extension Agent. “The consumer makes a vital decision at the seafood counter that’s effects are seen all the way down to a local fishermen in Lake Pontchartrain and Venice. ”

Four Whole Foods stores participated, and each put its own spin on highlighting Gulf seafood. While Gulf seafood staples such as shrimp and oysters were present at almost every event, some perhaps less appreciated fish species, such as black drum and cobia, were also featured.

“The goal of this series was to expose consumers to the amazing seafood resources right in our back yard, while making it less intimidating to prepare and cook seafood at home, ” Ashford Rosenberg, Outreach Coordinator for G.U.L.F., explains. “I think everyone who participated left with a greater appreciation for our seafood culture, and perhaps got exposed to species and preparation methods they hadn’t thought of before.”

Two members of G.U.L.F.’s Chef Council got a chance to show their skills to attendees, while also taking the opportunity to teach simple preparation and cooking methods. At the Broad Street Store,  Chef Kristin Essig demonstrated a shrimp cucumber salad and a black drum amandine. At the Veterans store, Chef Council Chair Tenney Flynn prepared red snapper with lump crab meat, even explaining how to properly fillet the fish.

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“Partnering with Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter, Audubon G.U.L.F. and area chefs to highlight incredible Gulf seafood at each Sea to Table event has been quite a treat, ” shared Kristina Bradford, community and media relations coordinator for Whole Foods Market Louisiana stores. “Over four weeks, attendees in New Orleans and Baton Rouge learned about Whole Foods Market’s sustainable practices for wild-caught and farmed seafood in addition to the services and resourceful team members in the Seafood Dept. Chefs Alex Harrell, Eman Loubier, Chris Wadsworth, Ryan Andre, Kristen Essig, Bart Bell, Anthony Spizale and Tenney Flynn demonstrated delicious ways to enjoy seafood at home and discussed how sourcing Gulf seafood is important in their restaurants. It was a great learning experience on many levels!”

“Whole Foods has been a great advocate for sustainable seafood and a quality product.” continued Herrington. “This year was a successful start to a positive partnership and I look forward to building this program over the coming years.”

G.U.L.F. would like to thank Whole Foods Baton Rouge, Arabella, Veterans,  and Broad Street. We would also like to thank Chefs Alex Harrell of Sylvain, Eman Louiber of Dante’s Kitchen, Chris Wadsworth of Triumph Kitchen, Ryan Andre of City Pork II, Bart Bell of Crescent Pie & Sausage Company, Anthony Spizale of New Orleans Marriott Metairie and Lakeway, the students of Liberty’s Kitchen, Kristin Essig of Meauxbar, and Tenney Flynn of GW Fins. These events could not have been successful without them.




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