GSI Members Invited To Cook for NOAA’s 41st Annual Fish Fry
By Ryan T Pearce, Contributing Writer
On June 8th members of GSI, chefs, and state representatives from across the country gathered in Washington for Oceans Week, an annual celebration focused around the discussion of the future of our country’s coasts. All of the oceans were represented at what was a very successful week of events in D.C. Zeid Ammari of Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts spoke on his team’s success during the week, saying “Taking our great Gulf Seafood and being able to showcase what we do in our nation’s capitol was a tremendous experience. It will be vital to sustaining our seafood for future generations.”
The 41st annual Fish Fry was a great success; bridging the gap between the service industry and our country’s legislators. In attendance were Congressman David Jolly, Chef Nathan Richard of Kingfish, Chef Neal Swidler from Broussard’s, Zeid Ammari and Trent Verges of Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, Harlon Pearce, Jim Gossen, & David Krebs of GSI, among a host of other chefs and representatives from all over the country. The event was contributed to heavily by Mission Chef’s Group and Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts.
The fish fry was hosted in the courtyard of the Herbert Hoover building and was filled with over 1200 attendees. The seafood donated to the event consisted of 120lbs of Florida Red Snapper from David Krebs of Ariel Seafood Seafood, 10 gallons of Gulf Oysters from Raz Halili of Prestige Oysters, and 120lbs of Gulf Shrimp from Harlon’s LA Fish. The food was prepared and served by several of the representatives and chefs to flip the script on a traditional event, adding an interesting twist to everything as is tradition.
Aside from the Fish Fry, GSI’s Harlon Pearce attended the Oceans Week Gala on Tuesday evening and visited several congressional and senate offices to discuss aquaculture and the future of seafood in the United States. Harlon was also the featured panelist for the “Obstacles and Opportunities for American Aquaculture” panel. Oceans Week was very successful this year for all proponents of seafood sustainability.
“The annual NOAA Fish Fry is a very popular event…sold out every year! This event, solely funded through ticket sales, is organized by NOAA and Department of Commerce employees…but we could not do it without our wonderful vendors and guest chefs from around the country. Gulf Seafood Institute served up some fabulous dishes and the folks kept coming back for more! Thanks to Harlon and all of the GSI folks for taking the time to be with us!”
-Cheryl Oliver (Senior Program Advisor for NOAA’s Preserve America Initiative)