Top Chefs to Battle for Best Sustainable Seafood Dish at Texas State Aquarium
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – On Tuesday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m., the Texas State Aquarium will host three talented chefs for “Seafood Wars: Clash of the Champions.” Winning chefs from past Seafood Wars competitions will go head-to-head to see who can cook the most delicious dish of Gulf farm-raised cobia. After sampling each tasty creation, guests vote for a winner, who is crowned the reigning Seafood Wars champion.
The recipe for Seafood Wars, held quarterly at the aquarium, is a blend of education, entertainment, and fine dining. Each event takes a page from popular cooking competitions like “Masterchef” or “Iron Chef” but mixes in the importance of supporting seafood that is caught or harvested in order to maintain a healthy population of that fish in the wild. Scientists consider unsustainable fishing to be one of the biggest threats to the ocean’s health, with many species already being driven to extinction. Just one type of fish being removed can disrupt an entire marine ecosystem, resulting in even more species dying off, and depriving millions of people of the seafood they need to survive. Unsustainable fishing also leads many marine species not targeted by fishermen to die after they become entangled in nets. For example, the critically-endagered vaquita porpoise is nearly extinct due largely to the harmful effects of illegal fishing. For all of these reasons, leading conservation organizations including the Aquarium strongly encourage consumers to only support sustainable farm-raised and wild-caught seafood.
To spread the message, Seafood Wars speaks to people’s stomachs as well as their minds. Every seafood ingredient a Seafood Wars chef uses originated in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the United States’ fishing industry is heavily regulated, all domestically-caught seafood is considered sustainable. The meal is accompanied by a guest speaker who talks more in-depth about how guests can support sustainable seafood. Seafood Wars guests not only enjoy their expertly-crafted dishes, they walk away with a better impression on sustainable seafood. In a recent survey, the Aquarium found 90 percent of Seafood Wars diners say they are more likely to purchase the fish served that evening than they were before the event.
Tuesday’s event will feature a speech from Aquarium of the Pacific Education Director Dave Bader, who will explain the role of sustainable seafood in saving the vaquita porpoise. Bader will speak to the audience live from Long Beach using the Aquarium’s Distance Learning capacity. Seafood Wars: Clash of the Champion’s competing chefs will be Chef Freddie Fernandes of Gracia Mexican Cantina, Chef Zelina Rodriguez of Flint Hills Resources, and Chef Tony Nichols of The Exchange.
Tickets are still available for Seafood Wars but are known to sell out fast in the days leading up to the event. To purchase tickets for Seafood Wars or for more information, go to //www.texasstateaquarium.org/event/seafood-wars-clash-champions/