Top Chefs to Salute Lake Superior Fish

Ten of the Midwest's finest chefs are preparing to compete for $1000 and American Culinary Federation accolades on November 1 at the University of Minnesota's Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries.

"With National Seafood Month coming up in October it seems appropriate to highlight Minnesota's inland sea and the commercial lake herring fishery it supports," said Jeff Gunderson, director of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program. "Of all the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is the outstanding example of how a native fish population can recover to the point where it creates 57 jobs and stimulates about $10 million in economic activity in Minnesota."

Minnesota Sea Grant is organizing the Salute with cooperation from the American Culinary Federation and the Minnesota Zoo's Fish First Program. Each of the competing chefs will be given two lake herring to turn into an entrèe meant to impress judges, which include Minnesota Monthly's Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl.

"We're really looking forward to witnessing what chefs like Jake Uttich of Oceanaire and Scott Pampuch of Corner Table fame can do with lake herring and how the public responds to the samples that will be offered," said Gunderson.

The competitive part of the Salute will take place just prior to the public portion of the event. The public is invited to attend the Salute beginning at 4 p.m., at which time they can sample lake herring while talking to the chefs that prepared it. A Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries will be held at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis from 4 - 6:30 p.m. Michael Monroe will provide music with guitars made of wood retrieved from the bottom of Lake Superior and attendees will be among the first to applaud the winning chef. Tickets for the event are $10 and are available at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Union. They can also be ordered through the bookstore website, http://www.bookstores.umn.edu or by calling 612-625-6000.

"We're expecting a sell-out crowd on November 1," said Gunderson. "It is such a unique event for Sea Grant. We crafted it as a tribute, not only to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries but also in memory of Sea Grant's founder, the flamboyant former University of Minnesota dean Athelstan Spilhaus." For details about the event log onto www.seagrant.umn.edu/fisheries/salute.

Posted on September 20, 2011


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