The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The bay, the shrimp and you - a seafood dining trilogy

In 1993, Chef Nancy Longo, Baltimore’s Pierpoint Restaurant created a national event, “Save the Bay”, at the National Aquarium. Celebrity chefs came to Baltimore for this amazing gathering: chefs Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, Jimmy Sneed, Jan Birnbaum, Roberto Donna, Mark Miller, Jasper White, Larry Forgione, Stephan Pyles, Marty Cosgrove and the 2nd year add Barbara Tropp, Susan Spicer – a stellar cast. All came, all here to make the world aware of what was happening on our planet and in our waterways.

What incited this event was Chef Longo’s experience with shrimp; shrimp that she noticed were glowing one evening at service under her counter. These shrimp were from Texas and after investigation Longo determined that there had been nuclear testing in the area. Good reason to always rinse your shrimp very well before cooking with them.

The second reason for her commitment to bring the ills of the bay to national and world attention was having a lymph gland in her arm removed after being punctured and infected by a fish fin. Chef Longo was invited to speak before congress and ABC Prime Time.

Yes, 1993 was a long time ago but

Is our bay cleaner? What fish are endangered? Are our shrimp still glowing? The pollution of our waterways is not new problem and complete resolution has not come. The National Aquarium has created a three part program for the environmental, sustainable caring public - Fresh Thoughts: A Seafood Dining Trilogy to help enlighten and engage all with what is happening with seafood today.

THIS WEEK: Wednesday, April 29: Shrimp – Getting the Best, Preserving the Environment

Enjoy a prepared shrimp dish that can be easily duplicated at home. Dredging the bottom of the sea using destructive trawl nets has depleted shrimp populations and endangered others. However, today there are ways to enjoy local, farm-raised shrimp that taste spectacular and are eco-friendly. Meet the founders of Marvesta Shrimp, a successful, local business, and hear their story, plus see Marvesta shrimp prepared during an engaging cooking demonstration.

Featured Entrée: Grilled Marvesta Shrimp

Time: 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Cost: $65 for members, $75 for non-members
Reservations: 410 576 3869

I’ll be there because the subject is important to me in many ways. I hope you’ll come, look for me and come say hello.

Third in the series is:

Tuesday, June 23: Tilapia – Fish & Family Fun

This fun-filled outdoor food-fest partners our popular "Beyond the Boardwalk" with a good old-fashioned family grilled fish feast. Sample local micro-brewed beers and enjoy fresh catches that kids will love. Plus, participate in exciting activities on the pier!

Featured Entrée:

Tilapia Tacos
Grilled fillets of farm-raised tilapia marinated in olive oil, lime juice, chili, and garlic. Served with soft tortillas from Lilly's Market, lime-cilantro cream, pickled red onions and jalapenos, tomatillo salsa verde, salsa roja, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and queso Chihuahua.

Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $45 for members; $55 for non-members; $25 for child
Reservations: 410 576 3869


The first installment of these dinners was on March 4: Rockfish – A Tale of Replenishment. The story of how we have helped but not yet finished bring the Chesapeake Bay back.

I love rockfish, I used to fish with my father, and rockfish and yellow perch were the fruits of labor. I guess it is unusual for a girl to become her dad’s fishing pal but it was something he loved and I loved our time together. I could bait a hook as well as the next fellow. There is nothing like fresh rockfish, just out of the Chesapeake Bay. They say spend more time with your children, may I suggest you take them fishing-enjoy the glee and excitement at their first catch. Real Kodak moments.

Feel free to reach out with questions, comments or an invite to go fishing. The photograph is of my mother fishing on the Susquehanna River in Loch Haven, Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

wishbone said...

You're absolutely right about there being nothing better than Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Live-lining for them in June and July is especially fun!


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