'Fish Fling' Afterglow
by Sea Grant Staff
A Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries took place for the first time ever on November 1 in Minneapolis. Nine chefs plated lake herring entrées in a fierce bid for $1,000 and American Culinary Federation (ACF) accolades. They then served about 250 guests, who came for the food, music, and to commemorate Sea Grant founder Athelstan Spilhaus, a former University of Minnesota Dean of the College of Science and Engineering.
Here are the results:
- Chef Ron Bohnert: ACF gold medal, $1000, award plaque (see recipe).
- Chef Paul Lynch: ACF silver medal, $750, award plaque.
- Chef Eric Baker: ACF silver medal, $250, award plaque.
- Chef Victor Rivas: ACF silver medal, $250, award plaque.
- ACF bronze medalists: Patrick Gonzales, Penny Miller, Scott Pampuch, Chad Rasmussen, Jake Uttich.
Survey responses and comments received by staff indicate the event was exceptional.
Nearly half of respondents raved that the venue, food, and music were "superb", "incredible" or other like-minded words.
There is a strong consumer market for Lake Superior fish:
- 75% of respondents previously ate fish from Lake Superior.
- 69% indicated that they would eat fish from Lake Superior either at home or in restaurants.
- Guests would prefer to buy Lake Superior fish at Twin Cities fish or farmers markets (49%), North Shore smokehouses (40%), local groceries (38%), or restaurants (36%).
93% indicated they learned "a lot more" to "a little more" about sustainable fisheries" by attending the event.
65% had never heard about the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program.