Once in a lifetime opportunity to be a chef for the day
Exciting news! Walking Fish was asked to participate in NOAA’s (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) annual Fish Fry in Washington, DC during the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation’s Capitol Hill Ocean’s Week.
This isn’t your typical picnic, and not just anyone is invited. We’re one of fourteen organizations invited from around the country to showcase the diversity and flavor of the country’s fisheries to congressional delegates and other big wigs (twelve hundred of them actually).
This is a wonderful opportunity for us to promote Walking Fish and spread the word about community-supported fisheries.
But here’s the catch… we need your help!
Do you enjoy cooking? Do you love the fresh, local seafood you receive through Walking Fish? Keep reading.
Organizers of Walking Fish are recruiting one enthusiastic, semi-skilled, seafood loving, community-supporting, daring member (with a sense of humor) and some level of proficiency in the kitchen to be our honorary chef for the event.
Here’s the deal.
We provide the seafood, supplies, and ingredients. You and a sous chef of your choice (maybe another member, maybe your husband/wife, friend, etc…) provide the dish idea and recipe. Together we prepare and serve six hundred (yeah, that’s right!) samples at the Fish Fry in Washington, DC on June 8th.
Don’t worry, you won’t be doing this all alone. The Walking Fish crew will have your back every step of the way, and Amy Tournquist (Chef and owner of Watt’s Grocery) has offered to act as an advisor to the chef.
Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals, we enjoyed learning about all the talent in the community that we're part of. It was a difficult task to choose just one.
Congratulation Dani Black & sous chef Derek Treuer for being selected as Walking Fish's member chefs for the 2010 Fish Fry!
Dani Black is a member of Walking Fish and chef at Carolina House, a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. As she explains "an important part of what we teach is mindful eating. Part of that is learning where our food comes from so that we can be discerning in procuring it, attentive in preparing it, and celebratory in our eating."
Not only does Dani's work reflect the sort of community that we want to support, but she is also a talented chef. She was a chef at Duke Divinity School's Refectory and she currently uses the Walking Fish share to prepare meals at the Carolina House. We are excited to have her and her sous chef, Derek Treuer, represent us in Washington!
Please log on to Facebook on June 9th to follow our real team commentary from the Fish Fry.
Dani Black has come up with a recipe that should make all of North Carolina proud:
Grilled Carolina Shrimp Salad
Triggerfish and Shrimp with Andy's Barbeque Sauce
Pimiento Cheese Biscuits
A Short Reflection
When Walking Fish was invited to the annual NOAA Fish Fry (one of 14 organizations nation wide) it seemed unimaginable. There were lots of reasons to be intimidated; little money in our budget, no professional chefs on board (the traditional standard), and no event planners (to the scale of a1200 anticipated crowd). In all honesty, daily activities of CSF and other project related obligations already put a lot of pressure on and stretch our human resources. The challenge seemed overwhelming.
But opportunities like this don’t come often so we chose to make the effort.
Watching things come together was amazing. We sent out some pleas and proposals and were amazed by the local and national generosity. Within a week we raised enough funding to cover the cost of the trip to DC and ultimately only spent $70 out of pocket for trip expenses.
Our plans started with a crazy idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if one of our members acted as our honorary chef? It would certainly capture the essence of Walking Fish; fun but hard work on a grassroots level. The response was wildly enthusiastic. Ten people contacted us with proposals! And they were all amazing; each offering a glimpse into their personal experiences with Walking Fish and their broader passions for local food and community building. Making a decision was impossibly hard, each proposal more creative than the next and we wanted to take everyone; only a tight budget restrained us.
In the end, we offered Dani Black, and her sous chef Derek Treuer, the opportunity. It’s hard to know what would have happened if we had selected another team, but one thing is for sure: Dani and Derek put on a performance and prepared a menu that made us proud of our North Carolina presence at the fish fry. They were organized, poised, and skilled. They prepared an outstanding dish of shrimp and triggerfish that embodied the region’s cuisine.
Walking Fish had a wonderful day at the fish fry. We were situated at the entrance to the courtyard; the first stop for most people as they entered the event. In total, we passed out over 700 samples. For many, this was the first time they’d ever tried triggerfish. But we did more than just serve a tasty seafood treat; we also shared the stories of our Walking Fish experience, passing out information about the project and meeting dozens of policy making and directing folks involved in fisheries and fisheries management. One of the honored highlights was meeting Jane Lubchenco, administrator of NOAA, who proudly wore a Walking Fish apron for the entire event. We felt connected and, more than ever, part of a growing and ever more important network.
Thank you to all who offered support and encouragement.