Since 2008, Seafood Throwdowns have proven to be fun, educational and community driven events to engage the larger community in issues affecting our ocean, fishing communities and fisheries.
Seafood Throwdown was the brainchild of the partnership between the Cape Ann Farmers Market and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) as a way of promoting the ecological and economic importance of locally caught seafood, building a broader base of support for efforts to transform fisheries and ocean policies, and gauging community’s interest in Community Supported Fisheries (CSF). Tailored after the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, a CSF brings freshly caught local seafood to our kitchens while providing fishermen with a better price on less catch. CSF members give the fishermen financial support in advance, and in turn the fishermen provide a weekly share of locally caught seafood to their shareholders.
But what started out as a Gloucester event, Seafood Throwdowns have since become a popular event throughout the region.
So, how does it work? Two local chefs compete in a cooking competition inspired by local seafood. Each participant brings only their favorite cooking vessels/utensils, presentation plates and three of their favorite ingredients. Once there, they discover the secret seafood ingredient, given $25 and 15 minutes to use the farmers market as their pantry, and then an hour to prepare, cook and plate their dish for three judges. Where allowed, the chefs also make enough to offer a small tastings to the public. Chefs creations will be judged based on taste (10 points), use of the whole animal (10 points), presentation (5 points), and originality (5 points).
Chefs are provided with:
- Enough of the secret ingredient (approx. 4-5 lbs) to feed 3-5 judges, the emcee(s) and still have enough to go around for up to 40 small-bite public tastings
- Salt and pepper, and olive oil
- Aluminum foil, paper towels and serving dishes/forks/knives/spoons for tastings
- A Weber gas grill and two single burner butane cooktops
- $25 stipend for shopping at the Farmers Market only
- 15 minutes of shopping
- One hour for preparation, cooking and plating
Chefs must bring:
- Their own cooking pots, pans, utensils, tools, gadgets, or any other cooking implements they will need (all dirty dishes goes back with the chefs as we can’t do dishes on site)
- Three of their favorite ingredients
- Serving and presentation plates/platters for the judges
- A great attitude, and the willingness to have fun in a competitive environment
To find out more or to schedule a Seafood Throwdown, please contact us at cynthia (at) namanet (dot) org or call our NAMA Headquarters at 978-281-6934 for more information.