Rye Farmers Market Seafood Throwdown

Jennifer Press Releases, Publications

For Immediate Release
August 12, 2013

Sustainable Seafood Takes Center Stage at Rye Farmers’ Market Seafood Throwdown to Highlight the Importance of Locally Caught Seafood

Rye, NH – Seafood Throwdown, a unique cooking competition that highlights the importance of local seafood in restoring a healthy ocean ecosystem, is returning to Rye’s Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. In this Iron-Chef inspired program, Chef Jesse Minard, from the Serenity Café in Rye, will face off against Chef Ian Whipple from Anneke Jan’s Bistro. The chefs will use a locally-caught seafood and items from the farmers’ market to create dishes that are voted on by a panel of judges. Co-founder of the Rye Farmers’ Market and Rye Conservation Committee member Jaci Grote will emcee the event giving the play-by-play of all the action.

This event is the second Seafood Throwdown being held at the Rye Farmers’ Market since their inception in 2008 by the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). It’s a collaboration between NAMA, the Rye Farmers’ Market, and the New Hampshire Community Seafood who are working together to raise awareness about locally caught seafood and the social, environmental, and economic values of New Hampshire’s fishing communities.

This Seafood Throwdown will not only be a family fun event but it will also raise awareness about the challenges and opportunities facing the 400-year old New Hampshire fishing fleet. “98% of the seafood landed in New Hampshire gets shipped outside our coastal communities”, says Josh Wiersma, director of NH Community Seafood. “We are reconnecting local fishermen to their communities and highlighting the social, ecological, and economic value of community based fisheries”.

“Seafood is an integral part of our food system yet we often don’t include it when it comes to the food movement and growth of farmers’ markets,” says Jaci Grote, co-founder of the Rye Farmers’ Market. “This Seafood Throwdown will be an incredible opportunity for local community members to meet a fisherman, learn about how, where, and when their fish was caught, and sample some delicious seafood”.

Seafood Throwdown is the brainchild of the partnership between the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market and NAMA as a way of promoting the ecological importance of locally caught seafood in a fun,
educational and community driven fashion that engages the larger community in issues affecting our ocean, fishing communities and fisheries.
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“Our source of food from the ocean is in danger of being taken over by industrial food production models like agribusiness and with that our marine environment is endangered,” says Brett Tolley of NAMA. “Based on everything we’ve learned about our land based food system over the past few decades, we know industrialization will endanger our environment, biodiversity, food safety, food sovereignty and food security, and the economic and social fabric of fishing communities that are putting food on our tables.”

Judges for the event will include: Mel Low, founder of the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market; Kelsea Anderson, local Rye fisherman; Jim Raynes, chair of the Rye Conservation Commission; and Jonathan Drake, local Rye fisherman.

About the Partners

Rye Farmers’ Market was formed in 2009 to offer healthy, locally grown foods, and to rejuvenate Rye’s agricultural and seafood heritage and strengthen community bonds in the town.

NH Community Seafood formed in 2013 in response to drastic cuts in some groundfish quotas, low prices for lobster and the continued high cost of fuel, which threatens to end New Hampshire’s 400-year old tradition. Fishing boats from Seabrook, Hampton, Rye Harbor, and Portsmouth Harbor decided to take their future into their own hands by organizing into a harvest cooperative. They work to better protect marine resources, to fish more selectively, and to take ownership of the share of the fish that they have to catch. Visit www.nhcommunityseafood.com to learn more.

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance is a regional organization working with fishermen and other stakeholders to create ecosystem based fisheries policies and markets that address social, economic, environmental and food system values. You can follow NAMA’s work through their website, blog – Who Fishes Matters, Facebook, and YouTube.


For more information, please contact:

Brett Tolley, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, 718-570-2377, brett@namanet.org
Jaci Grote, Rye Farmers’ Market, 603-235-6287, ojgrote@me.com
Josh Wiersma, NH Community Seafood, 603-682-6115, josh.wiersma@gmail.com