Sandwich 375th Birthday Celebration Seafood Throwdown

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NAMA Seafood Throwdown at SeaFest

Come to this unique celebration! The very first NAMA Seafood Throwdown ever at Sandwich’s SeaFest! You will find chefs creating seafood dishes to impress the judges and lure the expected 5,000 attendees with their amazing aromas from fresh seafood right off the boat to local farmers produce. A local restaurant Marshland Restaurant & Bakeries’ Chef Brandon Babiarz and a local inn The Daniel Webster Inn’s Chef Steve Chausse, will be competing for the judges pallet.

Since 2008, The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) has been partnering with communities to host Seafood Throwdowns which have proven to be fun, yet educational events that promote:

  • the ecological, social, food system
  • the economic importance of locally caught seafood
  • the community based small and medium scale fishermen

So how does it work? Our two local Chefs, Steve Chausse, Executive Chef at the Dan’l Webster Inn, and Brandon Babiarz, Director of Operations at Marshland Restaurants and Bakeries, will compete in a cooking competition inspired by local seafood, at the Sandwich Marina at 2pm on July 26th. Each Chef along with their Sous Chef will bring their favorite cooking vessels/utensils, presentation plates and three of their favorite ingredients. Once there, they discover the secret seafood ingredient, and will be given 15 minutes to get their ingredients from the Stop & Shop grocery carts, and then an hour to prepare, cook and plate their dish for three judges. The Chefs will also make enough to offer a small tasting to the public.

Chef Steve Chausse, Executive Chef, Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa

With formal education and training in both the culinary arts ~Johnson and Wales University and in the visual arts at University of Massachusetts, Steve’s love for food and artistic expression are apparent in every dish he creates. “To me, food is art,” says Chausse. Steve strives to offer something for everyone on the Inn’s menus while staying current with industry trends. “I like to use locally grown organic produce and locally aqua-farmed seafood whenever available,” says Chausse. Steve respects the opportunity to discuss food with his customers; he tries to stay topical and current with all the new trends in food while keeping a traditional flair. After a series of discussions with one patron about the health advantages of balanced pH, Steve created several new recipes which are now featured on the Inn’s “Green Palate Menu.” Steve has been with the Dan’l Webster Inn since 1997, and has been working in kitchens since he was 16 years of age. Steve resides in Taunton, Massachusetts and during his free time he enjoys traveling out of the country ~ however when he is traveling, he is “always working” ~ looking for new ideas and taking in the cultural customs ~ the home centers around food and is a celebration of family in so many cultures. His grounding time is spent hiking, fishing and being in the outdoors.

Chef Brandon Babiarz, Director of Operations, Marshland Restaurants and Bakeries

Brandon’s true love for cooking began at home as a child in a big Italian family. The traditions passed along from generation to generation catapulted Brandon’s desire to continue along with his culinary heritage. Brandon grew up in picturesque Cape Cod until moving to Burlington, Vermont to attend the prestigious New England Culinary Institute. School opened his eyes to the endless possibilities of the culinary world and he quickly climbed to the top ranks of his class. While studying he had the honor of working with the likes of French Master Chef Michel LeBorgne, Robert Barral and ACF superstar Dean Thomas. After graduating with the prestigious “Chef’s Award” from NECI, Brandon moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida where he had successful tenures on Sanibel Island, and in Naples where he gained experience as the Pastry Chef at the beautiful Club at Pelican Bay.

But heritage and tradition brought him back to New England and after short stays in Taos, New Mexico and Palm Springs, California. He joined the Dramshop Hospitality team in April 2011 where he helped reinvent Union Fish at Brewer Marine in Plymouth and was instrumental in the launch of the second Union Fish in Hingham in the spring of 2013. Today he works with his family as the Director of Operations for Marshland Restaurants & Bakeries. His culinary style would be best described as Continental American with a twist of Classic French and Italian cuisines and he looks forward to having the opportunity to entertain the mind and body through his food.

The Judges are: Dianne Langeland from Edible Cape Cod Magazine, Heather Atwood, a Sandwich native and experienced NAMA Throwdown Judge Writer for Gloucester Times – “Food for Thought” and Jim Govoni, a Sandwich native and trained chef; currently chef at Decatur House in Sandwich.

You will get a play by play of all the action by this Dual Emcee team of State Representative Randy Hunt and the National Coordinator for Slow Food Youth USA, Spencer Montgomery. These guys are funny, engaging, and will make you want to get in on the action!

Our special thanks to Stop & Shop for hosting this event and providing the local produce for the chefs to complement their local mystery catch dish!