Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Always Root for the Underdog

To kick of the third week of my fellowship, I attended a NH Fresh & Local feature dinner that utilized  dogfish, an underutilized species, in all of the meal's courses.  The idea behind the dinner is to feature a species of fish that can be caught in large quantities, but most people would not typically choose to try.  By encouraging the community to expand their palates and try new fish the impact on the main fish species such as cod and shrimp can be lessened.  Dogfish is the species used for English fish 'n chips, and thus the majority of the dogfish catch is exported.  This feature dinner showed how dogfish can be utilized here as Chef Taylor of The Green Monkey (Portsmouth, NH) created three delicious courses for the crowd.

The dinner started with a taste of England as we experienced dogfish fish 'n chips! The reaction was very positive and the fish was quite tasty:
Appetizer- Dogfish fish 'n chips
The next course was was dogfish medallions wrapped in bacon.  The reaction to this was very positive and the flavor was great:
Course 1- Dogfish medallions wrapped in  bacon.
The second course was my personal favorite, and the favorite of many others as well: dogfish chowder made from artichoke and no potato- amazing!

Course 2- Dogfish chowder
The third and final meal course was dogfish kabobs with veggies and jasmine rice.  Chef Taylor really outdid himself, this and all the other courses were fantastic!

Course 3- Dogfish kabob
The best part of this dinner, though, was the positive atmosphere.  The community members who attended were clearly eager to be involved in keeping more of the seafood local and trying new species.  It was great to be able to walk around the room and hear how the guests had heard of the dinner and why they chose to come.  One couple that I particularly enjoyed talking to was so excited to try new things, and thank the fisherman who caught the 25lbs. of dogfish eaten that night. Overall, the dinner was a success and I would love play a larger role in another event such as this in the near future to excite the community and help the local fishing industry.

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