Johnson & Wales University Culinary Students Fish for New Ideas Using Scup

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At the Rhode Island Seafood Challenge 2015, "scup" takes center plate as students explore its flavor, availability, and practicability. While this underutilized seafood species is widely available along the East Coast, it is overlooked by most chefs and consumers.

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For the second year in a row, the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts (JWU) hosts the "Rhode Island Seafood Challenge." The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015 at the university's Harborside Campus Amphitheater from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Seating is limited and a reservation is required.

This year, the focus of the Challenge is "scup," also known as "porgy," an underutilized species that is, thanks to measures taken several decades ago, plentiful in the waters along the Atlantic coast, but not commonly found in local restaurants or prepared by home cooks.

Three teams of JWU culinary students will create, present, and test original recipes using scup, with a guest audience of other JWU students and the public. The audience will have the chance to taste each of the recipes and vote for their favorite. In addition, guest speakers, along with a panel of representatives from Rhode Island's commercial fishing industry, will address the issues of sustainability which are vital to the region's food system.

Joining JWU for this year's event is the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF), a non-profit, private foundation dedicated to supporting collaborative research carried out by members of the commercial fishing industry and scientists to achieve sustainable fisheries. In addition, Rhode Island Sea Grant, a partnership of the University of Rhode Island, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the State of Rhode Island returns with its support for this year's Challenge.

The Rhode Island Seafood Challenge was established in 2014 as an interactive and entertaining opportunity for JWU culinary students to learn about local and sustainable seafood products, and those involved in bringing them to market; incorporate these products into their culinary repertoire; and, gain an understanding of the conscious impact they, as future foodservice professionals, can make upon their communities and environment, and the seafood industry. By introducing an underutilized seafood species, the Challenge is another way to show that Johnson & Wales University is changing the way America eats.

For more information and to make a reservation for the Rhode Island Seafood Challenge 2015, the public is asked to contact Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 or email studentrisg(at)gmail(dot)com.

About Johnson & Wales
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 16,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies, engineering and design. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni from 119 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.jwu.edu.

About Rhode Island Sea Grant
Rhode Island Sea Grant is based at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, (http://www.gso.uri.edu/) and supports research, outreach, and education programs designed to foster vibrant coastal communities, resilient marine environments, and the sustainable use of marine resources. Visit http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu for more information.

About the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF)
The CFRF is a private, non-profit research foundation founded and directed by members of the Rhode Island commercial fishing industry. Its prime mission is to organize and support teams of fishing industry members, scientists, and managers working together collaboratively on research projects important to supporting sustainable fisheries management in the southern New England/Mid-Atlantic region. Major areas of work include conservation gear engineering to avoid unwanted bycatch, improved stock assessments, industry research fleets to collect biological and environmental data, and assessment of climate change impacts on marine fisheries in the northeast. The CFRF was founded in 2004. For more information, visit http://www.cfrfoundation.org.

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Miriam Weinstein
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