Mark your calendars now for December 1. And, while you are at it, contact your favorite local restaurant and see if they’ll be participating in America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood.
It’s a simple idea for a great cause—to promote Louisiana Gulf Coast Seafood. Restaurant chefs across America are being asked to put at least one item on their menus that uses Gulf seafood, as a show of support for fishermen and others in the Gulf impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The restaurants can choose their item, set their own price, and keep the proceeds—it’s not a fundraiser, but is a way to encourage sales of Gulf seafood again.
While there is a lingering perception that Gulf seafood may be “tainted” in some way due to the oil spill, those in the know say that is completely false. They cite statistics that say only a small part of the many miles of Coastline were impacted, and that the fishing wasn’t impacted at all beyond that one section. And, they say that there have been 27,000 recent samplings of the seafood looking for problems—with none found.
“The seafood actually came back very quickly,” says Ralph Brennan, one of the leaders in the New Orleans’ restaurant industry. “It’s time to promote it again.”
He and a group of other restaurateurs and chefs from the Gulf have banded together to let people know that the seafood is safe for consumption. A large number of them gathered in New Orleans last week to announce the Dine Out event. “This is an opportunity to tell the world that Louisiana seafood is safe, and to get people to consume it outside of Louisiana,” says Brennan. “We are actively recruiting chefs for an outstanding event in December.”
The event, called Dine America Louisiana 2010, is an open invitation to any restaurant to participate. Organizers say all they have to do is the following:
- Sign up at the website, www.dineamerica2010.com
- Create a menu item using Gulf seafood, and place an order
- Set your own price and keep the revenue
For those restaurants looking for ideas, see The Food Channel’s menu based around Gulf Coast seafood. http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/american-gulf-coast-thanksgiving/