Coldwater shrimp providers team up to educate chefs
An unlikely pairing between two rival coldwater shrimp suppliers is hoping to educate chefs on how to cook them properly, instead of using methods that are ruining the shrimp.
“They were not using them the right way,” said Karen Galloway (pictured), who is heading up the educational program funded by Royal Greenland, based in Denmark, and the Association of Seafood Producers based in St. James, Newfoundland, Canada.
The program is free to participants, and offers lectures, downloadable materials and even Skype lessons for classrooms. The idea, Galloway said, came from a 2013 research project she participated in at the International Coldwater Prawn forum, where chefs were given a bag of the product and asked what they would do with it.
Far too many chefs, she said, were cooking the shrimp even though they were pre-cooked, with one chef boiling them for up to 20 minutes in a fish stew.
“They turn into bullets,” she said.
Most of the coldwater shrimp produced by both companies is pre-cooked, Galloway said. They don’t respond well to heat, and should be left off the stove.
“They’re not the kind of prawns you would skewer and put on the barbecue,” she said.
As part of the research, Galloway said the chefs then went through a six-week course where they learned the proper way of using the shrimp, preferably in cold dishes such as salads. The program changed the way the chefs looked at coldwater shrimp, and Galloway said she thought they were on the right track.
“That’s really what gave us the spark,” she said.
The program will last three years, but may be extended if it accomplishes its mission of getting the word out to chefs. Both Royal Greenland and the association are usually competing over coldwater shrimp, but in this case Galloway said they are taking a rising-tide-floats-all-boats approach, hoping the program will be good for business for both companies.
“This is about the generic message and raising awareness for everyone,” she said.