Whole Foods hosts first-ever Fishmonger Face-Off
Whole Foods Market, the United States’ largest natural food retailer, is sponsoring the first-ever Fishmonger Face-Off at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., on 16 June.
“To help shine a light on the skilled specialists behind the seafood case,” the contest will take place in two phases. First, competitors will try to “out-fillet” one another with Copper River salmon in a timed challenge. Five winners will be chosen on the highest yield and craftsmanship.
The second round will test contestants’ knowledge in a game of seafood trivia will then be named Top Fishmonger and awarded the coveted “golden trident trophy.”
The 11 competing fishmongers were selected by regional competitions and include: Mikey “Numba One Cutta” Schmitz of Encinitas, Calif.; Bob “The Fish Guy” Reany of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Abbatt “El Tigre” Story of Atlanta, Ga.; Andres “Mussels” Barroso of Swampscott, Mass.; Zach “Public Anemone” Langford of Austin, Texas; Jordan “Stone Crab” Silva of Naples, Fla.; Ken “The Rock” Riccardi of Callowhill, Pa.; Alejandro “Codfather” Macias of Los Gatos, Calif.; Andrew “Wu-Tang Clam” Ogden of Middletown, N.J.; Heriberto “Senor Pescado” Medina of Deerfield, Ill.; Cavan “The Dog Whisperer” Hua of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The contest will be emceed by Chef John Besh, restaurateur and cookbook author dedicated to the culinary riches of Southern Louisiana and host of the national PBS cooking show, “Chef John Besh’s New Orleans.” Judges include Chef Paul Qui, recent James Beard and Top Chef Texas winner, and David Pilat, Whole Foods global seafood buyer.
“From home cooks to more seasoned chefs, seafood can be mystifying,” said Pilat. “Whole Foods Markets is proud of our passionate, skilled fishmongers who take the guess work our of selecting and cooking fish by offering a little something extra every day, from recipe suggestions, sustainable substitutions, and cut-to-order seafood. We couldn’t imagine a better way to honor and celebrate our talented seafood experts than to host this amazing contest amidst some of the biggest food fans and acclaimed chefs in the country.”