A couple weeks ago, some members of FiveStar’s marketing team got the chance to visit the IMAX theater in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, to have lunch and watch Food Network star Alton Brown give a presentation about what he has dubbed “sustainable seafood.” The event was part of the Tennessee Aquarium‘s Serve & Protect sustainable seafood program. It was a wonderful opportunity, and we’re so grateful to have been chosen to participate. The gourmet boxed lunch we were served consisted of a delightful lobster and shrimp sandwich, a smoked trout salad, a yummy summer succotash made with summer squash and steamed edamame, and a bowl of fresh local fruit. Delicious, local, AND healthy!

After scarfing down lunch (before photographing for the blog… oops), we watched as celebrity chef and cookbook author Alton Brown gave a presentation and cooking demonstration for the crowd. It was a pretty exclusive event – we estimate there were only about 200 or so attendees – so we felt very privileged to be among the spectators.

Alton’s message was simple yet powerful. Eat local seafood more often, vary your seafood dishes, and support local fishermen. His demonstration was also fascinating, both because of his vast knowledge and his quick wit. He entertained his audience thoroughly while showing us how to properly butcher  and prepare squid two different ways: steamed and boiled. I’ll be honest, I consider myself to be somewhat cultured in the food arena, but I didn’t even know squid was edible! Let alone that it could be found at a local market. I’m so glad Alton introduced me to the idea! What variety that brings to the seafood options in the kitchen!

The experience was simply wonderful, and I sincerely hope Alton returns to Chattanooga next year to do it all over again.


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