Two local chefs faced off at the Seafood Throwdown last Saturday at the Farmer’s Market in West Tisbury. They came with their knives sharpened, ready to fillet the mystery fish provided by event organizers, the M.V./Dukes County Fishermen’s Association and Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), and they shopped for locally grown ingredients such as new potatoes, leeks, parsley, corn, tomatoes, and even edamame.
Josh Aronie, chef and owner of Menemsha Cafe, and Chris Fischer, of Beetlebung Farm, were given the mystery fish, freshly caught bluefish, at about 9:30 am. At that point, the chefs had 15 minutes to shop the market, and one hour to cook a meal. Each was allowed a basic array of spices and other ingredients, and an assistant. Helping Mr. Fischer was Miles Mount Joy. With Mr. Aronie, Alex Kemper.
The three judges were Joan Nathan, cookbook author and contributor to The New York Times; Charlie Kernick, a frequent W.T. Farmers’ Market customer; and Karen Pickus, a food stylist for Good Morning America and a W.T. Farmers’ Market vendor years ago who sold flourless chocolate cake.
When all was grilled, mixed, and tasted, Mr. Fischer won by one point. Judging was based on taste, presentation, originality, and use of whole fish.
According to the NAMA website, the events were started, in 2008, “as a way of promoting the ecological and economic importance of locally caught seafood.”