Chefs representing each of the six America's Cup teams have been battling it out during the Eat Lionfish Chefs' Throwdown in Bermuda as part of the build up to the sailing competition
Celebrity chefs, representing each of the America’s Cup teams, have been competing to see who can create the tastiest dish made of the invasive lionfish.
The #EatLionfish Chefs’ Throwdown was held at the National Museum of Bermuda as part of the build up to the competition.
Organised by 11th Hour Racing, the Chefs’ Throwdown brought together all the teams competing in the 35th America’s Cup around an important environmental issue – promoting Bermuda’s position as a leader in sustainable fishing practices.
Timed to coincide with Earth Week, the judges of the contest were the America’s Cup skippers – giving them a welcome break from training ahead of the first race in just over a month’s time.
The chefs were:
Gael Orieux (France, Groupama Team France), whose Restaurant Auguste boasts a Michelin star.
Taichi Kitamura (Japan, SoftBank Team Japan), award-winning chef/owner of Seattle’s Sushi Kappo Tamura and a winner of Beat Bobby Flay.
Annabel Langbein (New Zealand, Emirates Team New Zealand), host of The Free Range Cook TV series.
Christofer Ekman (Sweden, Artemis Racing), executive chef at Fotografiska in Stockholm.
Chris Kenny (UK, Land Rover BAR), head chef on Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
Rob Ruiz (USA, ORACLE TEAM USA), winner of the 2016 Ocean Award, owner of The Land & Water Co. in Carlsbad, and San Diego Union-Tribune “2016 Chef of the Year”.
The winner was Chris Kenny, who was awarded a prize of $10,000 to be donated to a charity of his choice.
See below for Chris Kenny’ winning lion fish recipes
He created a trio of dishes – Lionfish Ceviche, Lionfish & Chips, LionFish Curry.
Commenting on the competition, skipper of Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie, said: “The ocean is our playground, and we take our responsibility to care for this amazing resource very seriously”.
“I’m proud that all the teams contending for the America’s Cup have signed onto a sustainability charter, with commitments ranging from avoiding single-use plastics to protecting marine habitats,” added Sir Ben, who’s Land Rover BAR is working with 11th Hour Racing as their exclusive sustainability partner.
Rob Ruiz highlighted that choosing what to put on the menu is a vital part of sustainable cooking.
“By putting this voracious predator on a plate and creating a market for lionfish, we can help to put the ocean back into balance,” he noted.
Rick Moonen, of RM Seafood and RX Boiler Room in Las Vegas, who is known as the “Godfather of Sustainability” emceed the cook-off.
The cooking contest also highlighted a new way to cull the lionfish population, by using undersea unmanned robots.
Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE) is developing small, cost-effective ROVs that can stun and capture lionfish on a wide scale, and at depths unavailable to sport divers, who traditionally hunt the spiny, venomous fish with spears.
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RSE is a new nonprofit backed by some of the best minds in robotics and co-founded by Colin Angle, founder and CEO of iRobot and Erika Angle, founder and executive director of Science from Scientists.
An early prototype of the robot was used to capture lionfish for the first time in a marine enclosure in Bermuda ahead of the cooking competition.
In an effort to maintain the lionfish-containment momentum following the completion of the America’s Cup, 11th Hour Racing is engaging culinary students from Bermuda College to be part of the Chefs’ Throwdown, as well as local and international organizations who are leading efforts in scientific research and innovation around invasive species.
Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, lionfish are rapidly expanding their range in the Caribbean and Atlantic, where they have no natural predators.
The lionfish has even been spotted in Malta and most recently, Italy.
A single lionfish will spawn approximately 30,000 – 40,000 eggs every three to five days, and can consume 20 fish in 30 minutes.
Chris Kenny: Lionfish three ways recipes
For the Ceviche:
Finely Sliced Fresh Scallops
Finely Sliced Fresh Lionfish
Finely chopped Shallots
Finely Sliced Chives
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Fennel Salad:
Finely sliced Fennel
Fennel tops – picked
Fennel Seeds – triple blanched until soft
For The Fish & Chips:
Lionfish Beer Batter – 1 bottle of Guinness, 1 Bottle of Heineken, Flour & Milk.
Triple blanched chips – Blanched first in water, Drained, Confit in oil then scraped with a fork to ruffle the edges. Finally fried at 190 Deg Celsius until golden.
Minted Mushy Peas – Peas, Butter, Mint, Lemon, Salt, Black Pepper.
Tartar Sauce- Capers, Gherkins, Shallots, Lemon Juice, Parsley, Mayonnaise.
For The Curry:
Curry Base: Lemon Grass, Ginger, Garlic, Chili, Coconut Oil, Kafia Lime Leaf, Secret Spice Mix! – Blended to a fine paste, Cooked for 5 minutes on a low heat then add Coconut Milk.
Sweated diced white onions
Finished with diced lionfish.
¼ Cherry Tomatoes
Onion Seeds (nigella seeds)
Puffed Rice Noodles
Fried Poppadum’s – rubbed with curry paste before frying
Finely sliced Chilli and spring onion – iced before service so they go curly
Chili & Lime Yoghurt Gastric – Make a light caramel, De-glaze with lime juice, Fold through
Fresh Coriander Leaves