A quarterly publication of the South Carolina Aquarium’s
Sustainable Seafood Initiative
Welcome to the newest SSI partner: Divine Fish
The 2007 SSI Partner of the Year is....
The Boathouse at Breach Inlet! Congratulations
to Chef Charles Arena whose activities in 2007
netted a record-breaking points total. Not only
did Chef Arena host two sustainable seafood
dinners in 2007, he also gave cooking
Kevin Hutchinson, of South Santee
demonstrations at the South Carolina Aquarium
Aquaculture’s Swimming Rock Fish Farm,
and the Southeast Wildlife Exposition,
holds two of his farm-raised striped bass -
participated in a cooking competition at the
this winter’s Signature Seafood.
Sustainable Seafood Festival, and played a part in
the “Revealing the Deep” film premiere and
dinner event at the Aquarium. We’re very Upcoming Events
thankful to Chef Arena and the other Sustainable
Wednesday, January 30 – Sustainable
Seafood Partners that made 2007 such a success.
Seafood Dinner at Fish featuring local snapper
Runners-up for the 2007 Partner of the Year
and grouper harvested by Mark Marhefka
include Middleton Place, Earth Fare and Cypress.
Saturday, February 23 – Winter Sustainable
Congratulations to Middleton Place! Seafood and Wine Dinner at Middleton Place
The Restaurant at Middleton Place is the first SSI Saturday, March 1 – Sustainable Seafood
partner to complete a menu assessment. Based and Beermaster Dinner at The Boathouse on
on their winter 2007 menu Middleton Place was East Bay, in conjuction with the Distinctively
awarded Platinum Partner status! Other Charleston Food + Wine Festival
restaurants currently undergoing assessments
SAVE THE DATE!! 2008 SUSTAINABLE
include The Boathouse at Breach Inlet and CQ’s.
SEAFOOD FESTIVAL - SUNDAY,
All SSI restaurant partners are eligible to apply OCTOBER 26
for upgraded artnership. To become a Platinum
Inside This Issue
or Gold Partner, the seafood on your menu will
be assessed for sustainability. Platinum and Gold Striped Bass, Winter Signature Seafood.................2
Partners will be recognized as such on all Partner Activities.......................................................2
promotional materials and will be eligible for Atlantic Snapper Grouper Update..........................3
special promotions and enhanced media Allocation Amendment............................................4
opportunities. Contact Megan Westmeyer at Current SSI Partners.................................................4
(843)579-8502 for more information.
Our goal is to promote the conservation of fishery resources and the use of sustainable, especially
local and domestic, seafood in restaurants.
Signature Seafood, Winter 2008: from previous years, with over 700 people joining in
Farm-raised Striped Bass the festivities to provide support for the South
Carolina Aquarium’s conservation program, the
Sustainable Seafood Initiative.
Rep. Henry E. Brown, Jr.
serving as the Festival’s
Honorary Chair applauded the
South Carolina Aquarium’s
Winter is here, and wild-caught seafood is harder
efforts to promote marine conservation. Twelve local
to come by and more expensive. Fortunately, it’s the
chefs faced off against each other in three cooking
perfect time of year to feature locally farm-raised fish
contests featuring shrimp, wreckfish and clams
and we have the perfect source for you! Swimming
Rock Fish Farm, now under the management of (results below). Five more chefs performed
Kevin Hutchinson of South Santee Aquaculture, is individual cooking demonstrations throughout the
offering full-blooded striped bass as well as high day. One of the most popular highlights of the event,
quality tilapia for sale to restaurants. They’ll even the High School Recipe
deliver live fish directly to your restaurant – seafood Contest awarded over $48,000
doesn’t get any fresher than that. in renewable scholarships to
Hutchinson took over Swimming Rock Fish Farm Johnson & Wales University
after the retirement of previous owner Rick Eager in to 6 local students.
2007. He has continued Eager’s sustainable
We would like to thank the following SSI partners,
aquaculture methods and plans to expand the
whose participation made the 2007 Festival the
operation to include production of cobia, pompano
biggest success yet: 39 Rue de Jean, The Boathouse
and summer flounder. Swimming Rock’s fish are
on East Bay, The Boathouse at Breach Inlet, CQ’s,
raised in a combination of ponds, raceways and
Carolina’s, Coast, Cru Café, Cypress, Earth Fare, Fish,
Hominy Grill, The Restaurant at Middleton Place,
All of the water comes from the nearby
Old Firehouse Restaurant, Old Village Post House,
Toogoodoo Creek and is returned there after an
Sea Island Grill, Tristan, and Umi Pacific Grille.
extensive settling and water-quality testing. The fish
The Fourth Annual Sustainable Seafood Festival was
are fed a healthy diet including as little fishmeal as
sponsored in part by Bonterra Vineyards, The Bridge
possible, relying more on proteins derived from
105.5, Charleston Magazine, Earth Fare, Fox 24 and
agricultural crops. In addition, the striped bass are
MY TV Charleston, Johnson & Wales University,
kept in salt-water for the last two weeks before
Palmetto Brewing Company, Pepsi, St. Johns Yacht
harvest to flush away the muddy flavor found in
Harbor, Southeast BioDiesel, South Carolina Seafood
some farm-raised fish.
Alliance and Wild American Shrimp, Inc.
If you’d like to try Swimming Rock fish in your
restaurant please contact South Santee Aquaculture at Shrimp Cook-Off
(888)254-2387. Because wild striped bass are 1st Place: Tristan, Chef Ciaran Duffy
classified as a gamefish in South Carolina you will
Runner-up: Old Firehouse Restaurant,
need to obtain a free Aquaculture Gamefish Retail
Chef Bill Twaler
License from DNR – for your convenience, the
application in included with this newsletter. The
1st Place: Old Village Post House, Chef Tim
pertinent legislation (the S.C. Aquaculture Act) can be
found at www.scstatehouse.net in the S.C. Code of
Runner-up: Middleton Place
Laws, Title 50, Chapter 18.
Restaurant, Chef Brandon Buck
Partner Activities Clam Cook-Off
1st Place: CQ’s, Chef Eric Sayers
The South Carolina Aquarium’s Fourth Annual
Runner-up: Sea Island Grill, Chef Cooper Thomas
Sustainable Seafood Festival celebrated local and
sustainable seafood to record attendance and sales continued on page 3
numbers on October 21. Guest attendance doubled
2 What’s Cooking - Winter 2008
High School Recipe Contest designing a five course menu including clams,
Seniors mussels, shrimp, oysters, triggerfish, striped bass,
1st Place: Leila Schardt - Wando High School vermilion snapper and red porgy. Not only was the
2nd Place: Chelsea Gantt – Rock Hill High School seafood harvested locally, but the
and the Applied Technology Center harvesters themselves were present at
3rd Place: Justin Edgar – Wando High School the dinner to explain their craft.
Juniors Toby Van Buren, who supplied the clams, mussels,
1st Place: Kiki Hannapel – Wando High School and oysters, taught the guests about South Carolina
2nd Place: Julia Jantzi – Wando High School clams and how he cultivates the shellfish to increase
3rd Place: Jessica Ralston – Wando High School his harvest.
Mark Marhefka, a local snapper and grouper
fisherman, supplied the triggerfish, snapper and
porgy and described life as an offshore fisherman and
how he harvests the elusive creatures.
Rick Eager, of Swimming Rock Fish Farm, raised
On November 1 Chef Ryan Herrmann of The the striped bass on his farm in nearby Meggett, SC.
Boathouse on East Bay hosted his final Sustainable He gave the guests an idea of what it takes to
Seafood event before beginning a sabbatical from the sustainably raise an anadromous fish in ponds and
culinary industry to spend more time tanks on land.
with his young son. An intimate group
of sustainable seafood devotees Fishery Management Updates
gathered at The Boathouse to bid farewell to Chef Proposed Regulations for Gag and Vermilion
Herrmann and dine on a four course sustainable The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
seafood dinner including spiny lobster, rock shrimp (SAFMC) is considering alternatives to reduce harvest
and wreckfish paired with sustainable wines from and end overfishing
Lolonis Winery. for two popular local
species, gag grouper
On Tuesday, November 6th the Lower Ocean and vermilion
Gallery of the South Carolina Aquarium was snapper. Thus far
transformed into a high definition theater and the alternatives for gag include a spawning closure
Great Hall became a white tablecloth January-April that would include red, black and scamp
restaurant for the premiere of grouper, separate commercial quotas for the Carolinas
“Revealing the Deep”. The film, a and GA/FL and changes to the recreational bag limit.
new documentary produced by the South Atlantic For vermilion snapper, alternatives include seasonal
Fishery Management Council, raises awareness of closures, two commercial quotas occurring at
deep-sea coral habitats – unique and vulnerable different times of the year, and adjustments to the
ecosystems – and the research and management size and bag limits.
efforts needed to protect them. Newer, improved data
The dinner featured species that depend on these will be incorporated
deep-sea coral ecosystems, yet are sustainably into the vermilion
harvested by local fishermen. Chef snapper stock
Charles Arena of The Boathouse at assessment before
Breach Inlet, Chef Jon Banta of 39 regulations are established. Some fishermen believe
Rue de Jean and Chef Peyton Smith of the Embassy this new data will reveal that the stock is healthier
Suites Hotel Airport-Convention Center each than the current stock assessment predicts.
prepared a course. Other alternatives that may be included in this
amendment that would affect the commercial fishery
The Boathouse at Breach Inlet hosted their second are requirement of dehooking tools, venting tools and
dinner of 2007 on Tuesday, December 4. Chef continued on page 4
Charles Arena outdid himself once again, by
What’s Cooking - Winter 2008
the use of circle hooks. This amendment will also impact of recreational fisheries through hotels, boats,
include alternatives for allocating the Total Allowable fishing gear, bait, tackle and so on. Conversely, the
Catch between recreational and commercial cired economic impact of commercial fisheries is
fishermen. Public hearings on will begin this spring. often limited to the money generated at the dock, the
initial point of sale. As chefs, you know that grouper
Public Scoping for Allocation Amendment sold for $4/lb at a dock is worth far more by the time
The SAFMC is beginning development of a it is served to a guest in your restaurant.
Comprehensive Allocation Amendment to establish This is an opportunity for chefs and retailers to
guidelines for determining allocations between influence the future supply of seafood by voicing
commercial and recreational fishermen in all fisheries. your desire for strong commercial allocations to offer
This issue directly impacts the restaurant and retail seafood to those who cannot catch fish for
seafood sectors because it dictates how much seafood themselves, or those who prefer to buy their seafood
will be available for you to purchase versus that which from restaurants and retailers. A public scoping
is available for the recreational fishing public to catch. meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20 to
Currently, allocations are usually based on catch address the Comprehensive Allocation Amendment
history. In other words, if commercial fishermen and other current issues in local fisheries
have caught 60% of the total harvest of a species management. The public scoping meeting will
over the last 10 year, they would likely be given a include an informal round table discussion with
quota to enable them to continue harvesting 60% of council staff, council representatives and other
the total allowable catch in the future, and recreational stakeholders and will provide an opportunity for all
fishermen would be allocated the other 40%. attendees to go on record and provide their input.
Economics can also play a role in allocation. We’ll provide you more information as the date grows
Because fisheries are a public resource, the economic closer; we hope to see you there.
benefit to the public is sometimes considered.
Recreational fishing advocates often citethe economic
Charleston Restaurants Grand Strand Restaurants
FIG The River Course
39 Rue De Jean Divine Fish House*
FISH Sea Island Grill
Umi Pacific Grille
A.W. Shuck’s Fleet Landing Slightly North of Broad
Blossom Hank’s Seafood Restaurant Stephen Duvall Catering & Retail and Community
The Boathouse Restaurants High Cotton Partners
Tides at the Beach Club
Bocci’s Hominy Grill Aramark Special Events
Carolina’s Hyman’s Seafood Catering at the College of
Triangle Char and Bar of Charleston
Carolina Catering Il Cortile del Re
Tristan Charleston Cooks!
Charleston Crab House Island Chef - A Complete
Personal Chef Service Voysey’s at Cassique Cindy’s Seafood & Country
Magnolias Woodlands Resort and Inn
Cru Café & Catering Beaufort and Hilton Head
Slow Food Charleston
Middleton Place Restaurant
Cypress Lowcountry Grille Restaurants
Swimming Rock Fish
Old Firehouse Restaurant
Daniel Island Club Alligator Grille Seafood
Old Village Post House Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Embassy Suites Hotel,
Airport-Convention Center Peninsula Grill CQ’s Restaurant *New Partner
EVO Pizzeria Poogan’s Porch Panini’s Café
The Fat Hen Red Drum Gastropub
The Sustainable Seafood Initiative is supported in part by a grant to the South Carolina Aquarium
from the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation.
What’s Cooking is a quarterly publication from the Sustainable Seafood Initiative at the South Carolina Aquarium.
Please contact Megan Westmeyer at (843) 579-8502 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to be removed
from this distribution list.
4 What’s Cooking - Winter 2008