Great Showdown in the Works for the Seafood Throwdown Event Highlights Why Local Seafood Matters This Thursday’s farmer’s Market!

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Now in its sixth year, the Seafood Throwdown is coming back to Cape Ann Farmers Market Thursday from 4 – 6 p.m. at Stage Fort Park. This unique cooking competition brings local chefs, fisheries advocacy organizations, local food vendors, and food advocates together to talk about why local seafood should matter to us.

The two teams going knife-to-knife at this year’s Seafood Throwdown are Chef Paolo Laboa and his sous chef Mercedes Flaving vs. Chef Rosalie Harrington. This year the audience will make up a couple of seats at the judge’s table, so you want to be there! Peter Van Ness of gimmesound.com will be the emcee.

“Community based, family owned fishing businesses are facing the same challenges as family farmers: consolidation of their industry, loss of access of working waterfronts and farms, lack of a fair price, and inability to compete in the political landscape with their industrial counterparts,” said Niaz Dorry, coordinating Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. “For six years, Seafood Throwdowns have given us the opportunity to bring these issues to the public who already cares about who grows their lettuce, makes their butter, and raises their beef. We believe they need to care as much about who catches their fish, and how it ends up on their plates.”

Chef Laboa and Flavin will be representing the restaurant formerly known as Alchemy and the site of their new venture, which is opening this fall on Duncan Street in Gloucester. The restaurant will feature Northern Italian cuisine, including Paolo’s own signature pesto, which won the 2008 Pesto Championship in Italy. Mercedes Flavin, his wife, comes from a long dynasty of Flavin’s who have operated multiple restaurants on Cape Ann.

Rosalie Harrington operated her restaurant, “Rosalie’s” in Marblehead, for nearly twenty-five years. Rosalie was one of the original hosts on the Food Network after hosting cooking shows on Boston TV. And, it was no mystery to writers like Robert Parker with his “Looking for Rachel Wallace” and “Spenser For Hire” series where the best Italian food in Boston could be found: Marblehead. Rosalie now concentrates on her catering business.
The Seafood Throwdown is a collaboration between Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and their Community Supported Fishery project Cape Ann Fresh Catch. Seafood Throwdowns started here in 2008 and now spread up to Canada, down the east coast and up the west coast. NAMA partners with local communities to host Seafood Throwdowns in order to promote the ecological and social benefits of locally caught seafood, the impact of local fishing fleet on the local economy, and role of seafood in our food systems.

“We’re glad to see Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery back at the market this year,” said Niki Bogin, Cape Ann Farmers Market manager. “Featuring seafood at the farmers market has been our priority from the beginning as it’s such a big part of Gloucester’s history, culture and economic well being.”

Cape Ann Farmers Market is held every Thursday from 3 – 6:30 through October 9th. Always plenty of FREE parking right across the street on Market days. Seafood Throwdown is a free event and begins at 4pm.

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