April 11, 2013
BOSTON — On April 16th, Ten Tables will host will host the second segment of the Eating with the Ecosystem Boston sustainable seafood series. Eating with the Ecosystem is a traveling dinner series that had its inaugural run last year in Rhode Island. The project now brings its community-driven, place-based approach to sustainable seafood to the Bostonarea, where it is partnering with six restaurants to host special dinner events featuring the fruits of our local marine ecosystems.
The dinner at Ten Tables will explore the culinary treasures of the Georges Bank ecosystem, a large, shallow underwater plateau that stretches east from Cape Cod into the Atlantic Ocean. Chef Sean Callahan will present a creative menu showcasing a diverse sampling of seafood items from these waters, while marine ecologist Les Kaufman and fisheries activist Angela Sanfilippo will narrate the event, bringing to life the bountiful yet changing ecosystem that produced the evening’s fare.
Les Kaufman is Professor of Biology in the Marine Program at Boston University. Les works to conserve aquatic species and habitats by harmonizing coastal societies with the aquatic ecosystems that support them, particularly in the areas of fisheries, ecological economics, and adaptive management. He is also Principal Investigator for Marine Area Management Science with Conservation International.
Angela Sanfilippo, based in Gloucester, has worked tirelessly for over three decades to promote the welfare of the local fishing community that she and her husband belong to. She is the President of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fishing Partnership. In both of these roles, she is inspired by an unwavering commitment to preserving a viable fishing industry.
Georges Bank is distinctive ecosystem. Because it is a shallow offshore plateau, it experiences a high degree of light penetration, and because it is located where the Gulf Stream meets the Labrador Current, it is flooded with nutrients. These natural features make it highly productive, and it has provided a stable food source for New England for centuries.
But in recent years, the Bank’s most famous denizen – Atlantic cod – has become a shadow of its former self, and its role as dominant species in the ecosystem has faded. The dinner at Ten Tables will discuss the changing ecosystem on George’s Bank, and invite guests to try some of this ecosystem’s less familiar species.
“Ten Tables is thrilled to invite guests to deepen their connection to our local seafood and ecosystems through this dinner,” said Stan Hilbert, manager at Ten Tables. “This special event highlighting the value of our local marine waters and fishermen is part of our overall commitment to sourcing with deference to the seasonal rhythms of what’s locally fresh and available, wild and organic, throughout the year.”
The menu, created by Chef Sean Callahan, will include George’s seafood stew; house cured hake brandade with pickles and toast; redfish with salsify, radish, and ramp butter; and panna cotta.
The Eating with the Ecosystem dinner series is organized by fisherwoman and environmental activist Sarah Schumann, who started it as a way to help people experience the connections between a healthy marine environment and a healthy local fishing industry. Earlier this year, Schumann was fortunate to receive a Together Green fellowship from the National Audubon Society to further this project.
“New Englanders are taking a strong interest in knowing where their food comes from,” said Schumann. “The seafood that makes it to our tables has a long story, one that starts with a unique habitat and the whole suite of species that interact in the ocean to produce the food we like to eat. If we want to sustain our seafood, then we must sustain the whole ecosystem.”
Tickets to the event at Ten Tables cost $44. Reservations are available through the restaurant at (617) 524-8810. Walk-ins are also welcome. Donations to Eating with the Ecosystem are encouraged. Ten Tables JP is located at 597 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain. Future dinners in the series will take place at Henrietta’s Table, Lumiere, and Tremont 647, beginning in September.
About Eating with the Ecosystem
Eating with the Ecosystem designs and promotes a place-based approach to sustainable seafood for New England. By fusing the ecological knowledge of marine scientists and commercial fishermen with the culinary creativity of the region’s most innovative chefs, the project advances a dining paradigm that channels a deep understanding of the special places in the ocean that produce the seafood we enjoy. Eating with the Ecosystem’s traveling dinner series partners with restaurants in Rhode Island and the Boston area to celebrate and steward the region’s unique marine ecosystems, one at a time: Southern New England waters, Georges Bank, and the Gulf of Maine.