Farmed sturgeon and caviar from North Carolina are the featured menu items for the first of the 2013 Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series hosted by the National Aquarium, Washington, D.C. The dinner is scheduled for April 24.
The dinner series is the inspiration of Chef Xavier Deshayes, executive chef at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Deshayes sources, serves and educates his guests about sustainable food and environmentally responsible dining. When he heard about Atlantic Caviar and Sturgeon in Lenoir, NC, he contacted the Aquarium and scheduled a scouting tour to see the facility and witness a harvest of Ossetra caviar.
“The foothills of North Carolina is the last place we expected to find sturgeon and world-class caviar,” Emma Connor, marketing manager of the Aquarium said. “But sure enough, there are 16,000 sturgeon circling their tanks in the middle of a community called Happy Valley. We’re excited to share the story of this amazing facility.”
Atlantic Caviar & Sturgeon is one of a handful of sturgeon farms in North America and the only one harvesting Ossetra caviar. At the beginning of this century, one of the partners — an international cargo pilot — became aware of the depletion of wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea and realized there would soon be a viable market for farmed caviar. Thirteen years later the farm, a joint venture between the original partners and North Carolina State University, is in its second year of caviar production. “The quality of the caviar is exceptional,” Chef Deshayes said, “and the sturgeon meat is rich, healthful and, best of all, sustainable.”
This is the third year the Aquarium has hosted the series educating guests about sustainable seafood, one of Seafood Business Magazine’s Top 10 Trends for 2013. Two other Fresh Thoughts series dinners are slated for June 19 and September 25 and will feature shrimp and salmon. The dinner price is $79 for members and $89 for non-members. For more information and tickets: 202-789-2782.
Atlantic Caviar & Sturgeon Co. is a sustainable, 660,000-gallon aquaculture farm currently supporting three different species of sturgeon: Atlantic (A.oxyrinchus), Russian (A.gueldenstaedtii), and Siberian (A. baerii). For more information: www.atlanticcaviarandsturgeon.com
National Aquarium champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world’s natural resources and living-systems. National Aquarium, in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md., delivers through its living collections; science-based education programs and hands-on experiences in the field from the Chesapeake Bay to Costa Rica; and partnerships and alliances with like-minded organizations around the world. For more information on National Aquarium: www.aqua.org