Five Chefs to Cook Unpopular Fish



Back in August, sometime before the ink had dried on my business cards, I blogged about the surprisingly conservative nature of many South Carolina Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Dinner menus.

“While the upshot of (an) approachable menu is it gently reminds consumers of which favorites pass muster with sustainable seafood advocates, it fails to take into account the diversification that now represents the forefront of responsible eating,” I wrote about a dinner featuring mussels, shrimp and trout.

Fortunately for adventurous eaters and ocean advocates, there’s nothing gentle about the proposed menu for the first-ever Trash Fish Dinner, organized by Abundant Seafood’s Mark Marhefka and Fish chef Nico Romo. Although the fish line-up will be determined by what’s biting on June  5, a press release hints the roster could include overlooked “species such as amberjack and white grunt, little tunny, Spanish mackerel and jolthead porgy.”

Less chancy is the chef list: Romo; Jason Stanhope of FIG; Jeremiah Bacon of Indigo Road; Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill and Kevin Johnson of The Grocery will be cooking over wood-fired pits at Lowndes Grove Plantation, operated by party host Patrick Properties Hospitality Group.

“I’m hoping that Charleston’s first Trash Fish Dinner will draw attention to sustainable and delicious alternatives to the fish we recognize,” the release quotes Romo as saying.

Tickets to the 6 p.m. dinner are $125; proceeds benefit Chefs Collaborative. To purchase tickets, visit

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