published Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Food Network TV star Alton Brown returns to Tennessee Aquarium

Alton Brown acknowledges onlookers during his dive into the Secret Reef exhibit Monday inside the Tennessee Aquarium's Ocean Journey building.
Alton Brown acknowledges onlookers during his dive into the Secret Reef exhibit Monday inside the Tennessee Aquarium's Ocean Journey building.
Photo by Tim Barber.
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For more information on the Serve & Protect Program and local Alton Brown events, visit www.tnaqua.org.

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Food Network star Alton Brown returned to the Tennessee Aquarium on Monday to help launch year two of the Serve & Protect Program.

The initiative, which focuses on sustainable seafood and fishing practices, began in 2011. The aquarium, in partnership with Brown and participating local restaurants, is working to encourage Chattanooga-area residents to expand their palates beyond seafood that is often overfished or caught by nonsustainable methods.

"The practice is to take responsibility and be better stewards of the ocean," Brown said while diving in a tank at the aquarium.

Sustainability efforts have helped lead to policy and management changes in specific fisheries, helping some species to recover from overfishing.

Among the recovering fish population is summer flounder, one of four species that Serve & Protect will focus on this year. The others are clams, squid and Arctic char.

"This is one of the success stories of the U.S.," said Anna George, director of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, of the summer flounder recovery. "What we eat is one of the most important ways we sustain our oceans."

Brown also met with area chefs and waitstaff to discuss how to cook and serve the species of fish in question.

He will make another appearance in September, hosting a lunch and dinner event, which will include cooking demonstrations.

Contact Holly Leber at hleber@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Subscribe to her on Facebook at facebook.com/holly.j.leber.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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