Seafood showdown and more - Sept. 19-21

Seafood showdown and more - Sept. 19-21

September 19th, 2013 by Staff Report in Chattnow Dining

Celebrity chefs Virginia Willis, right, and Susan Spicer.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Two celebrity chefs are in Chattanooga today, Sept. 19, for a seafood showdown.

During this "Decapod Duel," the theme of the culinary match between Virginia Willis and Susan Spicer, guests will enjoy Southern sizzle with a Creole twist. Willis and Spicer will share the spotlight on the Imax stage while demonstrating the culinary versatility of shrimp and crawfish.

"I love the idea of comparing and contrasting these two species," says Atlanta chef Tamie Cook, who will produce the cooking shows. "And having two different chefs with different backgrounds creates a lively and fun atmosphere, opening up a new dimension for Serve & Protect."

The live cooking shows are part of the Tennessee Aquarium's third annual Serve & Protect initiative to support its conservation mission. The programs kick off a weekend of sustainable seafood events in Chattanooga.

Scheduled Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21, is Downtown Dine Around, in which special Serve & Protect menu items will be featured by more than a dozen restaurants and caterers. Events conclude Sunday, Sept. 22, with the Cast Iron Cook-Off at Chattanooga Market (a story is on Page 12).

Today's cooking shows will be offered at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The midday affair features chefs from Whole Foods in cooking demonstrations and tastings in the Imax Great Hall. Gourmet boxed lunches will be provided to guests in the theater while Willis and Spicer get cooking onstage. A dessert reception will follow the one-hour show. Individual tickets are $75.

The evening event begins at 5:30 p.m. as guests gather in the Imax Great Hall for cocktails and appetizers. Spicer and Willis will present their friendly competition over shrimp and crawfish, then attendees will be served an elegant seafood dinner, prepared by chefs from some of Chattanooga's top restaurants, within the Aquarium's galleries. A dessert reception will cap off the evening. Tickets are $200.

Tickets for the either event are available at: http://tnaqua.org/SustainableSeafood/2013SpecialEvent.