We were honored to participate in the Tennessee Aquarium’s Serve & Protect. Supporting the aquarium’s mission to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife, the event highlights sustainable seafood.

Chef Charlie has participated in the annual event for eight years, cooking alongside local chefs and famed foodies alike. In a past Serve & Protect, he had the honor of preparing appetizers with Good Eats’ Alton Brown, in addition to other renowned chefs.

Each year, participating chefs are challenged with creating a meal centered around a surprise sustainable seafood ingredient. This year’s mystery item was the Lion Fish. Native to the southeast and Caribbean waters, this invasive species poses potential harm to reef ecosystems, competing for food with native stocks like snapper and grouper. Additionally, many fear that the lion fish will kill the algae eaters and allow seaweed to overwhelm the reefs.

Using the mystery sustainable seafood, Chef Charlie prepared a tomato gazpacho with smoked peaches and a Lion Fish ceviche. Guests dined while enjoying the views throughout the aquarium gallery, before a dessert reception in River Journey.

We are already looking forward to next year’s event and creating new sustainable seafood recipes we will be able to enjoy for years to come.