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ACA Chef Educator Moderates New York City Seafood Forum

September 15, 2009

Academy of Culinary Arts Chef Educator Philip Cragg moderated "What's the Catch? A Lively Discussion on Sustainable Seafood" at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City Sept. 10.

The forum explored current issues concerning the nation's seafood supply. The Greater New York Dietetic Association and its Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Special Interest Group presented the program.

Key subjects included: Local, organic, wild and farm-raised seafood; over fishing and fisheries management; fishing methods and their impact on the environment; environmental contamination of seafood and water systems; and best seafood choices from a health and sustainability perspective.

Following the panel discussion, Cragg, of Lacey Township, prepared Holiday Harbor Clams at a tasting reception. He created the recipe to showcase the Jersey hardshell clam, the quahog, for the nationwide event, "Romancing the Clam," held in Savannah, Ga., in March. He was assisted by ACA students Shawn Zenszer of Mt. Laurel and Amanda Clegg of Brick.

Former ACA student Peter Fischbach of Toms River recreated his sustainable seafood recipe that took second place at the 2009 Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans in July, Seared Viking Village Sea Scallops with Herbed Grits and Pickled Root Vegetables.

Cragg is in his 20th year at the Academy of Culinary Arts, which is located at Atlantic Cape Community College. He has had a lifelong interest in seafood and recently became a shellfish gardener through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Toms River. The program incorporates a 501(c)(3) entity, ReClam the Bay, with a goal of restoring shellfish population in Barnegat Bay.