Every year, local high school culinary student teams are invited to serve up their own original recipes for locally caught seafood that are judged by event participants, which is open to the public.
Winning teams have had their recipe featured at restaurants throughout the Ocean State, courtesy of the Newport Restaurant Group.
“Supporting the culinary arts and cooking skill development while celebrating food resourced from our beautiful waters is an honor for all of us…We look forward to showcasing the winning team’s delicious recipe for our guests!” said Kevin DiLibero, Culinary Arts Director, Newport Restaurant Group.
Event Sponsors: Rhode Island Sea Grant, Warwick Area Career & Technical Center, the Cooperative Extension Food Safety Education Program in the URI Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Newport Restaurant Group, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Warwick Area Career & Technical Center’s Tides Café
2023 Rhode Island High School Seafood Cookoff
Congratulations to the East Providence High School Career and Technical Center for winning the 2023 Rhode Island High School Seafood Cook-off for their lemon steamed summer flounder with Brussels sprout and apple slaw, sweet potato purée, blistered tomato, and aji amarillo sauce.
Their winning recipe will be featured at Hemenway’s Restaurant in Providence, courtesy of the Newport Restaurant Group, and can be found along with other competition recipes below.
Judging was difficult as five high school culinary teams prepared unique variations of locally caught summer flounder. Students representing culinary training programs from Davies, East Providence, Warwick, Westerly, and Woonsocket were able to showcase their skills to the enjoyment of community participants who voted for their favorite dish.
The recipes represented diverse cultures, and, as one of the competition’s hosts noted, “It was a nice challenge for the students to do something different that hasn’t been seen before.”
“We talk about culture, flavor profiles, and what works well,” said Eva Niosi, culinary instructor at the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, which hosted this year’s competition. “So, these kinds of events benefit all of the kids whether they win or lose; just the development of the recipe, working as a team, [and] coordinating logistics for prepping food and timing delivery.”
“We didn’t win, but we love it,” she added.
Each recipe presented flavors and techniques of different cultures ranging from Mediterranean and Spanish to Asian.
“Being from Lebanon, I thought maybe we could do a Mediterranean flair to our food,” says Chef Paul Jalaf, culinary arts instructor at Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center, whose group incorporated a phyllo dough-encased flounder accompanied by a dill-cucumber tahini sauce and slaw with a savory lemon and dill whipped cream. He added that this kind of event is not only a chance to experiment with recipes but also an opportunity to see what other culinary groups are doing.
“It’s nice for [my students] to see how the other kids are working and collaborate because you don’t get to do that often … I tell my students that we are here to have fun and meet everyone.”
Thank you to the other teams from William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School, the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, the Westerly High School Career and Technical Program, and the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center for their creative recipes.
Sponsors of the 2023 Rhode Island Seafood Cookoff are the Warwick Area Career & Technical Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Cooperative Extension Food Safety Education Program in the URI Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, the Newport Restaurant Group, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
East Providence High School Career and Technical Center
Westerly HIgh School Career and Technical Program
William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School
Warwick Area Career and Technical Center
Woonsocket Career and Technical Center
IN THE MEDIA