a crab with blue legs on the concrete outdoors
July 12, 2023

Chefs Brigade Goes to Washington D.C.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration invited Chefs Brigade (CB) to participate in Capitol Hill Ocean  Week  (CHOW) 2023.  CB partnered with the Copeland’s of New Orleans and the Louisiana Seafood Board to serve  Shrimp Creole to CHOW attendees. 

The CB team, which included Executive Director Troy Gilbert, Program Manager Chef April Bellow, Christine Riccobono and board members Joe Riccobono and Chef Gary Netter. Instructed by organizers to “do what your organization does best”, the team used the organization’s post-disaster response model.

“Chefs Brigade connects and organizes,” explains Gilbert. “So we reached out to Al Copeland Jr., who volunteered to have Copeland’s prepare 700 complementary servings of Shrimp Creole. Like most restaurants, our partners are resourceful, and Al Jr. called the Louisiana Seafood Board, who donated the wild-caught Louisiana shrimp for the dish.”

The event, held in the Atrium of the Department of Commerce, brought together over 20 various seafood and fisheries related organizations and Native American tribes to showcase sustainable seafood from throughout the United States.

"I was grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with chef colleagues, exchange food and stories with new friends and to jump into logistics and service,” Bellow says.

In addition to the tasting, the CB team paid visits to members of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation. Overall, Gilbert says it was a great trip that showcased CB, one of our partner restaurants and brought a greater awareness of CB’s work.

Joe Riccobono, Chef Gary Netter, and Troy Gilbert on the Capitol Building steps

“It was a really powerful and humbling experience,” says Gilbert. “To meet in our Nation’s Capitol with NOAA scientists and literally hundreds of people representing government, nonprofits, businesses and interested members of the public who are concerned with our oceans and fisheries, and looking for solutions. And to also meet with some of our elected officials. It was an incredible and worthwhile opportunity.” 

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