(PRINCETON) – A top New Jersey seafood chef
will go head-to-head with chefs from 14 other coastal
states next week to vie for the title of “King” or “Queen” of
seafood preparation in the country.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the Garden State Seafood Association
and the New Jersey Restaurant Association are sponsoring Chef Jim Weaver,
as he heads to the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans, Louisiana,
on July 31.
“New Jersey is a leader in the seafood industry that is known for its fresh,
high quality seafood,” said New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M.
Kuperus. “The national seafood cook-off is a great opportunity to show
how important Jersey Seafood is to a balanced diet and how easy it is for consumers
In 2002, New Jersey harvested more than 162 million pounds of seafood,
valued at about $113 million.
Weaver, head chef of Tre Piani Restaurant, Princeton, along with Annie
Prizzi – the head chef and instructor for the culinary program
at Mercer Community College, will go to the cook-off armed with New Jersey’s
freshest seafood and what he believes to be a winning-recipe that will
prove that New Jersey is number one when it comes to seafood. They will
prepare Garden State Seafood Panzanella Salad, which features Little
Neck Clams, sea scallops, calamari, monkfish, Jersey tomatoes, cucumber,
fennel, basil, garlic, and scallions.
“New Jersey seafood is pristine and high quality and will speak for itself
when we showcase it to the country,” said Weaver, the president of the
Slow Foods Movement in New Jersey, an organization dedicated to preserving and
encouraging traditional foods, beverages and recipes. “It’s a great
time of year to highlight the freshest ingredients of our region. New Jersey
seafood and Jersey Fresh produce are the perfect marriage and will make our recipes
The Seafood Cook-off will take place at the Louisiana Foodservice Expo
on July 31. One specific goal of the promotion is to showcase the seafood
products that are characteristic of each region as well as to promote
seafood to consumers as a quick, easy and healthy meal. The event will
be aired on the Food Network.