French Quarter seafood destination GW Fins is hosting a unique dinner next week, featuring an entire spearfished line-up of dishes.
Chef Michael Nelson is behind the event — he’s been developing relationships with local spearfishers, in the name of sustainable fishing. He requests specific fish varieties — these have included barracuda, cobia, and black fin — and spearfishers will go out and nab only those critters.
“It’s like they are asking me for my shopping list before they go out to nature’s grocery store,” says Nelson.
The logic is that when fish are speared, there’s no waste from accidentally nabbing unwanted fish (a common issue with net fishing) — that extra, called the “by-catch”, is a major cause of waste in the fishing industry.
Nelson is committed to cutting back waste in other ways — for example, he has developed culinary ways to use fish fins and skin to avoid putting them in the garbage.
The special dinners next Tuesday and Wednesday will be partly educational — two spearfishers, Ronnie Collins and Tyler McDonald will be on site to discuss their fishing methods, as five courses of freshly-speared sea bounty are plated up.
Of course, GW Fins does serve spearfished seafood at other times outside the special dinners — the whole week (starting Sunday, October 21) has been dubbed “Spear-It Week”.
GW Fins’ spearfish dinners take place Tuesday and Wednesday October 23 and 24 at 6:30 p.m. — it’s $125 for five courses, tax and tip included. Contact the restaurant for reservations.
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