Author Archives: jesasser

Seafood Sightings: March 30, 2017


tilefish at market

Does buying and preparing fish feel like you’re in unfamiliar waters? This week’s roundup includes advice for the reluctant seafood cook, along with recipes featuring fish, oysters, scallops and shrimp. Enjoy!

  • The Wall Street Journal features chef Ashley Christensen of Raleigh’s oyster pan roast, a creamy shellfish stew with cubes of turnip and zesty greens.

Seafood Sightings: March 16, 2017

seafood sightings

Unpredictable weather is inspiring hearty stews and comfort foods. Remember you often can substitute species. Try the recipes using your favorite fresh fish.

  • News & Observer features a Chesapeake House fish stew recipe, adapted from Fred Thompson of Raleigh’s latest cookbook, Bacon. Thompson also is the publisher of Edible Piedmont magazine.

Seafood Sightings: March 2, 2017

seafood sightings

crab salad

Spring feels like it’s just around the corner. A variety of festivals and events are making the start of the season look delicious.

Here’s what’s coming up in the food scene:

  • Wilmington Star News shares a trio of food events coming to the Cape Fear region, including the 21st annual Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-Off, held April 8 at Carolina Beach Lake Park. Follow the link for entry and ticketing information or additional events.
  • News & Observer highlights March food events in the Triangle, including the chance to learn seafood preparation from chef Nick Malgieri, founder of the Institute of Culinary Education’s baking program in New York City, on March 12. Chef Sean Fowler of the Mandolin in Raleigh also will hold a class on March 29. Experiment Silician-style with Malgieri’s swordfish pie, or get your fill of oysters with Fowler, who’s serving grilled, wild North Carolina oysters, oysters mandolin, and cornbread and oyster stuffing. The ticketed classes will be held at Southern Season in Chapel Hill. See the full list for details and additional events.
  • Don’t miss the new culinary series, The Chef & The Maker, coming to Pinehurst Resort. The series will feature three North Carolina chefs, including Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner, Charlotte chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant, and Asheville chef Katie Button of Nightbell and Cúrate. Events are open to the public. The News & Observer has details on costs and ticketing options.

And here are fresh recipes to try, featuring shrimp and crab:

  • Mariner’s Menu shares a recipe for light, colorful crab salad.

Seafood Sightings: February 16, 2017

seafood sightings

steamed shrimp with soy-ginger sauce

Congrats are in order for the North Carolina chefs up for the 2017 awards known as “The Oscars of Food.”

Feeling the winter blues yet? Try these zesty, Asian-inspired seafood dishes for fresh flavors and a nutritional “feel-good” boost.

  • Star News features a quick video tutorial to Do Your Own Dim Sum. This traditional Chinese dumpling dish combines shrimp, scallops and crabmeat for a simple, savory filling.



Seafood Sightings: February 2, 2017

seafood sightings



When it comes to entertaining, easy and versatile dishes are ideal. These shrimp and clam recipes make great appetizers and finger foods. Game day may be just around the corner, but you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy!

  • The News & Observer features a quick recipe for hot honey shrimp. Pepper jelly fans will approve.
  • In case you missed it, Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis put the Cape Fear region in the spotlight when she visited on Friday, Jan. 27, to support the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. Read the article in the Wilmington Star News. Laurentiis kicks off her entertainment menu with this recipe for spicy Calabrian shrimp.
  • UNCTV’s PBS | Food is serving orange shrimp. Orange juice and marmalade make an easy sweet-and-sour glaze.
  • Mariner’s Menu has a simple, creamy clam dip. This appetizer can be mixed ahead of time and served chilled.
  • Flavor NC also shares a Mexican clam dip with cream cheese, salsa verde, cilantro and spices.

Seafood Sightings: January 19, 2017


Steamed Flounder with Ginger. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a fresh new dish to try, this week’s simple recipes can satisfy a variety of cravings in a pinch. Enjoy!

  • The New York Times features Vivian Howard, owner of Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, for her role in the rural town’s economic and cultural revival. Read the article here, which includes Howard’s recipe for Eastern North Carolina fish stew.
  • Immaculate Bites shares a recipe for Jamaican steamed fish. This hearty dish will become your go-to for its versatility. Whether carb-heavy or fresh with vegetables, you can tailor it depending on your cravings — or what you already have in your fridge!

Seafood Sightings: December 15, 2016

seafood sightings


The week’s roundup includes festive twists on seafood appetizers and a hearty breakfast dish sure to impress holiday guests and family. Enjoy!

  • Chef Teddy Diggs and Barton Seaver, author and chef, join forces to craft a fresh take on the Feast of Seven Fishes at Diggs’ Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill, set for Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Find tickets and additional information in The News & Observer. Can’t make the event? Learn about Seaver, who leads Harvard’s Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative, and his mission in this TED Talk
  • Bit & Grain features a recipe for fish and grits from chef Ricky Moore of Durham’s Saltbox Seafood Joint.
  • Rachel Noble of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences and her team are developing an easy-to-use kit that can verify how safe seafood is for consumers. The early-detection system can identify harmful bacteria in only two hours, making this development a potential boon to the state’s tourism and seafood industry. Learn more about the project, funded by the UNC system, in this video. North Carolina Sea Grant also has funded related research.