Fishstock/Seafood Throwdown - Boston Local Food Festival Boston Local Food Festival : Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts

Boston Local Food Festival

Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts

Fishstock/Seafood Throwdown

Fish Stock is the portion of the Boston Local Food Festival that highlights the fisher folk and the seafood that are local to New England. Brought to us by Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), The Seafood Throwdown is the main event of Fish Stock! Two chefs will engage in a culinary battle of skill and creativity with the secret seafood ingredient.  The Throwdown will be immediately followed by a fillet demo presented by a local chef.


Fish Stock 2014 Schedule:

  • Seafood Throwdown: 12:30-2:30pm
  • Fillet Demo: 3-4pm

(Both events will take place on Milk Street at Atlantic Avenue)


Competing Chefs this year will feature Chef Rachel Collins from The Restaurant Opportunity Center of Boston as well as Kevin Conner from Community Servings of Boston.

Chefs are allowed to bring three of their favorite ingredients, and once they discover the secret seafood they must use, they got $25 and 15 minutes to shop the Boston Local Food Festival’s vendors for ingredients. After their shopping spree, they have one hour to cook and present their entry for the judge’s consideration.

Emcees:  John Taraborelli & Michael Gazdacko

  • John Taraborelli is the Communications Director at the Elorza for Mayor in Providence RI and the Host of Providence Pecka Kucha Night.
  • Michael Gazdacko is the Director of Development & Operations at Urban Smart Growth

Chef 1: Rachel Collins, ROC of Boston (Restaurant Opportunity Center of Boston)

roc boston T logo


  • The Restaurant Opportunities Center is a member based nonprofit that is dedicated to improving conditions for the 10 million workers in America’s restaurant industry. The Boston affiliate of ROC was established in 2013 by a group of workers who represent the diverse origins of our region’s restaurant industry. We are committed to representing the voices of all restaurant workers as we fight to win access to benefits and a fair wage for all.

Chef 2:  Kevin Conner,  Community Servings of Boston

  • Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. They give their clients, their dependent families and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, and send the message to those in greatest need that someone cares. Their goals are to help our clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate, home-delivered meals, nutrition education, and other community programs.
  • As Executive Chef, Kevin oversees all kitchen operations including the preparation, cooking, packaging, handling and storage of 4,000 daily meals that are tailored to meet the needs of more than 25 different diets. Chef Conner has been a professional chef for 15 years. His culinary experience includes crafting menus and recipes at some of the region’s most well-known restaurants, including No. 9 Park, Radius, Union Bar Grille in Boston and Al Forno in Providence. Prior to joining the staff of Community Servings, Kevin worked as the Executive Chef at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Seafood Throwdown Judges:

  • Ilene Bezahler, Editor of Edible Boston Magazine
  • Brian Donahue, Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies, one of the authors of the New England Food Vision
  • Commissioner Mary B. Griffin, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Jean Kerr, Editor of Northeast Flavor Magazine
  • Commissioner Gregory C. Watson, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources


After the Seafood Throwdown, don’t forget to stick around for our Fillet and Unfillet Demo with chef Steve Parkes!

Chef Steve Parkes has been in the seafood world for nearly 30 years as a fisherman, buyer, processor and distributor.  He currently works at Maritime Gloucester and volunteers his time now and then with NAMA’s Seafood Throwdowns.


The Boston Local Food Festival Seafood Throwdown is hosted by the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance works with coastal communities to protect our marine environment, strengthen local leadership, and give voice to independent, community based fishermen. NAMA advocates for policies that advance social, economic, and environmental justice throughout the entire seafood value chain. Also, NAMA piloted the Seafood Throwdown event, which is an educational and community driven activity that promotes the ecological and economic benefits of locally caught seafood.

Chef Derrick Prince and Chef Christian Collins (Photo Credit: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance)

Crowd takes in the throwdown action (Photo Credit: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance)

The Distinguished Judges (from left to right): Callie Crossley of WGBH’s Callie Crossley show, Mass Dept of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin, Mass Dept of Agriculture Commissioner Scott Soaros, lobsterman David Casoni of the Mass Lobsterman’s Association (Photo Credit: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance)

Derrick Prince, 2011 winner. Photo Credit: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance