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Learn To Cook Local Fish And Seafood At A Cooking Class

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Aquatic Resource Education program will offer a local fish cooking class with Chef Andy Lussier of Culinary Connections and Addieville East Farm this month.

WHEN: Sunday, April 29| 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Office, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Chef Lussier will share tips and techniques designed to help participants prepare local fish and shellfish meals they’ll be proud to serve family and friends. Participants will learn how to process and store local seafood, along with special handling and cooking techniques. Chef Lussier will prepare several recipes during the class, and participants will be able to sample each dish.

Space is limited and registration is required. Cost for the class is $30 per person. A registration form is available on DEM’s website; send completed registration forms and $30 check/money order per person payable to Culinary Connections to DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Center, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822. For more information, contact Jessica Pena at jessica.pena@dem.ri.gov.

The program is among the state’s efforts to educate the public about local food and fisheries. Rhode Island is known for its food and diverse food cultures; our booming local food sector supports more than 60,000 jobs and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and innovators. The local fishing industry has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the equation. The commercial industry, which includes both wild harvest and aquaculture operations, generates close to $200 million in annual sales, supports nearly 7,000 jobs, and generates about $150 million in annual income. Last year, more than 22 million quahogs (off-the-boat value of $5 million) were harvested from Narragansett Bay and local coastal waters. To support continued industry growth, the state, along with its partners, developed the RI Seafood brand to uniquely identify local seafood in the marketplace and to provide a brand under which local seafood events and activities can take place.

“In the Ocean State, our fisheries are part of our identity – and we are so lucky to have access to diverse and high-quality seafood,” said Sue AnderBois, Rhode Island Director of Food Strategy. “This class – and efforts like it – help connect Rhode Islanders to the food being caught and grown right in our backyards by teaching us how to cook using ingredients we can buy directly from our local fishers and farmers!” AnderBois is the first state director of food strategy in the country.

As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. And recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year.