Monday, July 28, 2008

Gov. Ritter nominates Vail chef to represent Colorado in national seafood cook-off

Gov. Ritter nominates Vail chef to represent Colorado in national seafood cook-off
Chef Paul Anders will showcase state's aquaculture and produce
Gov. Bill Ritter today extended wishes of good luck to Colorado's team as it readies to compete in the 5th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off inNew Orleans. Gov. Ritter has nominated Paul Anders, executive chef of Sweet Basil in Vail, to represent the state in the prestigious event.
"This Colorado team represents so much of what the state has to offer," said Gov. Ritter.  "Whether we're talking about the top notch culinary talent and distinctive cuisine, or our spirit of competition and entrepreneurship, it's all evident in our large number of family and privately owned businesses; and Chef Anders, who will be cooking with fish farmed in the San Luis Valley, is such a fine example of just that."
Chef Anders has been executive chef for Sweet Basil since 2006 and has decorated many a plate in Colorado. He also has worked as chef at the five-star, five-diamond Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs and at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel.
"I'm honored and excited to be representing Colorado," Anders says. "Our culinary landscape is diverse and sophisticated. Just because we're in the mountains of Colorado doesn't mean we can't prepare seafood well."
Anders will be using a hybrid striped bass farmed in Alamosa by family-owned Colorado Catch. Co-owner Tyler Faucette says the company produces 350,000 pounds of the bass each year and nearly half of that stays "local," being consumed within the state.
"The bass is super consistent to work with," says Anders. "It has great texture, is moist, flaky and has a mild flavor. I love working with it."
Anders is keen to highlight regional produce as well. His recipe uses Olathe sweet corn and locally grown onions.
The idea to highlight the state's own product came from Derek Figueroa, chief financial officer of Seattle Fish Company. The family-owned, third-generation business is the largest wholesaler of fresh and frozen seafood in the Rocky Mountain region and is marking its 90th year in business. 
"It's exciting to have a purely Colorado team at this competition and showcase the exceptional culinary scene in Colorado to the rest of the nation." Figueroa says. Seattle Fish Company is supplying the fish and sponsoring the team's trip to New Orleans.
Anders will be one of the country's top twenty chefs competing with their best seafood recipes in the Aug. 1st and 2nd competitions and the winner will be crowned King or Queen of Seafood.
Anders' wife, Theresa, is a formally trained chef and will accompany him as his assistant.