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 Lake Superior Fisheries Event

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Spilly’s Recipe Contest

Athelstan Spilhaus
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Minnesota Sea Grant's "Salute to Lake Superior’s Sustainable Fisheries” takes place from 4-6:30 pm on November 1, 2011 at the U of M McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis; it's a north-shore event with Twin Cities flair. The event, complete with a recipe contest, serves as a tribute to the people involved in managing, harvesting, selling, studying, and preparing commercially harvested fish on Lake Superior. "The Salute honors Sea Grant's roots and its mission to support coastal economies and environments with research and the best science-based information available," said Sharon Moen, science writer for the Sea Grant program.

The event also honors Sea Grant founder Athelstan Spilhaus, former Dean of the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering, who would have been 100 years old this November. Spilhaus was born in 1911 in Cape Town, South Africa. He received his master’s degree from the Michigan Institute of Technology and invented the Bathythermograph, which made possible the measurement of ocean depths and temperatures from a moving vessel, and was essential to submarine warfare.

Spilhaus recommended the foundation of the Sea Grant program at a 1963 meeting of the American Fisheries Society, claiming that it should be modeled after the land-grant colleges. In Spilhaus’ words, it was "one of the best investments this nation ever made. The same kind of imagination and foresight should be applied to the exploration of the sea." Spilhaus passed away in 1998.

Before the celebration, a private event will take place in which ten of the region’s top chefs will be tasked with creating an entrée from lake herring caught on Lake Superior. The participants will compete for a $1000 prize and American Culinary Federation honors. Moen said "We don't typically throw fetes like this but 100 is a big deal, Lake Superior's lake herring fisheries are a big deal, nutrition is a big deal and, hey, it's National Seafood Month."

After the competition is over, guests, including many UMD alumni, will join the celebration and sample the competing dishes, as well as chat with the chefs and UMD Chancellor Lendley Black. There will also be music by North Shore musician Michael Monroe. Throughout the event the winners of Spilly’s Recipe Contest (named for Spilhaus) will be revealed, and some of the contributors to Lake Superior sustainable fishing will be introduced. At around 5 pm, the winner of the professional cooking competition will be declared and awarded their prize. Admission is $10.

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Written by Zach Lunderberg, September 2011

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