Top Chef Celebrities Bryan Voltaggio and Carla Hall Are Featured Guests in Smithsonian’s Sustainable Seafood Culinary Weekend

April 21, 2010
News Release
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and The Smithsonian Associates will present a culinary weekend focusing on sustainable seafood Friday, June 11, through Saturday, June 12. The weekend will feature three events: an evening reception with tastings of seafood specialties prepared by more than 30 acclaimed chefs, a VIP reception with seafood dishes prepared by a select group of local chefs and a sustainability panel discussion with industry experts, preceded by a breakfast buffet.

Ticket prices for the main evening reception Friday, June 11, are $125 for general admission and $90 for Associate members. Ticket prices for the VIP reception purchased together with the main reception are $175 for general admission and $150 for Associate members. Ticket prices for the three panel discussions and the breakfast buffet Saturday, June 12, are $75 for general admission and $65 for Associate members. For tickets and additional information, contact The Smithsonian Associates at (202) 633-3030 or visit

The main evening reception will be held Friday, June 11, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the National Museum of Natural History. Participants can sample a wide variety of sustainable seafood dishes from numerous food stations throughout the rotunda and first-floor exhibit halls. More than 30 of Washington’s best-known chefs will create seafood specialties for the evening, including Bryan Voltaggio, runner-up of last season’s popular culinary reality show Top Chef. Additional local chefs include Jeff Buben of Bistro Bis and Vidalia, Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell, Scott Drewno of The Source, Todd Gray of Equinox, Ris Lacoste of Ris, Barton Seaver of Blue Ridge and Diamond District Seafood Co. and Robert Wiedmaier of Brabo, Brasserie Beck, Marcel’s and Mussel Bar. Chefs visiting from outside the Washington area are Christine Keff from the Flying Fish in Seattle and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas and former contestant on Top Chef Masters. Participants will have the opportunity to mingle with the chefs at each station.

Before the main reception, a VIP reception will be held in the museum’s Winston Gallery, home to the Hope Diamond, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Special guests include local chefs Carla Hall, Top Chef runner-up and owner of Alchemy Caterers, Nora Pouillon and Benjamin Lambert from Restaurant Nora, Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central Michel Richard and Llewellyn Correia of Wegmans Food Markets. Participants will enjoy a cocktail created especially for this occasion, seafood delicacies prepared by the chefs and a guided wine tasting from winery and vineyard owners, including former Washington Redskin, Terry Hoage.

On Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Richard Harris, National Public Radio science correspondent, presides over three panel discussions on the topics of seafood sustainability challenges, the future of aquaculture and consumer choices, in the museum’s Baird Auditorium.

The first panel will feature experts on fishery science and conservation:

  • Michael Sutton, vice president and director of the Center for the Future of the Oceans at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Steve Murawski, chief science advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service

The second panel on aquaculture will include:

  • Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association
  • John Finger, co-owner of the Hog Island Oyster Company
  • Katherine Bostick, senior program officer of the aquaculture program at World Wildlife Fund

The third panel on sustainability in the restaurant and home kitchen will include:

  • Julie Mounts, ichthyologist for the National Museum of Natural History
  • Carl Salamone, vice president, seafood merchandising for Wegmans Food Markets

Tickets for the panel discussions also include a breakfast buffet of smoked albacore tuna, smoked trout and assorted breakfast selections, which will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. in the museum.

This event is made possible through the generous support of NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Wegmans Food Market, Monterey Bay Aquarium, wineries of the Rhone Rangers, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Occasions Caterers, Perfect Settings and the Marine Stewardship Council.

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Solo Medios 

Lauren Lyons


National Museum of Natural History
Press Office

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