About the Chef's

About the Chefs

Some of America’s top chefs have appeared at the Tennessee Aquarium’s Serve & Protect live cooking shows. They come to Chattanooga because they support the Aquarium’s objectives to:  make sustainable seafood easier to understand, help diversify everyone’s “seafood portfolios” and empower others with information, tips and techniques that make preparing sustainable seafood fun and enjoyable. Join the movement by attending the 2014 event with Chef's Barton Seavor and Nico Romo.

Chef Barton Seaver
BARTON SEAVER

Chef Barton Seaver is the Director, Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. He is also a National Geographic Society Fellow and Sustainability Fellow in Residence at the New England Aquarium. Barton is the author of, “For Cod and Country,” “Where There’s Smoke,” and the forthcoming National Geographic books, “Foods for Health” and “NatGeo Kids Cookbook” which are scheduled to be released in September.

As a chef Barton’s restaurant career has always focused on sustainability, helping establishments garner eco-friendly recognition from publications like Bon Appetit.   In June, Barton was part of the panel at the U.S. Department of State’s “Our Ocean Conference.” Later he had the honor of preparing and serving dinner to Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries. 


Chef Nico Romo
NICO ROMO

Born in Lyon, France, Chef Nico Romo is the distinguished culinary executive director of Fish Restaurant in downtown Charleston.  Chef Romo rose to prominence among the United States’ finest hotels – including the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, and the Ritz Carlton Atlanta, and is a US member of The French Culinary Academy and Master French Chef.  Both elite international assemblies comprise the most highly skilled chefs in techniques and traditions of the French culinary art. 

In addition to being a  Monterey Bay Aquarium 2014 Sustainable Seafood Ambassador, Chef Romo was selected by the James Beard Foundation from more than 450 applicants nationwide to participate in hands-on advocacy training with a focus on sustainable seafood.




CHEFS MAKING PREVIOUS SERVE & PROTECT APPEARANCES:

Alton Brown
ALTON BROWN

Famed foodist Alton Brown helped found the Aquarium’s Serve & Protect program. Brown counts himself as among those who have been inspired by consuming a steady diet of Jacques Cousteau television specials and being an enthusiastic SCUBA diver. Using his culinary fame and talents, Brown seeks to reach new audiences with information and recipes that lead to wider adoption of preparing only sustainable seafood. Brown wrote, produced and hosted Good Eats on the Food Network for 13 years, winning a Peabody Award and a James Beard award along the way. He is also the author of seven books including, I’m Just Here for the Food which won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category. His three volume Good Eats companion books all made the New York Times best seller list. 

Brown’s most recent endeavors include hosting Cutthroat Kitchen on Food Network and mounting a nationwide traveling road show called the “Edible Inevitable Tour.”

Virginia Willis
VIRGINIA WILLIS

Willis is described as a classically-trained, truly Southern chef who mixes fun into the approachable recipes she creates. She authored the acclaimed cookbooks,Bon Appétit, Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, is a contributing editor to Southern Living and has produced more than 1,000 TV episodes, working for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay and as Executive Producer for Epicurious on The Discovery Channel. In addition to being featured in USA Today, Country Living and CNN, Willis has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped” and served as a judge on “Throw Down with Bobby Flay.” 

As a sustainable seafood advocate, Willis serves on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. Her popular food blog often focuses on sustainability by making wise seafood choices and supporting locally-sourced food.
 

Susan Spicer
SUSAN SPICER

Spicer is a one-woman industry in New Orleans. Among her many awards, Spicer has been named one of Food and Wine's 10 Best New Chefs and received the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast Region, 1993. Her French Quarter restaurant, Bayona, has been featured in Bon Appetit and has been listed as one of the top 5 restaurants in the Zagat Guide for New Orleans. She has received the DiRoNa designation from Distinguished Restaurants of North America and the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. In May 2010, Susan was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. 

Spicer appeared on the Bravo television program Top Chef during the finale in 2009. Susan is also credited with inspiring a Hollywood persona. Ms. Desautel, a character in the HBO series Treme, a television series depicting post-Katrina New Orleans, was loosely based on Spicer’s career.