We have the fish–loving penguins at the Kansas City Zoo to thank for the creation of the Seafood Soiree event that will celebrate its fifth year at zoo on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Several years ago, the Kansas City Zoo was ready to open their new Helzberg Penguin Plaza, and they wanted a strong conservation message associated with the exhibit and so they decided to become a Seafood Watch partner, a group committed to helping the public find and source ocean-friendly seafood.
This is important because choosing sustainable seafood helps the conservation of animals such as sea lions and penguins.
As a member of the Seafood Watch program the zoo was required to host more sustainable seafood-specific events, and they saw it as the perfect opportunity to host an adult-only, food-oriented event, thus raising awareness and possibly attracting a new clientele to the zoo.
This year as guests gather among the popular penguins in the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, five of Kansas City's premier chefs will come together to demonstrate how to prepare sustainable seafood while guests sample their amazing creations.
Speaking and preparing a dish at this years Seafood Soiree at the Kansas City Zoo is:
- Chef Carlos Falcon, owner of Jarocho, serving Ceviche Jarocho
- Corporate Chef Sheila Lucero and Chef de Cuisine Theresia Ota of Jax’s Fish House & Oyster Bar, shucking their signature house oysters
- Chef John C. Smith, owner of EJ’s Urban Eatery, serving Shrimp Remoulade
- Chef Calvin Davis, owner of Freshwater, serving Bagna Cauda
- Chef Ed Cockman, representing Hy-Vee, serving Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cakes
The event will be somewhat informal with guests grabbing a drink of their choice from the bar, while they wander from chef’s table to chef’s tables sampling each seafood dish. Throughout the evening each chef will do a cooking demonstration, and talk about how their dish is sustainable.
Guest will also enjoy live music, educational speakers and hear from the penguin keepers, themselves.
Nick Philipp, Teen & Guest Experience Supervisor for the Kansas City Zoo explains that this event has evolved from a formal sit down dinner to a more informal cocktail party.
“The first Seafood Soiree was very different, as it was a very education-heavy event, which guests seem to enjoy, but with everyone seated for a coursed seafood dinner, we could only reasonably serve about 100 people,” says Philipp.
This year they are expecting over 350 people to attend this event.
“I hope that the increased participation of these local “sustainable-seafood savvy” restaurants and chefs will bring a wider audience of people excited to learn how to make sustainable seafood choices for themselves,” he said.
Tickets for this adults-only event are $35 for Friends of the Zoo members and $45, for non-Friends of the Zoo members. They include two drink tickets, live music and savory seafood selections from Kansas City’s top chefs.
For more information, or to purchase your tickets for the Seafood Soiree, go to www.kansascityzoo.org.