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Event to offer sustainable practices; benefit area food bank

By Jessica Rodrigo
March 18, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 17, 2014 at 10:18 p.m.


If you go

• WHAT: Sustainable Seafood Symposium and Grand Tasting

• WHEN: 6:30-9:30 p.m. March 26

• WHERE: Victoria Country Club, 14 Spring Creek Road

• COST: $50 per person

• FOR INFORMATION: Call the Victoria Country Club at 361-573-3712.

Victoria has the potential to become a sustainable food hub, said one area chef.

That's one of the reasons James Canter, executive chef of the Victoria Country Club, is hosting a Sustainable Seafood Symposium and Grand Tasting on March 26.

"Sustainability is more important now than ever," he said. "We need to be investing in the security of our community."

In an effort to bring together like-minded individuals, Canter said the event will host lectures, discussions, cooking demonstrations and a tasting of sustainable food. Presenters include Kenny Belov, owner of Fish in Sausalito, Calif.; John Russ, chef of Luke in San Antonio; and chefs from the Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas.

Canter hopes the symposium will help reconnect people with their food sources and educate them about what could happen in terms of food production for future generations.

"There is a point when the environment can't take what we're doing to it," he said. "Pesticides go into our water table, into our systems through food that we eat and the soil that our food is grown in."

Michael James "Mickey" Kostella Jr., owner of PJ's Seafood, will also participate in the discussion as a longtime source of seafood in Victoria. The store has been a seafood staple for the past 35 years and specializes in area-caught fish, shrimp and oysters. PJ's customers haven't had to worry about where the seafood is coming from, said Kostella, because they've always bought it from reliable sources.

"We've been here for so long, doing it the same way," he said. "We want to keep it that way."

Everything PJ's sells in the seafood market and cooks in the restaurant is caught in the area on a daily basis, Kostella said.

Knowing where the seafood is coming from isn't only important for the environment but can also be good for the consumer. Chemical-free seafood and freshness are two reasons why Kostella has worked so hard at keeping good relationships.

Twenty-five percent of ticket sales will benefit the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent to help improve the welfare in Victoria and the surrounding area, Canter said.

"By refocusing the community, we can invest here, teach people to grow produce," he said. "It's an eco-engine. It's a healthy practice and cure-all for all our issues."

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