Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Amanda - How I Became Involved

Hello there! My name is Amanda Parks and am excited to be working with NH Sea Grant as a Doyle Fellow this summer.

I have been immersing myself in the local fisheries of New Hampshire for the past year learning the ins and outs of this 400 year old industry - and am still only just skimming the surface! I am a full time undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire studying Nutrition and EcoGastronomy.

Cooking is my passion and food is my inspiration. For the past 4 years I have been actively involved with an incredibly inspiring international organization, Slow Food, which has local chapters both at UNH and the Seacoast. Here people from all over the world convene to revive food culture across the globe. The focus is to promote and protect good, clean, and fair food. Often times we are disconnected from our food system and traditional food-ways, especially when it comes to seafood.


Over the past several years I have had the privilege of being part of many fun, educational, and inspirational food system related projects. Recently I have put the focus on our local fishing community.

In the fall semester of 2013, I helped to coordinate a fish fillet workshop and discussion as a part of the Slow Fish campaign put on by Slow Food UNH. Here we introduced eight different “underloved” species of NH-caught fish and invited Chef Evan Mallet from the Black Trumpet, located in Portsmouth, to demonstrate fillet methods. From dogfish ceviche to blackened acadian redfish and a seafood risotto, we empowered students to get to know their local seafood in a delicious manner! This workshop was featured on NH Chronicle and the video can be viewed here:!ZI2yJ

Also with Slow Food, I was on a planning committee who worked with UNH Dining to start sourcing more of their seafood locally. With an increased student demand, UNH gladly began a trial period of souring from Red's Best in Boston to bring local New England caught seafood to Holloway Commons. This trial period concluded with a Sustainable Seafood Dinner where UNH Dining directors as well as UNH President Mark Huddleston signed onto the Slow Fish principles to guide purchasing efforts in the future to favor NH caught seafood that has sustainable stocks like pollock and redfish.

This Spring I was honored to be asked to coordinate, as head chef, a seafood dinner for the Fish Locally Collaborative conference sponsered by NAMA (Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance). I cooked over seven dishes for a group of 80 fishermen, families, activists, and community members in New Bedford, MA. The entire meal was cooked from scratch using seafood brought in by both regional and national fishermen with an emphasis on underutilized species.

I have also been helping out with NH Community Seafood for the past year on creating informational handouts for their CSF (community supported fishery) shares. I worked for them at the winter markets with selling fish and promoting sign ups for the summer. 


Feeling inspired by my local fishing community, I dedicated my EcoGastronomy capstone project to developing a consumer focused mobile app designed to help people find local seafood in markets and restaurants as well as to familiarize them with the species caught here in NH. Now with the fellowship I will be able to continue with the development and launching of this app with hopes to expand into other regional areas in the future. Stayed my next post I will talk more about the app, its features, and it's projected release as well as the other components of my fellowship.

If you ever have a question or want to know more about what I am doing, please feel free to e-mail me at:


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