Shrimp Tales

  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Rob Stinson

    ROB STINSON THE REEF Chef Rob Stinson attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, majoring in business management. He trained under Cordon Bleu Chef Gerald Thabuis; former Chef for President of France, Charles DeGaulle; Master Italian Chef Ciro Cuomo, and Creole Chef Nathaniel Burton. Stinson is executive chef and owner of three award-winning restaurants on the…

    Read More July 2, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Gulf Pride Enterprises, Inc.

    Gulf Pride Enterprises, Inc. is naturally all about one thing: pride. It’s a word that represents the 60-year-old family-operated Biloxi business well — a company now run by owner Wally Gollott. Not only does the name signify a high standard of quality for the 50,000 pounds of wild-caught Gulf shrimp processed daily during the season,…

    Read More June 30, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Geraldo Bayona

    GERALDO BAYONA COLUMBIA RESTAURANT Named corporate chef in 2005, Geraldo Bayona (Chef Jerry) is based at the flagship, 112-year-old Columbia Restaurant℠ in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, which remains Florida’s oldest restaurant. The restaurant has fifteen different dining rooms, with seating for 1,700 people. Fourth-generation co-owner and Columbia Restaurant Group President, Richard Gonzmart, has turned to…

    Read More June 25, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Gulf Crown Seafood Company, Inc.

    Gulf Crown Seafood Company Inc. has been in operation since 1987 when it opened in Delcambre, Louisiana, which is a city centrally located on the Gulf of Mexico, and is about the halfway point between the Texas and Florida coastlines. Every morning, Jeff Floyd, president of the processing plant, drives down a special road to…

    Read More June 23, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Jim Smith

    CHEF JIM SMITH EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA AND CHAIRMAN OF THE ALABAMA SEAFOOD MARKETING COMMISSION Jim Smith is the Executive Chef of the State of Alabama and Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. As the state chef, he has placed an emphasis on using the best local ingredients and has made…

    Read More June 17, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Lafitte Frozen Foods, Corp.

    Lafitte Frozen Foods Corporation is a family-owned operation that has gained a solid reputation in the shrimp industry as one of the largest domestic processors in the United States. The impeccable approach to providing customers with a quality product for the last 35 years is attributed to the company’s dedicated team, which is comprised of…

    Read More June 15, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Chef Peter Vauthy

    PETER VAUTHY RED, THE STEAKHOUSE Executive Chef Peter Vauthy is turning the steakhouse business on its side and mixing things up while staying true to his homegrown roots. Inspired by what he learned from his family while incorporating his unique perspective on the classics, Chef Vauthy’s envelope-pushing culinary masterpieces stem from the marriage of innovation…

    Read More June 11, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: R. A. Lesso Seafood, Inc.

    When Rudy Lesso Jr. walks into his office, he is greeted with a perfect panoramic view of Biloxi Back Bay. On a clear blue sky kind of morning when the wind is still, the surface of the water is like glass and beautifully captures a pristine reflection of shrimp boats lined around his docks that…

    Read More June 9, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: James Aptakin

    JAMES APTAKIN LAYERS OF FLAVOR If there had been a Junior Master Chef Competition when James Aptakin was ten-years-old, there is no question that he would have won the big prize. Baking shortbread and jam cookies at the age of eight and making complete dinners for family and friends by 5th grade, James was on…

    Read More June 4, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Tidelands Seafood Company, Inc.

    The banks of Bayou Grand Caillou in Dulac, Louisiana, have been home to many shrimp processors over the last century. Although only a handful now remain, Tidelands Seafood Company, a fourth-generation family-owned company, is still operating and open today. Alan “Andy” Gibson, 48, owner, grew up in an ever-changing industry that was started by his…

    Read More June 2, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Tory McPhail

    TORY MCPHAIL COMMANDER’S PALACE A native of Ferndale, Washington, a small agricultural town on the Canadian border, Tory McPhail grew up on his family’s farm, eating fresh, locally sourced foods and building an early appreciation for their origin. After attending school in Seattle, Chef McPhail opted for a start in New Orleans. At age 19,…

    Read More May 28, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Fisherman’s Reef Shrimp Company

    Many processing plants that line the Gulf and South Atlantic have a family lineage rooted deep in multiple generations. In the case of Fisherman’s Reef in Beaumont, Texas, it’s more like a culinary lineage: from donut shop to bakery, hamburger joint to catfish restaurants, a few other ventures in between, and then shrimp processing. It’s…

    Read More May 26, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Brody Olive

    BRODY OLIVE PERDIDO BEACH RESORT Chef Brody Olive heads the culinary team at Perdido Beach Resort as the Executive Chef. In this role he leads the culinary team encompassing all food and beverage operations throughout the hotel’s four restaurants and multiple banquet facilities. Chef Olive brings to the resort an impressive background of training and…

    Read More May 21, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Smith & Sons Seafood

    Since 1955, Smith & Sons Seafood in Darien, Georgia, has operated as a successful processor gleaning from abundant shrimp harvests pulled from South Atlantic waters. Walter “Big John” Smith Jr., vice president, 43, is the youngest of the sons and is now at the helm of the company that was started by his father, Walter…

    Read More May 19, 2020
  • Chef Advocate Highlight: Mike Koerner

    MIKE KOERNER CHEZ MIKEY Chef Mike Koerner was born and raised in Deerfield, Illinois, and was exposed to a wide array of cultures early on. Culinary excellence was in Mike’s DNA with Swedish, Italian, and Hungarian blood. His Italian grandmother was the first to take Mike under her wing and teach the basics of Italian…

    Read More May 14, 2020
  • ASPA Member Feature: Indian Ridge Shrimp Company

    Andrew Blanchard is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the history of the shrimp industry in Chauvin, Louisiana. He was born and raised in the area, and his distinguishable Cajun accent is a reflection of the cultural heritage still celebrated in this small town located on the water in Terrebonne Parish. This industry…

    Read More May 12, 2020